Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tell-All Tuesday: Grace's Story Part 1

I have decided to break this up a little bit, both because it is a little long for one blog post, but also because it is somewhat overwhelming and difficult to write about all at once. I thought that the words would most likely flow as freely and continuously as the tears that accompany them, but as I reached a certain point in writing this I found that I didn't want to go any further, so I decided I would just write it in parts. 

It was a nice sunny day in June. I had recently found out that some of our good friends were expecting their second baby, and I was so envious. I had been itching with baby fever lately, but Kevin and I had decided to wait until later in the year, possibly November or December to try for one. Seeing as how I had two weddings that I was going to be a part of, one in August and one in October, we agreed that it was probably best to wait and try after everything was over and life was a little more calm again. While I had finally given up on the idea of getting pregnant, I just didn't feel right, and I couldn't ignore that one night on Father's Day where there may or may not have been a one time risky incident. Based on the timing of things, I knew it was highly unlikely that we could have conceived, but what if I was wrong? What if we had beaten the odds and actually became pregnant? Maybe it was my wishing and hoping that made me do it, or a friend's excited encouragement, but I bought a test on a whim and took it. I left the stick on the bathroom counter as I went downstairs to play with Ellie, telling myself over and over again that there was no way that the test would be positive, and that it was silly that I had even taken it. I think I was trying not to get my hopes up so that when I walked through that bathroom door and didn't see a positive result I wouldn't be overly disappointed. About five minutes passed and I couldn't stand it anymore. I ran upstairs, took a deep breath, and swung open the bathroom door, only to find two pink lines staring up at me. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking, I could barely even pick up the stick to get a better look. I WAS PREGNANT! I couldn't stop smiling, and felt like I spent the rest of that day dancing and skipping instead of walking. I decided I obviously had to tell Kevin right away, but I wanted to try and be creative about it, and I certainly didn't want to tell him over the phone.

I put my positive test in a brown paper lunch bag and called Kevin to ask if he could have a picnic lunch with Ellie and me. He agreed, and I picked him up from work and we went to a park nearby. I couldn't wait until he had even taken a bite of his lunch before I had to tell him that I had a special treat for him. I secretly had my phone videotaping as he unrolled and excitedly dug into the paper bag. The video captured his intensely long stare into the bag while muttering "are you kidding me?" very softly a few times, and then another long gaze of disbelief in my direction, and then ended with a little bit of inappropriate language and a long sigh that seemed to say "ready or not, here we go again!" Despite his initial shock, he was ultimately just as excited as I was to be starting this next chapter in our lives together. What he wasn't excited about, however, was the lack of the supposed "special treat" in the bag. I guess I could have thrown a few cookies in there as well, but I really didn't want to mix the two. Plus, he admitted he was probably too excited to have eaten anything anyway. 

Aside from a lot of not-just-morning morning sickness and fatigue, the pregnancy progressed well. Time was flying by this time with my every second being focused on taking care of Ellie. I was fortunate enough to have a toddler who still took naps, and while I took as many opportunities as I could to nap as well, I still felt like I was running a daily marathon. We had an appointment around 8 weeks to find the little fluttering heartbeat. Success. You are typically told at that appointment by your physician that your risk of losing the baby after that point drops dramatically. Party time! I ordered "The New Baby" by Mercer Mayer online, took Ellie to the park with Kevin and shot some pregnancy announcement photos. While I couldn't wait to share the news with everyone, we decided to wait until we had made it to the commonly known "safe zone" of 12 weeks pregnant before displaying our announcement on the internet for all to see. We had our 12 week appointment and ultrasound, and while the tech had an extremely difficult time getting the accurate measurements that he needed, we were told later by my doctor that we had passed the initial stage of screening for chromosomal abnormalities. In my mind, I'm sure like the many minds of other pregnant women who have not yet experienced a previous loss, I figured I was in the clear from there. If there were something wrong with my baby, they surely would have seen it by now. Plus, I had reached the safe zone, and was a young(ish), healthy woman in her baby-making prime!

We included Ellie in our weekly bump pictures this time around, with a cute little chalkboard that read the number of weeks pregnant I was on it. Tuesday nights were the one night of the week that I attempted to at least have showered and dressed in something other than pajama pants by the time Kevin arrived home from work so that I would look a little more presentable in my photos. Looking back on it now, I am glad we were able to get a few of these under our belts before receiving the devastating news. I initially had a very angry view on it all, taking all of my pregnancy pictures down from the internet and wishing they had never existed. I was so mad at the world, but I am thankful that I didn't let my angry self delete them permanently from my computer, as hard as they might be to look at now.

While everything seemed to be going just fine, I did notice a constant nausea with this pregnancy that I just couldn't kick. When I was pregnant with Ellie, I remember it was like a switch had flipped right at 12 weeks, and I suddenly had this wild burst of energy, with absolutely no sickness anymore. This time around, my fatigue and nausea continued with no end in sight. It makes me wonder now if my little girl was trying to tell me that something was wrong, but my unsuspecting, innocent to the tortures of what losing a pregnancy can be like self had no idea that something was very, very wrong.


  1. You are so brave to share this story with us, Hilari! Sending prayers to you and Kevin and the whole family for this loss and also well wishes for the future.

  2. It breaks my heart a little more to read you say that you wonder if your little girl was trying to tell you something was wrong, mama. That's so telling of the amazing mom you are, putting the weight of the world and their precious lives on your shoulders. You couldn't know and from what I've just read, you did everything exactly as we're told to do. You are a great mommy to both Ellie and Grace. Sharing your experience is brave and beautiful, and will likely help others going through a painful loss. I hope it helps heal some of your hurt, too. I'll keep praying for you and yours <3

    side note- you are my Pinterest mommy/wifey idol!

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet words Carley! I can't even imagine being a mommy of two and a wife, and doing everything else that you do, you are so strong and inspiring.

  3. You write so beautifully, Hilari, even when it's about something so painful. Thank you for sharing pieces of your story (and Grace's) with all of us. I hope it helps you to heal, but of course I know you will never forget. xo