I believe in family values, not the kind that politicians talk about but the kind that carry you through the best and worst times in your life. I believe in values that come from the heart and start in the home. I have been fortunate enough to know my family not just as my family but to also know them for the individuals that they are. I have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and my sister who have been there for me to celebrate the good times and comfort me in bad times. I always knew I was lucky but I found out just how lucky recently.
My family expanded when my husband and I were married. His family felt like a natural extension of my own. He and I decided it was time to make the family a little bigger with a child of our own. I quickly found out I was pregnant and we told a few friends and our family. When we met with the OB for the first time we were excited to be able to see our child for the first time on the ultrasound. We watched anxiously as we saw a heartbeat and ten little fingers and ten little toes appear. And we were shaken when she said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ll send you to a specialist”. We had no idea what kind of specialist because we were so scared and shocked that we forgot to ask. Two days later we see the specialist and he says, “Unfortunately”. I’m afraid I don’t remember much else of what he said. My husband tried to comfort my uncontrollable sobbing as he’s listening to the doctor tell him that our baby has no chance of survival.
My OB calls and explains that even though the baby cannot survive, I am unlikely to miscarry. I’m not faced with a choice to continue with a pregnancy knowing that I’m not coming home with a baby or to terminate the pregnancy. I called my parents. My mom answered. Both of us were surprised that I made it through the call. She said she’d tell the family. It felt like for the next month all I did was cry.
Ultimately my husband and I decided it was best to terminate the pregnancy. My OB didn’t feel comfortable doing the operation herself so I met another doctor. He was the first doctor that told me it was ok to cry. He explained everything about the risks of the surgery and the risks of the pregnancy. He and everyone we saw in the office and at the hospital were so good to me. I was prescribed a medication to prepare me for surgery. I ended up miscarrying that night but still went to the hospital the next morning. The hospital said that I could have two people with me there that day. I picked my mom to come with my husband and I because I knew that hospitals didn’t bother her and that she would be there as much for him as she was for me.
We received cards from my family and friends. They called to let me know that they were crying with me and felt my loss and pain. For weeks I was incapable of doing anything useful. When I fell, my family carried me through.
It’s been five months since I first found out I was pregnant. It still hurts to see newborn babies, toddlers in touching moments with their parents. My husband and I are taking about trying again. Before, I feared that the baby might have my husband’s flat feet or need braces like I did. Those things seem so petty now. But somehow through it all, I want to be able to give the family that I have to someone else. I want to be able to pass on the love and support, the real and true family values that I grew up with on to the next generation. I believe in family, now more than ever.
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