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There were two—two of our babies that did not make it to term. My first three pregnancies went relatively smoothly, resulting in little wrinkly-faced wonders. When we conceived baby number four we were hopeful for the same. I was 41 years old, not exactly a spring chicken in the fertility department. The two pink lines on the pregnancy test signaled more transition. My body would change, our family circumstance would change and our finances would undoubtedly change. Honestly, I felt a little dread. But deep down I was also really excited. A fourth baby! The big family I had wanted since I was a small child was happening. Yet, I remember remaining consciously subdued outwardly. I am a natural “glass-half empty” kind of gal, so part of me already understood the fragility of the pregnancy as I did with each one previous. I practiced the classic, “don’t get your hopes up…” not ever comprehending what actually awaited me. Up until that point my children’s gestations were medically routine as my OB/GYN would acknowledge after the birth of each kid. The only personal knowledge I had with miscarriage was the explanation my mom and dad had passed down about their difficult experience before I was born.
My mom’s third pregnancy ended within the first trimester. My parents shared very different stories surrounding the traumatic event. My mom described it as being the worst pain of her life. “And at the end of all that pain,” she recalled with matter-of-fact resignation, “there was no baby.” My dad, however shared poignant regret. As he used to tell it, when my mother approached him with the happy news of her pregnancy, he had shamefully answered, “Maureen, what are you doing to me? How are we going to feed another one?” When she subsequently lost the...
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