In my first two pregnancies, this day meant nothing, it wasn't memorable in any way. I would have been anxiously waiting for my ultrasound, dreaming up nursery ideas, picking names. I would have been lost in a cloud of happy pregnant-ness.
My third pregnancy ended at 17 weeks 3 days. At 17 weeks 3 days, i woke up pregnant with Joshua for the last time, I went to the hospital when they called. I survived a day that still haunts my dreams. I came home at what should have been 17 weeks 4 days with an empty body and a broken heart. My son came home 6 days later, his ashes tucked inside of the belly of a tiny blue teddy bear.
Its so surreal to think that right now I would have had a six month old. In a different reality he would be starting on solids, rolling around, laughing and playing with his big sisters. I wish for that every day. I wish I had never had to hold my son and not feel him move. I wish I had never had to leave him at the hospital. I wish I had never had to have the conversation with my eldest daughter that sometimes babies don't get to live with their families, but have to go straight back to heaven instead. I wish for those things with all my heart, but unfortunately its the hand that I have been dealt.
Here I sit now, 17 weeks and 4 days pregnant with a new baby. A baby that the Dr's and geneticist's have told me has just a teeny tiny chance ( 1 in 14,000) of being affected by a trisonomy ( you know, I didn't know it was possible to actually hate a word, but i hate that one). Last May I would have given anything to have been 17 weeks 4 days pregnant. Tomorrow I will be 17 weeks 5 days pregnant, in a few weeks I will go for my big ultrasound, and before I know it, my little baby will be here in my arms. I feel so blessed.
Its amazing how my perspective on pregnancy has changed, each milestone, each test that we pass, every single day is a triumph, and yet its tinged with a sadness that Joshua couldn't have had this as well. It makes me appreciate the simple things so much more, makes even the hardest parts of pregnancy seem not so bad. How can I complain about morning sickness and back pain when my baby is alive? How can anything bother me when I get to go maternity clothes shopping instead of urn shopping?
I can feel in my heart that this baby will come home with us, will be a part of our days, our weeks and months, and our lives. I am so blessed, but I miss him. I have come to accept that this isn't going to go away. There is no bouncing back from a loss like this, and that's alright. I may not be able to hold my son in my arms today, but i can feel the piece of my heart that is his. Sometimes, like today and the last few days, it hurts, but sometimes, when I'm watching my daughters sleep, or just sitting in the tub relaxing, I can imagine that hes here with me.
Sometimes I have to pretend that I'm okay, and sometimes I really am. One thing I do know, is that I am blessed. I have four beautiful children in my heart, and if the number in my arms doesn't match today, I can have faith that it will one day. Today I am 17 weeks and 4 days pregnant, and I am blessed.