Parenting with no professional training since 2004 - still not an expert

Baby love

Baby love


Kirsten Oliphant asked for “a non-sappy love post”. Personally, I can’t wait to read everyone’s take on this, because I love the unconventional when it comes to Valentine’s Day. 

For some reason, this strikes me as a good time to foray into something gritty that I’ve been putting off about  why 2013 was not my best year. And perhaps the worst. 


The year isn’t going as planned.

Instead of energy, January feels off-kilter.
Tired. Drained.

Nauseated. Huh.

What the heck, I’ll entertain this idea for a minute. Maybe even long enough to get to Wal-Mart at 10:30 on a Tuesday night to waste $8.00 on a generic test. Yet again.

Well now. That’s unexpected, that second line. That’s not in the plan. I’m gonna punch him in the face, just as soon as I check again in the morning to make sure. Oh, who am I kidding? A line is a line is a line.

And baby girl did ask for a baby sister for Christmas. Would it be too soon to surprise her with the news on her birthday?

My career. It’s back on track now. Of course. What of that?

The nurse on the phone wants dates. Calendar counting doesn’t help much when I don’t remember what date I should start from. I wasn’t thinking about THAT at the time. THAT wasn’t supposed to be possible. Not now. Not anymore.

I do the best I can, but seriously, I could be a week off. Or more. I tell her that.

“Oh, it’s ok, we’ll narrow it down later after an ultrasound,” she says.

There’s a history, not a good one, so there will be lots of ultrasounds, and supplements and hormones and worrying and anxiety.

But also baby names. A whole list on my computer.

Oh, Lord…I just sent every last piece of baby stuff I still had to the Salvation Army in my post-Christmas clean-out. I can hear it now. “Hey, Lieutenant Stacy, this is Jennifer. Can I possibly come shopping at the thrift store for my Diaper Genie?”

But there is also testing of levels. After the second round, I hear caution in doc’s voice. After the third, I hear warning.

There wasn’t a fourth. There was no more anxiety. Only empty, empty heartsickness.

This is so stupid. It’s not like we were hoping for this, planning for this. It was an accident, an anomaly.

It was a fluke. That’s all.

Well, not ALL.

Anyway, life goes on. And look, here we are at the middle of February, baby girl’s ninth birthday. A celebration, a distraction. There are ten little girls descending on our house for a sleepover after all.

She asked for an ice cream cake. I ordered it, I just need to pick it up.

Yes, ma’am, the round nine-inch cake with the cookies and cream. What do you mean you don’t have one? Look again, it has to be there.


I can’t screw this up, too.

Ok, it’s there. Thank God.

Shake it off. After all, there is her. And him. And work. That’s it, bury it in work. And we’ll plan something for spring break in March.

Wow, March got here fast. I’m doing ok, surprisingly. Except…nauseated. Again.

What the what? No &$#%ing way. Again? Like, immediately again?

God, what are you doing?

But I’m all in again. I’m consumed. With uninhibited, unplanned baby love. With the names. And the nursery colors. Even passwords get changed to “BAYBEE2013” and the like, for encouragement.

Because we’re doing the testing again. But it’s ok.

And it’s still ok.

And it’s still….ok. Sort of. Maybe.

But then, again, it’s not. It’s further along this time, and it hurts. Which I would expect.

It’s like labor, which I don’t expect. Every 8 minutes, like clockwork, for hours.

I’m alone, at home. Except when the pharmacist stops by and delivers pain meds. “No need to go to the hospital,” doc says. “They’ll just give you the same meds and charge you too much for it.”

So it’s just me and you now.

When all this is over, I will almost immediately take down the secret Pinterest board I labeled “Oh, Baby.” I will eventually summon the courage to delete the list of names. Maybe next month, in June. It will take me longer to change the passwords, after your due date has come and gone in fact.

But I will never forget these last moments with you.

Piccolo Angelo (1 of 2)  by Jenny Mac Rogers

11 thoughts on “Baby love”

  • Oh, my heart is breaking for you. There are no words for this, really. I know this pain deeply. Amazing how much you can love someone who you have never met. And the grieving of the loss is so intense. May you be filled with the love of your husband and daughter this Valentine's day.

  • Oh, how this made me ache. I am SO very sorry for this struggle, for the hope and then the crash of disappointment. I do love the way you captured this, though, the pain and the introspection–it was really different and unique, coming from the sort of stream of consciousness that spanned a few months. Your details and descriptions worked really well, but your voice carried the whole thing, and it was lovely. Lovely and heartbreaking. So glad you linked up, but sorry for all the hardship this year has brought.

  • Thank you all for your sweet, heartfelt words. I have been needing to write this post for quite a while, and finally the time just felt right. All loss is hard, but it's worse in a vacuum, feeling like your loss matters little to anyone else. Thank you for making them matter.

    If nothing else, I hope this encourages someone out there to share their story too. It helps. It's scary, but it helps. 🙂

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