Friday, May 1, 2015

Honoring Curtis

Seven years since we lost our first angel. Hard to think we should have a child between Kaitlyn and Arianna. Curtis was Mike's first pregnancy. Sad to think that he never experienced the joy of pregnancy innocence. It is a sacred thing that most don't even know exists!  My first pregnancy was amazing. I can remember thinking about how I'd love to be a serrogate mother one day if the opportunity ever arose. Sadly, I feel like we are struggling to complete our family and will never be a candidate for surrogacy. 
I can remember seeing those 2 lines within a few short months of making our decision to expand our family. Telling Mike had to be something special. I immediately went to the store and bought a Big Sister shirt for Kaitlyn. When it was time for Mike to be coming home, Kaitlyn was bouncing around the house in her shirt. I stood back with camera in hand to see his reaction. It was a priceless moment that we sadly wouldn't experience again. The moment of sheer joy and knowing you'll be holding a baby in 8 months!  That is what I've missed in all of my other pregnancies. All other positive pregnancy tests after that were tainted with fear and doubt. 
His pregnancy started like my first and we carried along, living our dream. We went out of town for a friend's wedding which is when the dread began!  I had some bleeding and didn't think it was normal. Called the OB who said I could go to the ER but there wasn't much they would be able to do. We decided to end our trip and head home so we could see the doctor on Monday morning. Went in and had labs drawn and had our first taste of fear that the ultrasound room can invoke for many mamas who've lost their pregnancy innocence. We were told there was a sac but nothing within the sac. We were given a very small amount of hope that maybe I wasn't as far along as we thought. We left with that and a plan to repeat the scan a week later along with repeating labs in a few days. The labs continued to show a progressing pregnancy so our hope was not completely crushed. The second ultrasound still showed an empty sac. I had her give me a picture of the sac which I'm sure she thought was odd. I knew I'd need it for closure. We were devastated to hear we had what's called a blighted ovum. The sac develops and baby doesn't develop or reabsorbs. How can this be?!  Our perfect little world, shattered!  We were given the option to wait for us to miscarry naturally or to have the D&C. We chose the quicker route as my labs didn't show any indication of impending miscarriage. The thought of walking around, feeling pregnant, but knowing your womb is empty was not something I wanted to endure for an indefinite amount of time. That was our first pregnancy experience together. Mike had the 2-3 weeks prior to the bleeding in which he was able to experience the purest pregnancy joy. All other pregnancy announcements following Curtis' were joyous but tainted with fear. 
That's Curtis' story!  Seven years later and I still cry when I think about him and how our family would be.  
I've decided to take a new approach to angelversaries (the days we lost our angels). Instead of only looking at our loss and internalizing our pain, we will be donating a gift to a child who would be roughly our angels age. The picture above shows the present we donated to a boy who's in kindergarten and is less fortunate than we are. We have suffered tremendous pain in the past 7 years, especially the last 18 months, but we are still so blessed!  I'd rather have Curtis here to receive these things from us but that's not reality. It has only taken me 7 years to start this tradition but I look forward to bringing smiles to kids faces in the years ahead while also honoring our angels on very difficult days. 

Can't end without a song that I've recently discovered and LOVE. So thankful that He has steadied my heart more than I ever thought possible. 

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