I have a kid cliffhanger. Kind of like a kid hangover…but different.
My fourth miscarriage has felt markedly different from the others. It has left me dangling off the edge of a cliff and feeling like I’m in a choose your own adventure story, not knowing what the ending is going to be.
A friend recently said that she sees me and my husband having another child. When I broke it to her that he’s good and fixed, she asked if I regretted making such a swift decision to end our fertility future right after our last miscarriage. I told her the honest truth – that fourth miscarriage was the best thing that could have happened to me and helped me create the change I desperately needed in my life. But I went on to explain that, there is something that is still not resolved from that time two years ago. I’m experiencing a kid cliffhanger.
My husband and I spent the better part of 2010 in endless conversations about if we wanted a third child or not. We spun the conversation every way possible. Was there someone missing from the dinner table? What does Christmas look like 15 years from now? How many grandchildren do we want? Can we bank our future on just two boys or should we diversify the pool for success? What if one kid dies tragically and the other doesn’t have other siblings to fall back on? I mean, we were getting REAL. After nearly a year we decided with complete certainty that we did, in fact, have room in our hearts for another child. Shortly after, we welcomed the positive pregnancy test and embraced the good news that a new baby was on the way.
Six weeks later we received the all too familiar bad news that the pregnancy was not looking good. The doctor suggested I wait a week to see if things improved, but I knew deep down how it was going to end. I had to go to St. Louis for work that week and ended up spending the time alone having a miscarriage and flushing our dreams of a third child away in a hotel bathroom.
The days and weeks following were a complete shock to me. The emotions did not feel the same as my first three miscarriages. Instead of the soul-crushing hopelessness that each previous loss had handed out, I felt a strange sense of relief after the initial sadness passed. My coping mechanism was to shake everything up. My husband marched straight to the urologist for a vasectomy. Then I got a new job which gave me a totally new scene and a fresh cast of characters. I started running again and I lost the weight I’d been trying to lose since my last baby. Things were looking up. I needed this change and the miscarriage helped me realize that.
It’s been exactly two years since that miscarriage. So much has changed but the one thing that has remained constant is this unexplainable incomplete feeling. It’s like my biological clock is on snooze, wondering when the alarm is going to go off again. What men don’t understand about women who want children is that we can physically feel these fertility urges and desires. It’s like there’s a sixth sense that lives inside of us and connects us to this energy for creating life. I started creating life four times over and it was taken away before it could be realized in this world. What does one do with that energy, that desire, that love for what could have been? Create more life? Channel that energy to enhance the lives of others? Adopt? The universe has been filled with my promises to have a third child, to have a family of five, to love and grow three children who will make this world a better place. These wishes from two years ago are swirling out there and I’m struggling to fill in the blanks.
My friend asked me what I’m going to do.
I told her that she’ll have to wait and see…it’s a cliffhanger.