DTo many people’s dismay, we didn’t find out the sex of our first child. In a world where everything is instant and surprises are limited and few, we wanted to wait. We wanted that unmatched moment when the doctor not only handed us our baby but announced its sex.
The entire pregnancy, I suspected Caroline was a boy. I couldn’t imagine being a #boymom or having to eventually talk about wet dreams, how socks should be changed daily or why deodorant is necessary after physical activity. Shocking, but as a girl, I’m more comfortable with girl stuff. I’ll talk to anyone about periods (it will ruin your life), teen pregnancy (all boys are bad and will ruin your life) and birth control (get on it, stay on it, don’t ruin your life).
That awkward girl stuff comes way easier to me than awkward boy stuff which is exactly why I thought we’d be having a boy. Murphy’s Law and shit.
When the doctor announced that Caroline was a girl, I was in actual disbelief. Had I not been paralyzed from the waist down, strapped on an operating table with my insides on the outside, I would have fainted. I was that damn certain she was a he.
[[[Fast forward two years later and I got my boy in Oliver. He is a walking learning-curve for me. I find myself cleaning the floor around the toilet a lot and reminding him to stop mentioning his wiener, feces, and boogers. He’s a special kind of special and every day I feel foolish that I was so scared to have a boy.]]]
This is a longwinded way to say that I never thought I’d have a girl simply because I wanted one so badly.
I got very lucky with one.
Today I found out that I had a second.
Prior to the procedure, I consented to have the baby tested. I was desperate to know why. Desperate to know if I caused it. Desperate to know if that little being ever stood a chance.
Turner syndrome (Monosomy X) and pregnancy loss are often related. Turner syndrome is a chromosome disorder in which a girl or woman has only one complete X chromosome. (Because a Y chromosome is needed for a person to be male, all babies with Turner syndrome are girls.) Though girls born with Turner syndrome usually have good odds for a normal life, the majority of babies with the condition are lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.
A test that was likely to show nothing revealed so much, but nothing more heartwrenching and piercing as hearing, “it was a girl.”
I flashed back to hearing that for the first time in the operating room, under such happy circumstances. Now I’m in my living room, anxious, sad and without a baby to hold.
Not only have I envisioned the life lost countless times, but now I know the specific life lost. A little girl who would have maybe looked like my brown-haired, green-eyed Caroline. A little girl who perhaps would have liked LEGOS and dress-up like her big sister. A little girl who would have held her father in the palm of her hand and been the all-consuming light of her mother’s world.
Now I know.
Now I know what we lost.
Hearing that news ever-so-slightly unglued the healing wound of this entire ordeal. Every day I’ve felt a little stronger, more steadfastly focused on the future and proudly breaking down less.
Now it’s all reopened again albeit with a different reaction: no screaming, crying or listening to sad playlists in the shower. Instead, I feel stiff, robotic and numb as though I’ve used up so many emotions and shed so many tears the past few weeks that my body is rejecting sad news.
Information and knowledge are wonderful and I’m happy that I get to fill in the gaps of doubt and mystery, but at the same time, this new information stings a spot that is already so sore and vulnerable.
Now I know.
She would have been wonderful, for that I am certain.
Maybe that’s why it hurts so much.