We Lost the Baby

“Oh please, not again.”

That was my initial reaction after MJ called me late Friday morning to tell me she was having cramps. It’s funny, because despite never having been pregnant (and obviously lacking the anatomical requirements for such a feat), I believe I have an unbelievable handle on women’s cramping. The ones in her stomach and back are par for the course. But these cramps were different. They started in her stomach and went into her thighs. The same cramps she got just before she went into labor with Will. Not good.

Our doctor told us to head immediately to a diagnostic facility in Falmouth. The same place we received our not-so-tactful news about Alexandra eight months ago. As if it wasn’t unnerving enough to be reminded of that awful day, my heart sank into my feet when they led us into the exact same examination room where we got the fateful diagnosis.

With a passing glance, MJ and I simultaneously gave up hope right then and there.

The uber-chipper ultrasound tech squirted out some gel and began searching the contents of MJ’s uterus. She searched for a while. Then a few minutes more. But there was nothing there. Just an empty sac. Three weeks ago MJ  housed a tiny blob with a flickering heartbeat, for which I had been so grateful. But now there’s no flicker. Of life or of hope.

We filed out of the office without looking at one another. I’m usually good with words, but what do you say to someone after four lost babies? It’s all been said. The tears have all been cried. We hit rock bottom last summer with Alexandra and the hateful protesters, and I think both of us truly believed this pregnancy would be some kind of Karmic reward for having endured that hell. After all, we just want one more child. We’re not John & Kate. We simply want our son to have a brother or a sister. And this baby was going to complete our family.

But it looks like our family is done growing.

I don’t know why neither of cried on Friday. Maybe we were in shock. Or perhaps we’re used to this by now. Four miscarriages in five years will do that to you. And it could be this will all hit me like a ton of bricks in a few days, but this weekend something pretty miraculous happened.

I fell in love with my wife all over again.

There are all kinds of bravery. Soldiers who fight to protect us. Firemen who rush into burning buildings to save lives. But then there are ordinary people like my wife, who—as it turns out—are anything but ordinary. One miscarriage is hard enough. Two really sucks. The third was Alexandra, and that ordeal was enough to push most people right over the edge. But MJ stayed sane. And not only that, she mustered up the courage to try again. To put herself in a situation with a fairly good chance to have her heart crushed again. And yes, unfortunately that ended up happening. But that shouldn’t take away from how brave it was to even try for another child after all this shit.

It’s easy for us to whine about “why us?” There are unexpected and unwanted pregnancies that yield healthy babies everyday. There are women who are crack addicts who miraculously give birth to babies without health problems. These women don’t want their kids and probably won’t treat them well. Meanwhile we’re desperate for a second child who we can love forever, yet we are treated to nothing but heartbreak.

But there are people out there who have had more miscarriages than us. And some of them don’t have a Will. Those poor couples don’t have a beautiful, kind, miraculous baby boy to adore and squeeze and love until it hurts. We do. And I’ve never been more grateful for that.

But the fact remains, I’m feeling pretty jilted.

I’m writing this from the hospital waiting room. It’s Valentine’s Day. Instead of roses, chocolates and dinner, MJ is having a D&C. It’s a day created solely for recognizing the love in our life, and my wife is literally having the life sucked out of her. It’s not right and she deserves better.

The silver lining is the reaffirmation of my feelings for my wife. My hero. Some couples have it easy. They get married, buy a house, get pregnant and have perfect children in a Barbie dream house. Am I a little jealous of them? Sometimes. But we have something they don’t. MJ and I are battle-tested. Our relationship has hit landmine after landmine, but we’re still here. And not only that, we have a deeper appreciation for each other than ever. It would be so easy to resent each other and throw in the towel. But as I gazed at her Friday night, taking it all in stride, the only explosion I felt was my heart expanding to an unprecedented level to accommodate all my love for her.

