I open Facebook to see one of those year in review posts that they do with your photos and I instantly felt anxiety creep up into my throat. 2018 was not the year I thought it would be. I can only imagine the photos the algorithm picked out. It has been the worst year of our lives. It wasn’t a year I overly want to review or celebrate.
I started the year with a blog telling everyone about the 11 week pregnancy I lost over New Years that I titled, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out 2017” and the last line read, “we are entering 2018 with no expectations but honestly, it can only go up from here.” Oh how wrong I was. How very wrong.
2018 devastated us.
I did happily became pregnant again a couple months after our second loss only to find out that it probably wasn’t viable (again) and I spent April dealing with the aftermath and heartbreak of yet another miscarriage. It was awful. We struggled to try to understand what changed to have had 3 miscarriages in a row. 3. But, we were happy with our family and knew how blessed we truly were. Another baby was just going to be a bonus, the icing on the cake but if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t. Sure it was a hard pill to swallow because we wanted it so bad but it was out of our hands.
Then word came that my Nan wasn’t well and on April 26th she passed away. We attended her memorial service when we were “home” on vacation in May. I thought that has to be the end of the heartbreak. Then, June 1 came. We never in a million years expected waking up to Noah passing in his sleep. What alternate universe were we suddenly living in? It couldn’t be real. So much loss in an 8th month period. It was all too much. Nothing compared to this pain and loss.
In those first moments of shock, I remember turning to John in our bedroom and crying “why do our babies keep getting taken away from us?” and “we built this family for him.” Through tears John answered, “we did and now he left it for us.” Little did we know that while it felt like every piece of me was dying on the inside, that after 3 pregnancy losses since September, that my body was growing new life. A new life that was supposed to complete our family, now we will never be complete again. But this baby is wanted. We longed for this baby. Sure, this certainly isn’t the timing we expected but 2018 went nothing like expected.
I’ll be honest, I spent weeks and weeks in depths of despair and grief (some things haven’t changed much) all while battling the fear of losing another baby and battling hormone shifts and grief. I felt guilt. So much guilt. I couldn’t feel much joy or celebration over something that should be celebrated and if I did let the walls down and became excited for a brief moment I would immediately feel guilt and fear because how could I feel happiness with my second born missing from our daily life. Finding happy hasn’t been easy. I’ve felt so much guilt for this baby and Noah. It’s been something I’ve struggled with balancing. I can’t even explain. The thought of admitting it to people while I struggled, and continue to do so, seemed impossible and still does some days.
We kept the news to ourselves and it was something we never really said out loud to any one because we struggled with timing. I knew it would leave people speechless or would give us congratulations and excitement or rumours and we couldn’t handle that. I’m not sure I still can reconcile that easily. Some days it feels like I traded one child for another. I know that’s the grief talking but it’s felt that way in some moments. My heart is still and forever shattered but the hope and excitement does creep in and is such a bittersweet feeling. But, no matter what this baby is loved. Is wanted. And has brought light to our lives in this time of despair and we can’t wait to meet this little one. So big things are expected in early 2019.