My partner and I just can not keep a secret. The excitement for new things is just too much to hold in and inevitably leads to early Christmas gifts and disclosing information possibly too prematurely. We have never waited to tell our friends and family we are expecting. Our children know within days of a positive pregnancy test and share in our excitement and wonderment the entire pregnancy. It was no different when we found out that we were expecting our fifth child on my birthday in 2011. Our family celebrated welcoming a brother or sister while I blew out my candles.
The next month just a couple days shy of Thanksgiving and just shy of eleven weeks pregnant we were given devastating news. Our baby had stopped growing at the six-and-a-half week mark and wouldn’t make it. Dealing with the emotional news of losing a baby was briefly dwarfed by helping our children through the loss of their brother or sister as well.
[related-post align=”right”]Our oldest was in Kindergarten, the twins were barely three and the youngest was one and a half. We comforted them and let them know that there were other plans for our baby and that he/she was in good hands even if they wouldn’t be joining our family. They shed tears thinking of the things they wanted to do with our baby. I took a couple days off work and my mother and sister came in to town to help while I started to grieve the loss of losing our baby and dashing the hopes of what could have been.
Just days later, on the evening before Thanksgiving Day, I was rushed to the hospital to undergo surgery due to complications. After getting out of the hospital late in the evening and going home to rest and recover I wasn’t up for joining everyone on Thanksgiving Day. My spouse however felt it would be good for me to surround myself with family for support and our Thanksgiving dinner was filled with tears and emotions but helped me take a step towards recovering. Over the next weeks our children saw us deal with the grief and express our emotions openly with each other and with them. They saw our extended family and community come together and offer support to us.
A month into the New Year and we once again found that we were expecting. After a lengthy what-if style conversation we decided to tell our children the news without waiting, even though the possibility of having another miscarriage was present. We were excited about adding another baby to the family. We didn’t discuss the potential grief that may occur. Instead we relished in the joy and encouraged them to get excited too. Our Kindergartner asked us, “What if there are other plans for this baby too?” and we assured him that if that were the case then we would just be thankful that we got the joy of knowing a baby was growing and we would see them again some day.
After the heartache and grief that our family went through we would still choose to tell our children if we were ever expecting again because though there is a possibility of loss and sadness we would want to share the excitement, joy and wonderment of another life with them.