Some time ago--as in years--I "liked" a page on Facebook entitled "October 15th, WORLDWIDE site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day." I'm sure I was following someone that had lost their baby and made reference to this page. Every once in a while, I'll see a post from them pop up on my page and it will remind me that there are so many women out there that struggle to have the two things I managed to be blessed with so easily.
When my aunt--she's my age--began trying, she had a lot of miscarriages. A lot. Her first occurred at 12 weeks, which most of us feel relieved to reach as the chances are significantly lower. Over the years, she had more and more and one ectopic pregnancy that was particularly draining. I remember all of this, but I didn't understand the devastation it could cause. I didn't have children and wasn't considering children.
I have known others over the years that have either struggled to get pregnant or struggled to stay pregnant. And it was after I became a mother that I began to understand how painful that process must be.
With Ethan, I spotted a couple weeks in. I had my levels checked. I worried. I was frantic. I was so unsure about wanting a child yet knowing I had this tiny baby inside me was so amazing. And I did not want to lose him. And I didn't.
I've been so blessed. I have never--to my knowledge--had a miscarriage. I have had two relatively uneventful pregnancies. Sure. Ethan made me think I was losing him early on and Dylan gave me the heart scare late in the game, but overall, my pregnancies were healthy and normal. And getting pregnant was easy. We never even tried. It just happened. And for all of that, I am eternally grateful.
There are times when I hear of women losing their babies late in their pregnancies. Or in the months following birth. And I have heard others make statements about not having known the child before it was born. That it would be easy to get over. But any mother knows that's not true.
You see, that's the thing about motherhood. For mommas, the moment of unconditional love begins the very second that stick says "Pregnant." Even if it wasn't in the plans. Even if it was the last you wanted. It becomes the most important thing. You begin to change. You begin to think like a mother. Even if your mind isn't there quite yet, your heart is. And if you really want it? Your heart was there before the stick told you it should be. And a loss at any point, I imagine, would be dreadfully painful.
And so there are moments when I read about a woman losing her child at 37 weeks. Or I read about a woman that got to hold her sweet angel baby in her arms before she was taken away, that I am so very much reminded of how incredibly fortunate I am. I have two beautiful children. I have experienced two beautiful pregnancies. I have been lucky.
Because what no one likes to tell you is that pregnancy is risky business. People act like it's no big deal. It's normal. It's natural. It's RISKY. There are a million and one things that can go wrong. With Momma or Baby or Both. To have a normal pregnancy is to be lucky and blessed in deed.
And I definitely feel blessed.