Not to mention my love for all of you. My in-laws and my parents for helping out with Will. Alicia for coming out on Friday night, as well as Dave and Amanda for keeping us company, keeping us laughing and literally fighting me to pay for the bill. All of my friends who called, texted and e-mailed. And last but certainly not least, hundreds of you who dropped me a line on Twitter or through the blog. Make fun of the Internet all you want, but the support you have provided us is real. Tangible. And we are eternally grateful on a level you can’t possibly comprehend.

In a few hours I’ll pick up my groggy and worn wife, and I’ll spend the rest of the day caring for her. I’ll pick up my son and bring him home from preschool. Then I’m going to hug them until they can’t stand it anymore. Because as much as I’d love to complete our family, the family I have has already completed me.

And that makes me a lucky man.

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57 thoughts on “We Lost the Baby

  1. Aaron, I am so sorry to hear that. You and MJ do not deserve this (no one does). Congratulations on the award! You deserve that!

    There’s really nothing else I can say. I thought about you and MJ a lot this weekend. I don’t know what I can do to help, but if you think of something, let me know.


  2. Aaron, I am so very sorry to learn this news. I know there is nothing I can say that will take away this pain and sorrow. Please know that many folks are thinking & praying for both MJ and you. Take care.

  3. Gotta be careful reading blogs at work; never know when they’ll have you crying at your desk. Deepest sympathies. Will will take care of you; those short people, will hug you and know just what to say to make you laugh and feel better.

  4. I am so sorry Aaron and MJ. Just know that I am rooting for you guys constantly.

  5. I’m at a loss for words. I wish I knew what to say other than “I’m sorry.” Thinking of you all. Will is your blessing, he is an amazing little boy. Rejoice in him.

  6. I am SO sorry for your loss! I don’t know how you and MJ endure such tragedy after tragedy. You both are extremely strong people.

  7. Aaron know that Beth and I are here for you, and MJ. I know a little bit of how it feels to lose a loved one so young yet here you guys are after your fourth and you remain strong. Three and a half years ago my big brother had a beautiful baby boy with my initials SRM Shane Roger Merriman, and a month and a half later I was in the hospital saying goodbye after bleeding occurred in his brain. Not trying to compare just trying my best to sympathize. Again Beth and I are here for you, and I can’t tell you how sorry I am.

  8. Aaron that is so tragic. I’m so sorry for you and your wife. Thoughts are with you.

  9. I’m so incredibly sorry for you, MJ and Will. There are no words that can make this better for you, I know that, but also know if there were, I would say them for you.
    I’m so sorry.

  10. My heart goes out to both of you. I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁 If you or MJ need to talk, I’ve been through several myself. You’re doing it right; just taking it slow and appreciating each other. Much love to you both.

  11. Aaron, I am so sorry that you and MJ are going through this again. I will be praying for you all and hope much better times are on the way for all of you.

  12. “I’m usually good with words, but what do you say to someone after four lost babies?”

    I am no good with words, but I have to say; ‘welcome to the shittiest club on earth.’ Just lost #4 ourselves last month, one year after Juniper was stillborn at 39 weeks, 4 days.

    Take care of yourself too, you hear?

  13. That fuckin sucks. Goddammit! I’m here if you guys need anything. Anything at all.

  14. My heart aches for you, Aaron, and MJ. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby. May the Lord give you peace today.

  15. Thank you for this post…I have had 2 miscarriages since the birth of my daughter 2 and 1/2 years ago. Miscarriages and infertility (our newest challenge) is the elephant in the room. No one wants to discuss it! And it has been such a struggle. I, too, want nothing more than a sibling for my daughter. Your wife is an amazing woman. And you are a wonderful partner to her. I wish you well…I enjoy reading your blog and following you on twitter.

  16. Ive been reading your posts on and off for a while, and although I miscarried twins last year I cant imagine the pain you and your wife are feeling. Im sorry for your loss, but am inspired by both of you for being courageous and trying to look at the glass as 1/2 full. God bless your family, you’re in my prayers.. <3 <3 <3

  17. Aaron, this is a beautiful post. Not for the sorrowful news it contains, but for the depth of character you reveal about your amazing wife. Your description and the realizations you have come to also show the same deepness of character in yourself. Thank you for inspiring me, both of you.

