Even as I write this, I am praying that the doctor is wrong, that the ultrasound is wrong, that my baby lives. I know that if it is His will, He can still breathe life into this tiny being I still carry in my womb.
On the morning before my birthday, February 25th, I found out I was pregnant with baby number three, who we’ve been calling Gaelen (which means “calm”). I emailed my RE’s nurse and got my first beta hcg: 464. It was lower than what they would expect based on my last period, but I had stopped ovulating in November/December and my cycles were off. The following Monday, my level was at 1,273.
I scheduled my first u/s on Monday, 3/7, just a couple days after Calvin’s birthday. The RE said the sac measured about 5 weeks, but because she saw a yolk and possibly the fetal pole, she said I was probably 5w6d, and that she wanted me to come back in a week, because we should see a heartbeat by then. I asked for a copy of the ultrasound. I didn’t care if it was too early to determine viability.
Today was our second u/s. There was no heartbeat. The RE said it doesn’t look like the pregnancy is viable. I covered my eyes and cried as she finished the ultrasound, Louie stood by me and stroked my hair.
As we walked toward the car, Louie said, It always rains when we lose our babies.
I don’t know why this is happening to us again. I don’t know why I’ve been peeing so much and having food aversions and nausea and feeling so tired and experiencing all of the other symptoms of pregnancy if our baby is not alive.
As we sat on the couch, Louie started researching on the Internet trying to find some hope. Stories of no heartbeat and D&C’s stopped by a final ultrasound that ended with a living child. I’m not ready to make a third sculpture, he told me. I’m not ready to let Gaelen go, either.
Calvin was my sunshine. Rainbow was my hope. Gaelen was supposed to be my peace. But I wonder if the anxiety and terror I’ve felt since learning of this pregnancy caused Gaelen to leave us. I wonder if the violent coughing from being sick hurt the baby. I wonder if the grief during Calvin’s anniversary was too much.
This weekend, I told Louie that I wanted to buy something for Gaelen. A symbol that I believe we would take this baby home. An offering to show we wanted this baby to live. I chose a set of receiving blankets, partly because if we were to lose this one like we lost Calvin, we could still use it. Maybe that was my mistake—not fulling committing.
A few nights ago, I dreamed of Mama, my grandmother. She came back from the dead. She placed her hand on my belly (like she had done with Calvin), and said This one’s a boy (just like with Calvin). I gestured toward my mother and sister who were on the couch and said, I haven’t told them. She acknowledged what I said. Was that her taking Gaelen to be with big brother and big sister? A couple days ago, Louie saw an old woman driving a cadillac with a little boy and a baby in a carseat. He said it made him think of Mama driving Calvin and Rainbow around. Was that her coming to pick up Gaelen, too?
My heart’s true desire is for Gaelen to be our earth baby. When Father Kinane took my head in his hands and prayed over me and my baby after Mass on Sunday, I felt held and protected. The rest of the world and my fears dissipated. I thought that maybe this was a sign that our baby would get to come home, alive, breathing, crying, pooping.
I don’t know how God plans to use our third child. I don’t know if this baby will be the one to show His glory through living despite being called a “missed abortion,” or if this baby will be used to glorify Him through loss, as Calvin and Rainbow have done. I would love to come back and say that Gaelen was our miracle baby, but ALL THREE of my babies are miracles, whether they live on earth or on heaven.
Will you please pray for us? Will you pray for our hearts? Will you pray that we continue to feel His grace and love? That we continue to seek the path He has set before us?
Will you pray for Louie? For that heartache he carries for our babies and for me? He told me that he will never forget how I looked on the table, as I was getting the ultrasound. He said I looked so worried. He said that when she said the pregnancy wasn’t viable, he watched me nod then cover my eyes as I cried, and that he wished things were different.
Will you pray for me? That I can be the wife Louie needs? That I can still be a good mother to my babies, even if they live apart from me?
Will you pray for Gaelen? Will you pray for a miracle, for life where there seems to be no more? Will you pray that whatever His will is, that we continue to remember God is good?