I fear I may not make it this time.
There are the regular doubts and regrets, of course...
I missed a Lovenox injection.
I ate too much fast food.
I didn't take my prenatals faithfully.
I didn't exercise enough.
I stressed too much.
I worried about the financial burden another child would put on us.
But there things about this that make Alex and Travis' stillbirths seem like the good 'ole days. Most significant, I think, is that this is the way it all ends. It is over. There will never be the hope and promise of another baby in our home.
Someone once told me, when I was considering the idea of another child (who would turn out be Alex), "You will just know when your family is complete." In that moment, it was as simple as that...I knew our family wasn't complete and the decision was made.
The utter shit of it is...I still know our family isn't complete. The only difference is, in this moment, I know our family will never be complete.
It's not that there are already three missing children.
I know that our family dynamic would be very different if any one of those pregnancies had turned out differently. And I'm as ok with that as I can be. Though there are still raw moments, I have mostly made peace with all of that by looking at the beautiful faces of our two amazing boys.
No...it's that it is just over. There is no more hope.
We know we have been beaten and we dare not challenge the fates one more time. We simply don't have the strength to see hope crushed again...to see the shining smiles of our loved ones disappear into sympathetic head tilts and averted eyes. But more importantly, it is time to admit that I clearly don't have the physical ability to create the complete family of our dreams. I can not fulfill my husband's wish to have another child...or my sons' wishes to be big brothers...or my own wish to watch another baby grow (maybe even a girl).
And so it ends.
It's not the raw shock of losing Alex. It's not the resignation of losing Travis. It's not the horror of losing Little Bug. It's the pain of forever shutting the door on the hope that we will feel complete...that we will BE complete.
And that hurts far beyond what I could have ever imagined.