    You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    Even if you are a Red Sox fan…

  18. Appearances are deceiving, so don’t fall for what you see in the Barbie Dream House. Painted pictures can cover so much. I’d rather have the truth than what we think an image portrays.

    Love your child from afar, because they are all always with you, part of you, making you who you are, your wife who she is, your son who he is.

  19. I (a random blog reader) am so, so sorry. You and MJ have been through so much and all of this just really sucks. One of my kids passed away shortly after he was born, and you’d think that would have helped me write a more eloquent comment here. But, all I can muster up is that it sucks, and that my thoughts and prayers go out to you, MJ, Will and your family…

  20. Aaron,

    I am so very, very sorry. As someone who is on her fourth pregnancy now with no living children, I understand the incomparable heartache that it is to lose one, and more than one, and the hope and terror that both come along with trying again… And watching it happen all over again. I can be eternally grateful for the fact that it has actually brought my husband and I closer than we ever thought, and I am glad to see that you and MJ seem to be one of those couples for whom the tragedy has only brought you closer together.

    Take care of her, and of yourself.

    I am so sorry that you both, or anyone, ever has to go through this. It’s not fair.

    Your family is in my thoughts.

  21. Once again, I’m so sorry for your news and what you both have had to go through, yet again. I have a one-and-only, and we are grateful every day for her. She’s a bit of a miracle baby, after my cancer diagnosis, frozen embryos, and my amazing sister who carried her for us. We all have our own stories of family – for some, it’s easy. And I hope they know how lucky they are. For others, well, we have to work a lot harder. You have a beautiful little boy. All the best for whatever the future brings.

  22. I’ve been following your journey since last summer and although I don’t know you personally, my heart breaks for your loss.

  23. Much love to you and yours. I am so sorry for your losses. I know the feeling and it sucks. I am in the club and I dont have the one. But I have made my peace with it.

    Big hugs from me for your whole family.

  24. I’m so sorry to read this. It never gets any easier. I’ve had three and was told that more would be likely. You get numb to it at some point. I wish I had anything to say, but I know there’s nothing. Hold that family tight.

  25. My heart so goes out to you. My husband and I are ttc our second with no success but I cannot imagine the heartache of actualy getting pregnant and losing that little life over and over! Truly you and MJ are very strong people!
    When poo goes south I always remember God never gives us more than we can handle, thus said he must think I’m a badass. And you and MJ too!
    Much love to you and yours!

  26. I’m so, so sorry for you, MJ & Will. You guys are in our thoughts. Be well–stay strong.

  27. I’m sorry isn’t enough for you guys. Let God take control. Cast all your anxieties and heart breaks on him. The power of Christ has power over all things. Pray for God to plant a strong beautiful seed once again in your wife’s womb. Have faith that you already recieved it and it will be yours. For Jesus said I tell you the TRUTH, ask WHATEVER you want in MY NAME and BELIEVE you already recieved it and it WILL be YOURS. I too am going though very very hard times. Extremely that I don’t even have money for food. But I am no longer worried as I was before because I finally started to truly trust in Christ and for Him to take control no matter what negative news comes my way I will rejoice and praise Christ for my troubles died with Him on the cross. We already have victory. But we must be in contant prayer and ask our Father for whatever we need. =) PRESS ON. like I am pressing on. God is with us and will fill up your emptiness. God never gives 50% but more than 100%! Press on.

  28. I am one of those out in “virtual” world who has been reading your blog since you lost Alexandra. We were on the same December 2010 birth club on BCC. Having been through a miscarriage, I too know what you are feeling. As I sit here reading this latest entry I am brought to tears at the heartache you and your family are experiencing yet again. But at the same time your strength, courage and love for your family truly makes me believe everything happens for a reason – you are battled tested and you are a far better person, husband and father than most. Thank you for telling your stories – the good, the bad and the ugly.

