This is not what I intended for this post. I had imagined the grainy, gray-scale image of a tiny human being, barely recognizable as such, in profile. I had imagined large, bold letters declaring “I’m a father!”. I had imagined joy. Instead, I’ll be sharing sorrow.
On Friday, December 5th, Holli and I discovered that we had been experiencing an Anembryonic pregnancy. What we were looking at, instead of the grainy, gray-scale image of a tiny human being, was the grainy, gray-scale image of an empty uterus. That’s when the sorrow began, and it has yet to abate.
It’s hard to describe how I feel. Soon after we discovered our pregnancy, I began to write to our new child. Below, I’ve included the final letter in that series, which can hopefully shed some light.
Dear Future Kid:
This will be the final letter I write to you.
We had an ultrasound today, and you were more than shy; you were already gone. We had been experiencing what is known as an Anembryonic pregnancy. Essentially, you were conceived, began to grow a short while, were unable to continue growing, and were reabsorbed. I like to think of it as you were so special that God wanted you back as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Holli’s body proceeded as if it was a viable pregnancy, even to the point of having symptoms (like sickness and loss of appetite) and physical changes (development of egg sac and enlarged uterus). All of these things happen on auto-pilot, the results of conception.
So it would seem that while we were praying for you to be healthy and safe, you were all-the-while up in Heaven being perfect. I like to imagine you helping prepare your future brothers and sisters for Earth, perhaps giving them tips on how to deal with their Mom and Dad. (Babies always forget that kind of stuff, but nice try. They’ll relearn it.)
We’re sad. We never even got to meet you. The images we saw were of a room prepared, but empty. It felt like some cruel joke, especially after how cautious I tried to be. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, as it’s said, but this event will do a little of both. In time, the pain will fade. We will forget you; not entirely, but more and more until we meet you again, for the first time.
I still love you more than anything.
Your Future Dad
Please, don’t feel obligated to leave a comment, but feel free to share your stories. Many of you have already expressed heart-felt condolences and best wishes, and we both greatly greatly appreciate them. We have a great group of friends and family as a support base. You were there for our happiness, and you’re still here at our grief.
We feel fortunate in that what happened isn’t an indication of anything wrong with either of us, and it also isn’t an indication of potential complications in pregnancies to come. Also, it was entirely painless for both mom and baby.
We intend to try again, possibly soon, but it’s hard to think of that now. When I look back at all the emotions that came with our first pregnancy, it’s difficult to imagine facing them all again after this. It feels like we’d only gotten to experience the hardships of pregnancy, without the benefits.