The Son I’ll Never Know
My son, Adam, was 10 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. Watching that second line show up on the pregnancy test brought waves of different emotions rushing through me. Disbelief. Surprise. Fear. Excitement. Anxiety. Joy. I was overwhelmed & unsure how to feel.
My husband felt the same way as me.
We were scared of what people would think – we weren’t exactly in the best financial situation & our first baby wasn’t even a year old yet. We were also overjoyed at the thought of the tiny person growing inside me that would soon join our growing family.
Only, he never joined us.
A Devastating Miscarriage
I knew when I must have gotten pregnant, so I knew that I was about 7 weeks along when I went for a consultation with a midwife.
The night before the consultation, I noticed some light bleeding when I went to the bathroom. It made me a little nervous, but I wasn’t too worried because I experienced the same thing with my son & everything was fine. However, the next day, the bleeding had not stopped & I began to really worry.
I tried to tell myself everything was fine, but deep down I think I already knew. By the time the consultation with the midwife came, my anxiety was through the roof. The midwife told me what I already knew, that I might be miscarrying or it might be nothing, & there wasn’t anything I could do but wait & find out.
Losing a Baby
That evening the bleeding got heavier until there was no longer any doubt. We knew we were losing the baby.
Luckily, my mother-in-law was around so she watched Adam while my husband & I sobbed in the bathroom. I bounced between shock & despair for a while. We’ll never know for sure, but both my husband & I felt strongly like the baby was a boy. We named him Arlo. It was our chosen name for our next son. We were so broken. These things happen to other people, they don’t happen to you – until they do.
A Healing Spark of Life
About 6 weeks later, I started to notice pregnancy symptoms again. I felt like I was crazy, like my mind was making me feel pregnant because I was supposed to be.
Finally, we decided that if I took a pregnancy test I would be able to see the negative result & get some closure that way. The test was positive. The shock hit me like a train. How could I be pregnant? I lost the baby.
My mind started going wild & I wondered if somehow, I hadn’t lost the baby & I was just crazy. I wondered if maybe the baby I lost had a surviving twin.
We decided to go to the hospital because we needed answers now. They confirmed my pregnancy. I thought the baby was the twin of the baby I lost, but the doctor told me otherwise. I was only about 5 weeks pregnant.
I lost Arlo & then immediately became pregnant again.
Suddenly, I was riding another rollercoaster of emotions. I didn’t feel like I was ready to be pregnant again, I was scared that this new baby was going to feel like a replacement. Yet, we were again overjoyed about this new person that was to come into our lives. We were also terrified that she wouldn’t make it just like Arlo.
The pregnancy was much smoother than my first pregnancy, I wasn’t sick constantly this time around. I think that brought on even more fear because at least if I had been sick, I would have felt more pregnant.
Feelings of Guilt
I was about 8 weeks away from my due date when Arlo’s due date passed. It was hard to deal with, especially with all the pregnancy hormones. We welcomed our beautiful daughter, Zelda, into the world with no problems whatsoever. She is perfect. Sometimes I feel guilty for missing Arlo, because I know that if he had survived, Zelda would have never existed. Then I feel guilty for feeling guilty because I’m so thankful for Zelda.
Our Baby Girl - Zelda
Zelda is about to be two months old, & it’s still devastating when I realize that Arlo would be about 2 months ahead of where she is had he made it.
My husband & I still talk about him regularly, I’m scared he won’t feel real anymore if we let his memory start to slip away. After reading other’s experiences with losing a baby, I realize how true “the grass is always greener on the other side” is.
I lost Arlo so early on that I didn’t even get to find out what he looked like, I never got to feel a kick, I didn’t even get a single ultrasound picture. I wish I had those memories, but I also know how much harder having them could make it all. No matter what stage you lose a baby at, it’s devastating. I’m just so grateful for the two wonderful children that we have been blessed with, & we will never forget the son we didn’t get to meet.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BRITTEN THOMPSON
Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.
When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.