    God Bless you and your family.

  29. My first time commenting…

    I am so sorry for your struggle and your pain. I’ve suffered two miscarriages and I can relate to “some” of what you are facing.

    Hugs from Canada

  30. I’m so sorry, Aaron. I’ve been there, albeit only once, so can only imagine the pain and anger you’re experiencing. Thinking of you guys.

  31. I’m so sorry for your loss. I was on the same birth board as you when you had Will and I had my daughter. Your words have a huge impact on people you don’t even know. I’ve both laughed and cried reading your posts and almost feel like I know you. My heart goes out to you and your wife.

  32. There are no words to justify something like this. All I can say is that I’m sorry as hell, it’s unfair as shit, and I wish you didn’t have to go through it.

  33. I’m very sorry to hear all of this. I know you were so happy after the bad news last time. Life makes me angry sometimes when it lifts you up and drops you.

    I am happy, however, that your marriage and family are surviving this. From personal experience, the happy news and event of having a baby nearly tore us apart where we had to rebuild. The thought of having a 2nd, while very appealing and hopeful, makes me afraid of “what if we fall apart again” or “what if we definately don’t survive this”. Or what if I realize that 2 was definately an emotional and financial mistake. We worship our 2 year old daily (was told that having a baby was going to be hard) and am grateful he’s here (2 near death experiences. Thanks RSV!). While like you, I would love a sibling for him to keep him company, I have a hard time imagining splitting my love, being stressed out, and starting all over again with the things that nearly killed me (PPD, anxiety, lack of sleep, health side effects).

    Our “goal” was to make a decision by this Fall. Some days I’m all “I want another baby” but lately I’m more of “I love our son as much as I can and I’m fine with that.”

    I wish you both luck, love, and happiness with your family in the future.

  34. I am sorry to hear of your loss.

    Since reading this post I have tried to think of something to say to provide comfort to you and your family only to realize, there isn’t really anything that anyone can say that you haven’t already voiced here in your own words. You and MJ have to be the strongest people I’ve never met (since I’ve only met you through your blog) to have the courage to try again after Alexandra. To say life isn’t fair is an understatment to say the least.

  35. Just wanted to say again how sorry I am. I can’t imagine your loss, but I know you and MJ are two very strong people. And you will survive because of the love you share with each other and Will. Thoughts and prayers as always my friend.

  36. Aaron we love you and MJ and are so sorry to hear about your loss, again. Love and hugs from your friends in Maine.

  37. I have to admit, I found this blog from your YT video where you put the pro-life people in their place, and I find your stories to be inspirational. But it seems like maybe you could use some inspiration too, so I’d like to share my story with you, or rather, my Mom’s.

    Miracles happen. Never give up.

    I am my parent’s first child after three miscarriages. My mother lost three before having me, and she almost didn’t get me. A perfectly healthy woman and man, and yet babies didn’t seem to be in their future. When I was born, my mother couldn’t have me natural. I was not only coming out breech, but I had managed to wrap my umbilical cord around my neck not once, but twice. So my Mom had a C-section, and they managed to get me to breathe. Somehow, I don’t have breathing problems. I was a very small baby though, even though I’d made it full-term. Small enough that I could sit in the palm of my father’s hand once I was able to hold my head up on my own, and I was safe like that. And yet I am here today. I was my parent’s miracle child, and I believe that you can have another one.

    I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know what that reason could be for your family, but there is one, somewhere. It just might not show itself for a few more years

    But I definitely believe that someday, when you least expect it, your dreams will come true and there will be a second child close to your hearts.

  38. Words cannot express how sorry I am to read this post today. Thinking of you and yours…

  39. I’m so so sorry for your loss.

    I hope that there is something medical that could be done to help, and that you’re able to access good doctors if that’s something you chose to pursue.

  40. Aaron, this is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read. Of any genre.

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