Growing up I was always taught that “when two people love each other they make a baby." I was fed the idea that having children was a passageway into a lifetime of joy and fulfillment. I was never taught that the road would encounter every emotion known to the human race. In time, I would learn that the idea that we can just “make babies” isn’t true at all. The truth is, sometimes babies are made that just can’t be born. Sometimes people love each other enough to change course. Sometimes we want something so bad that it hurts. Sometimes our dreams are bigger than our realities. Then sometimes all the stars in the world align and a new heart beats and a baby is born.
I remember the first time I had a miscarriage. The entire room seemed to be closing in on me as my midwife told me and my husband a story about how she believes babies that don’t make it flow right back in line. She told her story so sweetly and with such certainty. I can’t remember her face but to this day I can see her hands make the movements of the story in the air. It was such a comforting feeling at that time to think my baby would just get back in line and I would see him or her soon.
That wasn’t my last miscarriage. I found myself answering the question: “How many pregnancies have you had?” so many times that you would think I would be used to it. I never got used to it. Every single time I filled out a medical intake form I would stop and stare at the question, gaze into the sky and count on my fingers. I would remember and relive every single time I was pregnant, every single time I had lost a pregnancy, and every single time I gave birth. My number is six. I have been pregnant six times with seven babies, and of those seven babies, I have had what is referred to as “three live births."
Each of those babies had a heart. Each of those babies were real. It has taken me some time to reflect back on those experiences and appreciate what each one has given to me. Heart number six had a name. She was born of a dream that will never die. She was brought to life by a woman who traveled over 11,500 miles across the world to pursue her dreams of motherhood. She was placed safely inside of my womb right next to her sister. Heart number six had a name, but out of caution, was always referred to as “Twin A."
Heart number six grew and grew until the blood work came back positive. She grew and grew until the ultrasound couldn’t deny her. Heart number six grew and grew until her kicks were undeniable. Heart number six grew and grew until her heart was stopped. Then heart number six stopped growing. Heart number six was no more and I was told she would just “reabsorb." I like to think she only stopped growing in the physical sense. I like to think that as I reabsorbed some of her back into my body, that she continued to grow with me and her sister. It’s just another story I tell myself about the hearts we have had.