Three years ago, I was pregnant with our second child. I got a positive pregnancy test on September 1st, after four months of actively trying to conceive and a while before that of very sadly avoiding pregnancy due my husband's underemployment. The pregnancy was very desired, the baby was so very loved, and we were so, so excited. Miscarriage never even crossed my mind, but I would miscarry our baby at home on the night of October 10th after only a minor warning that something might be wrong. (You can read my detailed miscarriage story here.)
I'm crying as I write this post, not thinking about the miscarriage but thinking about the incredible joy, hope, and expectation of those six short weeks that we had with our baby. They were so happy. I still possessed a slice of innocence that I'll never recover. And I'll never quite know that kind of hidden delight during a pregnancy again. I haven't though about it in a long time, but I can still remember exactly what it felt like, having the secret of a new life inside you, imagining the future with that little one laid out before you, the anticipation of bringing a new person into this world, picturing little toes and a tiny button nose. The term "expecting" has always been one that has appealed to me so much more than "pregnant" because it captures a bit of those fluttery feelings of excitement and anticipation and joy. The last few pregnancies though, I've expected a miscarriage, not a baby and there is nothing but dread in that. Even though my pregnancy with Davey was healthy and without any major complications, I was convinced my baby would not live until the moment David placed him on my chest on that cold evening in the passenger's seat of our car. Seeing his face for the first time was honestly a bit of a shock because despite being 41 weeks pregnant I was not expecting a living, breathing child.
So much more than a baby is lost during a miscarriage. It's the loss of hopes and dreams, innocence, joy. I'm glad I got those weeks of happiness with that baby and I mourn the fact that the three subsequent babies I lost didn't get a moment of joy or expectation from me. Davey didn't either until his birth (but he's gotten so much since, just the joy he brought me just today has more than made up for it, I think).