One year ago today, I found out I was pregnant for the fourth time.
My reaction was not pretty. I believe I said "well, fuck", and then I cried. How's that for a memorable moment? I cried for the three babies I had lost, and I cried for the fourth baby I knew I was bound to lose. I had no hope. My spirit was broken.
Women who suffer RPL know the strange juxtaposition you find yourself in when staring down at those two lines. You want to be happy... but you are scared. Oh. So scared. Gone forever are the giddy jumps for joy upon finding out you are pregnant; the elated cries of "I'M PREGNANT!" to your husband, or the elaborate schemes of how you will tell him he's going to be a daddy... those ridiculous games are gone. Soured. Now, you laugh at the naivety of your former self - the one who did all those things... The First Time.
Jumps for joy are replaced with "well, fuck"s, and elaborate announcement schemes to tell your husband are replaced with quiet footsteps back into the dark bedroom at 5:00 am: you sneak into bed, hoping he won't ask. You don't want to tell him... you're afraid he won't be happy. No, you know he won't be happy... because, if you are honest with yourself, you know that you aren't sure you're happy in this moment either.
But then, the sun comes up, and you look at each other and say "We have another shot. Let's be thankful for that." And you are. You are thankful in that moment for what you have inside you, for the microscopic possibility of life.
And then, doctors and midwives are called, betas and early ultrasounds are scheduled, progesterone prescriptions are refilled. The business of Getting This One To Stick gets underway. You do what you have to do now... and you hope beyond hope that you'll get to celebrate later.
It's a cruel limbo that you live in for those first few weeks. Hope builds with each passing day, with each good beta... and yet you still make sure to temper your excitement, you chide yourself for daring to be happy - 'it's too early, what are you doing?'.
I think it wasn't *truly* until our 20 week anatomy scan that I allowed myself to let go of my restraint. I relished in the complete and overwhelming joy I felt that day and just exhausted myself with happiness - I was SO tired at the end of that day, and my face hurt from smiling. It felt so good.
Throughout our journey, we swore, we cried, we screamed, we overate, we overspent, we coped however we could. We tried not to, but there was definitely a point when we thought we would never be parents. Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined that Eliza would finally enter our world; we did not think it was possible.
Thank God we were wrong. We will forever be thankful to our daughter for showing us that we should never give up hope. Her life is proof of that.