February 8th 2010
This day was not special in my pregnancy per say. It was just another Monday where I was lying around in the warm winter sunshine, on my blow up bed which we decided to leave inflated since my last big bleed in case I needed to lie on something soft yet washable again, on my TV room floor. It was however, a special day for a few of my best friends. Their baby was born late in the afternoon. All natural delivery, drugs not included, after an 18+ hour labour. She was perfect and beautiful and they named her Ava. Although I was happy and excited for them...I cried. I cried because I wanted that assurance for my baby. I wanted my baby to be here, to be okay, to know that everything was going to be all right. Perhaps I knew, even at that time, that those assurances were never going to come for my Aidan.
February 10th 2010
I will forever remember this as the one and only "good doctor's appointment" in the entire pregnancy. Brian and I arrived at the Special Pregnancy Program building and were taken in almost immediately by nurse Kristie. She went over everything that had happened in my pregnancy so far. We discussed my heart condition, all the bleeding I'd had, all my medications etc. Then for the fun part...she had me hop up on the ultrasound table and got the squirty goo going. She started rolling it around and there was Aidan! He looked great!
We did not know it at the time, but this was the last time we would see him looking 'normal'. I'm so glad Brian got video of it. We have about 45 seconds of video of Aidan sucking his left thumb, with his right hand up near his forehead. It was so cute and amazing, because, not only did it look 'just like a real baby thing to do' but that is how Brian often relaxes before going to sleep. We were in love. He not only WAS ours, he was doing things that were recognizable to us. Even Kristie, the nurse, said how cute he was. The senior ultrasound tech came in to check on Kristie's work. As a nurse, Kristie is not a formally trained ultrasound tech, so the two of them checked out my pictures. This ultrasound tech confirmed to us that, no there was no 'second sac' present...(she scoffed at the idea...I'm sure thinking thoughts like "what stupid radiologist would think this was a blighted ovum??") The tech confirmed I had a large SCH. It measured at 8.5cm x 7cm x 2cm (yikes!).
Next we spoke with Dr. R. who is a fetal medicine specialists. After reviewing everything, he turns to us and says "So why are you here?" At first we were a bit confused. What did he mean why am I here? What we eventually figured out, was that he was curious as to why I was in the FETAL medicine clinic? I fit more in the MATERNAL medicine clinic due to my heart condition. He didn't feel that the large SCH required a consultation with him. He felt that the clot wasn't affecting the placenta, it would likely "bleed itself out" and that while he couldn't promise anything, "things would likely be fine". He wanted to keep me off work until at least mid-March in order for everything to heal properly, but he seemed hopeful. We went home that day with our spirits flying high. We were going to have a baby! Oh, Dr. R, how I wish you had been right. How I wish everything had turned out just fine.
After our appointment we went home and later that night people came to visit. My in-laws and my mother both dropped by, and were excited to see our short video of Aidan. Our friend Edward also came over, with his new baby Ava, my friend, her mommy, being too sore to visit. We would have gone to see them, but bed rest law states that visiting friends is just asking for trouble. So I got to cuddle Ava for the first time, sitting on my own couch instead of theirs, in my TV room. It was nice, thinking that in a few months this would be me. I would be cuddling my own baby.
The nicest part for me however, was not the cuddles with Ava (although those were nice), it was seeing Brian with her. Picturing Brian being a new Dad in a few months. Picturing Brian changing diapers, and falling asleep with his baby on his chest. Picturing Brian kissing and cuddling his baby son or daughter. I love seeing Brian with children...he really is amazing with them. He deserves to be a Dad. We would have made awesome parents. We did make awesome parents...it was just too short.
This day marks the beginning of the best 29 days of my pregnancy. Although I was still on bed rest for most of it, I spent hours each day looking at baby bedroom furniture, bedding sets, strollers, car seats. We paroled me off bed rest for an hour or two a few times in order to go baby stuff 'looking' (I refused to buy before 24 weeks). We began to talk of "when" the baby arrives rather than "if".
Our parents started to bug us about "when can we tell people?" Perhaps a part of me knew not to get too excited. We never gave them permission to tell anyone until after the bad news arrived...and mostly they adhered to our wishes. I oscillate between being grateful we did this, and sad. Grateful because when we did finally tell people it was easier not to have to take our good news back. We never had to run into a situation where someone asked "So how's Emily doing? Do you know the sex yet? When's the baby shower?"
But it's kind of sad too, because Aidan didn't get the celebration from people that he deserved. They only heard about him shortly before, or just after, he died. Although I know people were greatly saddened for us, a part of me now wishes they were sad FOR THEMSELVES. I feel that if they had known about him weeks in advance, if I had been one of those pregnant women who proclaims outloud "I'm having a baby!!" the minute she sees double lines on the pregnancy test, that they would miss him more. I feel like he was cheated somehow, that people we know aren't more sad that they never got to meet him. Sad that the baby they would have met, and held, and cuddled, is no more. Sad that there will be no looking forward to a baby shower, or seeing my hugely pregnant belly, or waiting around to find out if it is a girl or a boy (we were going to find out the sex for ourselves, but hadn't decided if we would tell others yet). Sad that our little family will, for now, remain two instead of three. I want them to miss him like I do. I want him remembered in others hearts instead of just mine.
Okay, getting sad now...will continue the chronology later.