Her

My belly is getting bigger, and we continue to prepare for her arrival.

It is becoming more and more real, and evident in the changes that are happening in our home, that we are expecting a child. Another beautiful and amazing child.

A room for her. A dresser for her. A crib for her. Yet almost all the things that fill the room are things that were her brother’s. I can’t help but feel like it’s cheating. Or that we’ve forgotten about him. And at the same time I want to give her all the light and love and celebration for who she is and what she brings us. Bipolar living, a crazy duality of the happiness and grief, continues to be the main theme of her pregnancy. Sometimes I wonder how all these thoughts affect her, but I remember to tell her how much we love her and look forward to meeting her. Everyday we talk to her.

Everyday I picture her inside my belly, her heart beating and my heart beating, once in a while synchronizing. I picture what she looks like. I wonder how much she will look like her brother.

She moves so much. Very unlike her brother. Ever since I could first feel her movements. We’ve joked about how she has world cup fever.

And then today happened.

She wasn’t moving like she normally does. I noticed this afternoon that she had slowed down a bit. I waited some time, then told Gina. We tried ice water, some fruit, laying on my side. Still nothing. Gina and I looked at each other and I attempted to not be on full alarm, but I was.

After an hour of trying to get her to move and only feeling a light tap here and there, we decided to go to the hospital. I know we both panicked, you can’t help but have those moments of PTSD when you’ve lost a child.

So, we headed to the hospital, alerted our doctor, who immediately said “I’m sure she is fine, but yes, go get monitored and be reassured and please keep me posted”.

Have I mentioned how much we love this doctor? How amazing it feels to have a perinatologist that supports us, acknowledges Luca, and wants nothing more than to have us get to the other side of this pregnancy with our little girl alive in our arms? He doesn’t judge our freak outs and he shows nothing but nonjudgemental support.

We checked into triage, and the wait time seemed forever to get into a room. A nurse finally called our name, and brought us to the bed and left. It was likely a short time, but seemed like another eternity.  Another nurse came by and introduced herself as the one who would be running the monitoring. At this point, both Gina and I were whale-eyed, just wanting to be hooked up already.

As she was placing the straps on my belly, I started to hear the whooshing of baby’s heartbeat, and I think both Gina and I began to breathe again. A bit shaken up, I told the nurse that we came in to be monitored, and that we were hyper-sensitive because we had lost our first born.

She paused. Her name was Jen. She proceeded to ask us questions about the pregnancy and about Luca. She teared up listening to us recount his birth. She had a 10 month old baby girl.  She was compassionate, and empathetic. All the while hooking me up, looking at the baby’s movements, and reassuring us that everything looked good.

She immediately turned a stressful situation into a time to connect, and make two bereaved parents, feel secure and understood.

And baby girl looked good. Her heartbeat and movement looked great. She must have gotten herself in a funky position which made her movements not as easy to feel, which is what caused us to panic.

I am hoping she returns to her normal routine of world cup fever, immediately.

We came back home, and I walked into her room. Reminded again of what we have, what we had, and what we so hopefully and graciously, wait for. And tonight, we actually worked on our baby registry; something we had shy-ed away from for quite some time, is now existing. Granted it’s online, and we didn’t have to walk into a store to do it, but still, it’s a huge step for us, because we are looking forward. We are preparing for her now.

Her brother's books, now passed down to her.

Her brother’s books, now passed down to her.

 

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11 thoughts on “Her

  1. A friend directed me to something you had written about your son. My wife and I just lost our son – also named Luca – when I was 32 weeks pregnant just five weeks ago. This post takes me back to that Sunday morning I woke up and couldn’t feel him anymore. He was a rambunctious one every day, all day, so I knew something was wrong. Oh the horror of going to the hospital to verify what I already knew but was so desperately hoping I was wrong. I can’t imagine the position you are in now; I think I would be terrified every day all day. From where I’m standing I can’t imagine getting to where you are … mustering the strength to try for another child while constantly longing for the child I already have. Thank you for writing this blog. I have found the words of other bereaved mothers very helpful to not feel so alone, but it is such a tragedy that there are so many of us. Maybe I will start a blog to share my story too.

    • It took my breath away to read your signature as Luca’s Mama. I’m so sorry you lost your Luca as well. I remember those first few weeks and months after he passed, as we started to rise up from the numb into the utter raw. I found solace in the words of other bereaved mothers as well, but at times felt a little lost being a same sex mama who had lost a baby that we had tried so very hard to conceive in the first place. Anyway, I encourage you to share your story, Luca’s story. I would love to hear about him. This blog has been therapeutic for me. It’s given me an opportunity to parent him. Thank you for reaching out to me. Would you be okay with me emailing you directly?

      • Yes, please email me directly. I haven’t found any same sex moms of loss to connect with; we had such a struggle to even get pregnant in the first place.

  2. Beautiful
    Luca and baby girl have some incredible parents – this much I know for sure.
    Grateful for the compassion you are experiencing on doctor visits.

  3. I’m so glad that everything is okay and that you have such a great network of supporters.

    Blessings to all of you, especially her,
    Dani

  4. You write beautifully about a heartbreaking subject. I’m so pleased you have a great doctor and were treated so well. Your anxiety is totally understandable, and I wish you all the best for the birth of Luca’s little sister.

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