On the first day of October, my newsfeed was filled with posts regarding infant loss and miscarriage. This is such a sensitive and personal topic, but the more the posts that popped up on my feed the more my mind couldn't ignore my thoughts and feelings. I personally make it a mission to avoid any controversial topic that could possibly offend others, but I just can't seem to bury my emotions on this one, so I am going to hope at least one other person will be thankful for this post.
3 years ago Sam told me to take a pregnancy test. I argued with him, I told him I wasn't pregnant. He said, "I have done this enough times to know you...take the test". Three tests later and me convinced they were all incorrect we laughed and cried. We weren't ready, Sonzee was not in the best place, our minds had not even settled on whether or not we could handle a fifth child. I mentally had not come to terms with the fact that there would be absolutely no way to confirm if this baby would be healthy, how would I be sane for the entire pregnancy? I emailed Sonzee's geneticist, I scheduled an appointment with my OB immediately, I panicked.
Our OB knowing where I was mentally immediately sent us over to the perinatologist we had used on the previous pregnancies for various unrelated to Sonzee reasons, and he got us in almost immediately. We sat in his office and discussed all of the options should we find out this baby wasn't healthy. He also said that during Sonzee's next labs we could send a vial over to a company that hadn't done her initial genetic testing to have them "confirm" the results so they would have it on file for any comparison testing we might do with the fetus.
4 weeks later we sat in the same office as he told us there was no heartbeat. I recall feeling half relieved and half disappointed. I rationalized that we had 3 healthy kids and that we weren't ready, but I feared that this baby might have had CDKL5. Did that mean Sonzee was the result of germline mosaicism? Did that mean we shouldn't even try again?
It took another 4 long weeks to actually miscarry and another 2 months for my lab work to return to normal. The entire experience was 5 months in total. 5 months where others announced their pregnancies, 5 months where friends had healthy babies, 5 months that I was emotionally all over the place but few people knew the real reason behind it. 5 months where I couldn't move on. I was and am still filled with mixed emotions over the experience. I mourn the loss of the potential, but I do not mourn the fact that I truly believe something was unhealthy with the baby AND I know what having an unhealthy baby means.
I spent a lot of time thanking g-d for knowing I couldn't handle another child like Sonzee. I understand what happens when genetics doesn't get it right and the challenges that are the result of that shift. I understand on an entirely different level than I could ever want, what happens if a child is compatible with life, but not capable of being a typical functioning member of society. I understand how devastating the loss of a child can be, but I also know that in a lot of cases it is for a reason. While we may never be told the exact reason, and not everyone can understand what it is like to be on the medically complex side of what that potential reason might have been, for someone like me, while I mourn the loss of what could have been, I am grateful that instead of having to watch another child of mine suffer, all of the pain of the what-ifs, of the potential, and of the unknown, was placed onto me to bear instead.