Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Expecting and the Unexpected
By Debbie Thorkildsen
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Before my precious daughter was a year old, I was pregnant again. I desperately wanted another daughter. The one I had, brought so much joy to my life and she was growing so quickly. I really wanted to give her a sister, something I had always wanted, but never had. I had two younger brothers, but it just wasn’t the same as having a sister to share secrets with.
A few months later, when the nurse said, “It’s a girl,” I once again felt my eyes fill with tears. I had given my firstborn daughter a sister.
The next year was very busy with two little ones constantly needing my attention. I felt like my whole life was consumed with nursing an infant, changing diapers in two sizes, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and desperately trying to get enough sleep.
After two years, I became pregnant again. I thought it might be nice to add a boy to the mix, but my husband really wanted another daughter. A few months later, I was again overwhelmed as the nurse said, “It’s a girl.”
Life was extremely busy for the next couple of years, but I wanted another child. My husband said he wanted to wait awhile. Life was busy, but satisfying.
When my youngest child was five, I again became pregnant. I was really sick this time, but at least my other children were all in school.
My girls were so excited the day we went for the ultrasound. They were really looking forward to seeing their newest sibling on the monitor. I had to go in alone first and then they were to join me.
I realized there must be a problem right away as the technician immediately turned the monitor away from me and continued her assessment of my unborn. I was content to wait for my family to see the infant, yet I just knew there was something wrong. When she was finished, she turned off the monitor and told me to get dress. I tried to make her understand, “But my family is waiting to see the baby.”
“You need to go see your family doctor.”
“But they’re waiting,” I tried again.
“There’s a problem with the baby.” I could see this was painful for the technician to say. “You need to go now to see your family doctor.”
On the drive to my doctors office, I wondered what the problem was. Did the child have Down’s Syndrome? Was it missing an arm or leg? Did it have spin bifida? Was it an encephalic baby? What could be wrong with my precious baby?
I was stunned when the doctor took my husband and I into her office, closed the door and said, “There is a problem with the baby.” We waited expectantly for the worst news of our lives. “There is no heartbeat. Your baby is no longer living.”
I was in shock. Was this really happening? Was I just dreaming? Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. I hadn’t expected this. I was expecting a problem with the child, a handicap of some sort. I hadn’t expected death. It was so permanent. It hadn’t even crossed my mind.
The loss of this very wanted baby was extremely difficult emotionally on our whole family. We all cried. I never dreamed I’d lose a child. I grieved deeply for the son I would never get to hold in my arms in this world, but that I would forever carry in my heart.
A year later, I was pregnant again. I just wanted a healthy child, one I could take home with me. When the nurse said, “It’s a girl,” I think I was in shock. We now had a house full of 'little women,' each one different, yet so loved and wanted.
It has been a joy to watch my daughters grow, learn and discover their world. It hasn’t always been easy, especially when emotions and hormones rage in the teenage years, but it has been a journey I would not have missed for anything. I love my little and not so little girls.
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