It can hit you at the weirdest times. It just does. And when it does... it gives you an emotional chill like a shadow from your past. I was driving my wife to work today as we often do in the morning and it hit me just then. She was going through Facebook, scrolling by a picture of some old friends with their kids. I asked her, "Don't they have four kids now?" They do. And it hit me. We could too. Or could have. But don't.
We've come such a long way... many years and thousands of miles from a phone call to my work one night. Something was wrong. My wife knew it. Through her tears she asked me to come get her. I left work right away. I found her in a stall in the women's room at Boston University where she worked... crying.. her clothes soaked through with blood. I took her to the doctor, but by then she knew... we knew -- how could you not know? -- that she had suffered a miscarriage. What would have been our first baby as a newly-married couple. Of course, my wife was physically OK and that was most important thing. We were assured we could try again at some point when the time was right. That was important too. In the meantime, we went home for a couple of days and buried ourselves in takeout and movies and self-pity. We told the few family members who already knew she was pregnant about the miscarriage. But let's face it; there's not a whole lot someone can say or do to make you feel any better. And all the good will can't replace the fact that you were already secretly picking baby names and nursery colors and getting excited to be new parents. You compartmentalize that chapter of your life like an old photo in an album that you tuck away on a shelf and only glance at once in a long while.
Time passed. We went on to have a beautiful daughter, Alicia.
We'd go on to have another miscarriage too. By that time, we felt like old pros at it. This time, my wife was right in the doctor's office at her pregnancy exam when the doctor informed her she was miscarrying. It didn't make it any easier. We went home. We hardly told anyone. This time, we poured ourselves into caring for our young girl at home. And again we compartmentalized that chapter of our life like an old photo in an album that we tucked away on a shelf and only glance at once in a long while.
Time passed again. We went on to have another beautiful daughter, Andreya.
We chose not to try for more children. Out of four pregnancies, two ended in miscarriage. I feel blessed to have two healthy kids. Why test the percentages again? Sure, once in a while the thought of another baby creeps in... the idea of raising a new baby and having that excitement back in the family. For us, the time has passed. I still think about it sometimes and at the weirdest times, that our family might have been bigger -- could have been bigger -- but isn't. And I know there are so many other couples just like us. This is my subtle nod to them. We've been there, too. I'm not going to tell you how to feel. I just want you to know you're not alone. You're not. Today, I flipped through that old photo album in my mind and was taken right back there.
I dropped my wife off at work and returned home to make breakfast with the kids as one danced around with her panda stuffed animal... And the other drew one of her fantastic drawings. They really are the most incredible kids. Yes I still think about it... sometimes... at the weirdest times... that our family might have been bigger... could have been bigger... but isn't. It's always going to be a page in that old photo album of our lives together. But my family is perfect the way it is and that's just fine with me.
I write a lot of stuff and sometimes it can be super personal. And when it is, like today's post, I always run it by my wife first to make sure she's OK with me sharing this. She was. Find me on Facebook at dadmissionsthebook