Pregnancy was a Pandora’s box for me. This is how I explain this to my daughter Hope. I opened the box and my first daughter Avery died of a rare disease. Then, Hope came. The box stayed open and I went on to experience 4 more losses and infertility. I learned our family was the first documented medical case to carry this horrible rare disease. A second child Addison died. If that wasn’t horrible enough, the demon of breast cancer came out of the box and I was diagnosis with in six months of my second daughter’s death. My mother died 10 months later. For years, nothing. No baby. Then 11 years after the Pandora’s box was open, our last daughter Joy was born.
Joy is two now. I started the family space cellar a year before our first daughter died. For years, it nagged me. After Joy was born, it was finished 11 months after her birth.
For years, I would store everything that Hope had in that cellar. Joy’s unfinished nursery haunted me before her birth. Hope would come home in tears. Another baby brother or sister was born at school. When will it be our turn?
At age 9, Hope asked me to paint the room that is now Joy’s nursery because she felt it was too childish for the playroom/home office. When I started the trips to the West Coast to start my embryo donation cycles, Hope decided that room was bigger and she asked me to let her switch. I said, “no.” There are wall decals in that room that were hard to put up. Two walls were blank. Upon the news of Joy’s pregnancy. I decided one wall was to be a rainbow. At 32 weeks, Hope started one hand print at a time (a color a week) to make that rainbow. Joy presses her hand against each print. It’s really going to hurt when the house gets sold. It’s not on the market yet.
When I decided it was time to have a baby, I kept my eyes on yard sales sometimes. My babies had a room at this house, I worked on it from the second I found out I was pregnant with Avery. On the eve before our big trip to England (the belated honeymoon we never got & the last fling before we became parents.), I sit in there weeping. The baby had multiple birth defects and we had no reason to believe who ever it was would survive. My anger rose, I pushed all the furniture to the floor screaming no! My husband was ready to cancel the trip, when I said, “look if the baby is to die, let’s show little one the world.”
I kneeled everywhere at Westminster Abbey begging for my child’s life. I brought the baby a cross. We were not of that religion. This wonderful trip became anxious. We waited for word from Boston. Instead of laughing and having the time of our lives, we quietly cried. I refused pictures of myself the entire pregnancy. I hope someday, our family returns to England for a happy trip.
Avery saw the world in utero. We found an expert in Maryland. We flew down. I was pregnant with Avery in New York. Sadly, the week afterwards, Avery was born prematurely, she lived a day and died. I was a girl of faith and spirituality. The Pandora box of Pregnancy made me question everything.
Moving from yesterday to today, I kept storing baby items that Joy outgrew. I see signs of Perimenopause in myself. Yes, there is no way we could do it again. All those years of chasing for a Rainbow, it happened. I was planning to try a yard sale. Every weekend, I found an excuse. This weekend we are going to try to have one. After Joy’s birth, I was asked if I wanted my tubes tied. I declined. After all those years of trying, it felt like insult to have your tubes tied. Our family works so hard to pay for her conception back. I got pregnant with Hope after an infertility evaluation on my own. The babies who never came home had a few things here. Some outfits, we are keeping incase of grandchildren. A few years ago, we took the final genetic screening. It is supposedly, just our generation. Hope will be fine. So, here’s too hoping. (Remember Joy was conceived embryo donation. There is no effect.) I am skeptical. It wasn’t suppose to happen after the first lost.
I hope to live to see grandchildren, if my children choose to. It has been tough to hold each outfit and remember. Sunday will be a little tough. When the house is ever sold, I will need consoling. It was in this house all the babies were suppose to come home to. After all those years, I am saying good bye. Hopefully, I will be able to live to see grandchildren. I have always promised my children if for any reason they end up struggling with infertility, I would be there. Isn’t strange due to the weather, this yard sale will be occurring on Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.