Yesterday in church I found myself staring at yet another young couple with a beautiful newborn prepared for baptism. These couples are in abundance lately. In them I see a path that was never opened for me.
My very first pregnancy was Wyatt. One I enjoyed every minute of, nausea and all, until our first ultrasound. Those few simple words "incompatible with life" changed our lives forever. Up until that point I had not purchased one thing for our impending delivery. In just a matter of hours I went from an expecting mother to a mourning mother. Instead of preparing to bring our baby home I had to begin preparing for our baby's death, funeral and burial. Wyatt and I never received a baby shower, my pregnancy was not celebrated and I mostly suffered in silence for the remaining months of my pregnancy.
Even though I became pregnant with a healthy little girl less than four months after Wyatt's birth that pregnancy too, was marred by the previous one. I was employed full time during that pregnancy and found myself pregnant and due within weeks of a couple co-workers. The closest I have ever gotten to a real baby shower is one thrown by either my or my husband's co-workers. No family, no friends.
That path was never opened for me. It was closed the minute we saw that first ultrasound screen. It is a small thing to mourn but one that occasionally crosses my mind nonetheless. I have always lived with the very real and likely fear that my baby could and would die. I have never even had the opportunity to be a blissfully ignorant pregnant woman. It just wasn't an option.
I practice cautious optimism - and I often wonder where that path would have taken me.