Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Small Bump

I wrote about Ed Sheeran in my Criminally Underrated post from last week.  I've been looking forward to his album + coming out in the US for months.  Last night I figured that it was past midnight on the east coast, so I went to iTunes to download it.

I absolutely love it.  From start to finish it is fantastic.

One song in particular has grabbed hold of me.  It's called Small Bump.  Give it a listen and read on below.

When I first heard the song, it pulled back all the old memories of finding out I would be a dad.  It brought back the joy and wonder that goes into preparing to be a first time parent.  Sheeran put into song almost every thought and feeling I had when I first heard that Erin was pregnant.  You may think that he cheapened it and just threw in the last section about losing the child.  And it would feel tacked-on and cheap if you hadn't gone through the experience too.

We knew that we wanted to have children from the moment we were married.  I actually knew I wanted to have children with Erin the moment I first kissed her.  We tried to be as responsible as possible and didn't start trying until we were married and were in the position to bring kids into our life.

I remember my heart absolutely soaring when we found out Erin was pregnant.  I was so excited to be a dad.  I had a chance to pass along all the things I learned to this innocent little child.  It was all possibility like a sculptor with a fresh hunk of clay.  I had names ready whether it was a boy or a girl (although I'm sure Erin had different names in mind).  I found myself wondering what he or she would look like and all the things we'd do together.

I could hardly contain myself when we went to the ultrasound appointment to hear the heartbeat for the first time.

Then the doctor said "This isn't good" and my heart fell into my stomach.

We both were like zombies for the rest of the appointment.  The doctor told us that our child just stopped growing at 8-10 weeks.  This little perfect being didn't even make it to three months before being taken from us.  We didn't even have a chance to meet him or her.  We never got to hold him or her in our arms.  We were just sitting in his office staring through him as we discussed the DNC procedure.

We walked out of his office, rode the elevator downstairs and I just held my wife and cried in the lobby.  We went home and cried some more.

There was no explanation besides "These things happen," and that does nothing to make the hurt go away.  In fact it just makes the hurt worse knowing that there was no plan in something so precious being taken away from us.  It was just random theft that could happen at any moment.  This is where the song got it perfectly.  It comes out of nowhere and blindsides you.  You don't ever expect to lose a pregnancy.  A part of you knows it can happen, but you never actually see it coming.  You track it and hope it goes well.  You get excited and plan, but everything can be taken away in the time it takes to snap your fingers.

We actually had a chemical pregnancy after that which made us start to wonder if we were going to have troubles like this every time we tried.  It taught us cautious optimism because the excitement could disappear like fog on a windy day.

When we walked into the ultrasound appointment on our third try, all I wanted to hear was a heartbeat.  The doctor lightened the mood significantly when he told us "Here's the heartbeat...and here's the other heartbeat."  I loved the "Oh shit" face Erin had when he said it.  And the lump in my stomach that was my heart was now soaring.  We prepared ourselves by tempering our enthusiasm, but we didn't prepare for twice the babies.

I never told Erin, but my first thought was that this was God giving our first child back to us.  I've looked at Grace and Ana as a blessing ever since.  If I learned anything it is that life is so precious, and we were entrusted with two lives to protect and shape.  I've loved every moment of being a dad to these girls.  I know I would have loved them no matter what, but I truly appreciate every moment because I know that there was no guarantee that I'd ever meet them.

I wouldn't trade what I have for anything.

Also if you can listen to that song and not bawl, you are heartless.


Lisa McKinney said...

Same exact thing happened the first time with Logan and unexpected and unplanned pregnancy that I did not want, ended unexpectedly and made me want it back. Gives a lot of perspective. Thanks for reminding me of how amazing it is to have the 2 we did have:) Some times I need a reminder when 2-3 year olds make you insane!

Erica said...

"I never told Erin, but my first thought was that this was God giving our first child back to us."

I'm wiping away tears... what a beautiful thought. Those girls of yours are truly a blessing.