(DISCLAIMER: If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you might not want to read this…..)
“Mom, I wish I had a sibling…… or someone close to my age in our family….”
This. This is the thing that keeps me up at night. This is the thing that makes me cry in the middle of the day. This is the thing that makes me think that I have ruined my son.
I always thought that I would have two kids. It didn’t matter if it was a boy and a girl….. Just two. To keep each other company.
I had a relatively easy pregnancy. Other than a couple of episodes of bed rest, I had no morning sickness, no problems with hypertension, no real food cravings. My son even came before my due date and my water broke on its own. I had some complications during delivery, but other than that, everything seemed fine. Until it was time to really become a mom. I had no idea what I was doing. I was afraid that everything that I did was wrong. I know that I had postpartum depression, but did nothing about it, because I was supposed to be happy. I was supposed to have the mom instinct. I was supposed to have everything under control.
Then at 9 months old, I learned that my son had developmental delays. We started with physical therapy. A year and a half later we were going to cognitive, speech, oral and occupational therapy 3 times a week. I was overwhelmed. What did I do wrong to make my child like this? Did I eat something wrong? Did I not stimulate him enough? Read to him enough? Play with him enough? You see, as a new, self conscious, second guessing mom with no self esteem, I felt that I was the one to blame. I blamed myself horribly for all of it. I didn’t know who to talk to. I thought I was supposed to be happy.
When my son was almost three, I got pregnant again. I was both happy and scared. “What if?” I kept thinking. I let my fears subside and let myself be excited. I had my first ultrasound. I remember waiting in the waiting room for an extremely long time and I really had to pee (when you get an ultrasound, you have to drink a crap ton of water, and you can’t go to the bathroom until after the procedure is done…..). I was feeling really uncomfortable and then I realized that they had forgotten about me. I finally got called back to the ultrasound room and the technicians were unusually quiet. I thought that they were just trying to be nice because of having to make me wait so long.
The time came to visit my OBGYN to hear the baby’s heartbeat. I thought that it would be a great time to let my son know that he was going to be a big brother. I was excited for him to hear the “woosh woosh” sound coming from mom’s tummy.
Except that’s not what happened.
I walked into the doctor’s office with my husband and son and the receptionist quickly lost her smile when she saw me. She said to me “Didn’t they tell you? Didn’t they call you? Your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.”.
Again……. What did I do? WHAT DID I DO WRONG?!!?
My doctor told me that within two weeks the baby would abort itself. He said wait two weeks and then come in for a follow up.
Except nothing happened. (I am crying now as I type this by the way……..)
A week went by with my baby inside of me, not living. During this time I had my son’s third birthday party. I walked around the party in a daze, knowing my secret. Wondering what I could have done. Wondering what I did wrong.
After the second week, I finally had to have the procedure, to remove my dead baby from my body. I remember crying the entire time until the anastesia took effect. When I woke up, I felt numb.
I still wonder why. I still feel guilty for not giving my son a sibling.
So when people ask me if I’m going to have another…… I just smile and say “no”.