You were real

All I have left is 2 pink lines and a few scars. I was so excited to be pregnant again. Nervous, but excited. Pregnancy isn't easy for me, so I knew what I was getting into, but I/we were excited to be welcoming a new person into our family.

The excitement turned to worry on December 3rd, when I woke up with abdominal pain and tried everything in my power to "shrug it off". I didn't want to think about what was happening. I was trying to stay hopeful, but my heart was preparing for the worst. I was scared.

Thanks to COVID restrictions at the hospital, my husband was with me while I waited to be brought into the Emergency Room, but he had to leave once I got called to go into the depths of the hospital. I was in excruciating pain, alone, fearing the worst, but trying to hope for the best. I tried to pretend it didn't hurt too much when the doctor pressed on my right side. I didn't want to acknowledge what was happening. I wanted to pretend my pain wasn't 10/10, but after 2 natural childbirths, the pain was enough to tell me that things were not okay.

The ultrasound tech hummed while she did the ultrasound. As I lay there, trying to tune it out, wishing and hoping that things would be okay, I already knew in my heart that it was not. I caught a glimpse of my empty abdomen on the screen and my heart sank. You weren't there. They brought me back into a room to share with me the "troubling news" they had found on the ultrasound. They'd found the fetal heartbeat in my tube, I was bleeding internally and my tube was starting to rupture, I needed emergency surgery, and there was no way to save the pregnancy.

My heart shattered. They left so I could call my husband. Worst phone call of my life. Telling the person who helped to create this life that not only was that life being cut short, but mine was in danger. It was all I could do to get the words out. The morphine started to wear off around the same time and the next couple of hours were a nightmarish blur. Thankfully, they eventually moved me to an area to wait for surgery, and my husband was able to join me for about an hour before surgery.

I stayed overnight in the hospital - my first night away from my kids since they'd been born. Not exactly what I'd pictured. I was sad and empty. I hardly slept, constantly awoke to the sound of my IV machine beeping at me and reminding me what had happened. I was home the next day by lunch and the numbness set in. It was the only way I could cope with my physical pain. We had to explain to the kids what had happened. Easily the worst family meeting we've ever had. My heart shattered again and we all shared our sorrow together.

I'm physically healing from this experience, but mentally, I feel like I will never be the same. This has changed me and old trauma has resurfaced (that's a story for another day) and I am forced to navigate this journey of loss and grief. It's such a lonely journey, but one that so many have walked. The number of women who have reached out to let me know that they share my pain is heartbreaking.

To my Bean, you are so missed and so loved. I wish with every ounce of my being that you were nestled safely inside me, getting bigger every day. I will always wonder who you would have been. Your brother and sister miss you so much. You may no longer be physically a part of me, but you will always be in my heart. You were real, you are loved, and you are part of our family.

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