We wrestled with when to tell the kids that we are expecting a baby. I wanted to protect them; to not have them be afraid. To not have them in tune with my own fear. I looked far into the future and worried that someday they would be irrationally afraid when expecting their own children. Better to wait as long as possible, to have more assurances of the outcome.
Then I talked to a friend, who lost her son when he was under one month old. She has two older children, similarly aged to mine, and is pregnant now. Even though she did not lose her son in pregnancy, she said that they have many of the same fears as she has progressed through her current pregnancy. They told their children right away, and said that their excitement was contagious. It helped to make her happier in the worst moments.
So we decided to tell them, on our wedding anniversary over the weekend. Both of their faces broke into huge smiles. I asked if they had any questions, and Theo said “I only need to tell you one thing Mommy. I think you shouldn’t eat too much sugar. Because, you know…” As if sugar had caused our babies to die.
That evening, I tucked the kids into bed, and that’s when the questions/comments started to flow more freely.
“How will the baby come out of your tummy?” (I have a nice c-section scar to explain that one)
“How big is the baby?” (About the size of a jellybean)
“Did our babies die because of something you ate?”
“How come you had two babies that were not sick?”
“Can I name the baby?”
I showed them my ultrasound photos, and pointed out the little arms and legs. I also told them that this will be the last time that we try to have a baby, because while the doctors are doing everything they can, we still do not know what happened. I showed them my blood thinner medication and how I will be giving myself injections. I also told them that the doctors will monitor the baby, but if something is wrong too early, that there is not anything we can do. They can only help babies as they get closer to being born. One of them asked me if I still miss our babies, and I said that I do, because I love all four of my children. And now five.