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Pregnant and Caught Between Joy and Loss

Photograph by Getty Images

It's been two-and-a-half years since I lost my baby Adam to an early miscarriage. It happened awhile ago, but the grief still catches me off guard when I don't expect it.

Several weeks ago, I was on a road trip with my husband and we had stopped at a gas station. We had just learned two days ago that we had a healthy baby girl growing after my anatomy scan and it was all I could think about. But then as I was browsing the snack aisle a song came on the overhead speakers. It was a popular song back in July of 2013 and it was the song that I associated with the loss of Adam.

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It had come on the radio two days after my miscarriage and I remember having to pull the car over to completely break down in tears. And now anytime I hear it, it brings it all back. I hadn't heard it in quite awhile, so when I was slowly walking down the gas station aisle, a hand on my growing belly, the song came on and my thoughts of my baby girl turned to my miscarriage. Suddenly, the tears came before I even realized they were there.

I used to wonder in the months after losing Adam if I was ever going to be as happy for a subsequent pregnancy since all I wanted was my baby back. I had told myself that this was my first baby, that I could never see myself letting him go in order to fully embrace another. I get it now, though. I understand now how much you can desire and love the baby growing inside you while all the while wanting that other baby too.

I am caught between the indescribable joy of one baby and the gut-wrenching loss of another.

Adam may realistically be the only child I created with my own eggs. I used to hold on to that tightly in order to shield myself from the pain of infertility. But then this baby came along. This one that came after three IVFs and a failed donor egg cycle. This one that was transferred into my body and against all odds, grew and thrived and made it, and whose nursery I am putting together.

My husband came to me and saw the tears streaming down my face that day at the gas station. I wanted to stay in the aisle because I didn't want anyone to see me crying. "I want him back," I whispered to my husband and he hugged me. After a few moments, I wiped my eyes, took a deep breath and we went up front to pay for the bottles of water for the road. When we got back in the car, my daughter kicked and I put my hand on my belly and laughed. Because that's how my life is now. I am celebrating one miracle while mourning the loss of another. I am caught between the indescribable joy of one baby and the gut-wrenching loss of another.

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I've been told that miscarriages happen to make way for the blessing of the next baby. That bad things happen so that you can truly appreciate the good things. I disagree. I am learning to live with both. To know it's okay to want both of them. To let myself fully love this little girl and to let myself cry in a gas station when I miss Adam.

I am learning to live as a mother to both of them.

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