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Lucky

The crazy storm that blew through the DC area Friday night knocked out our power for five and a half days.

It got up to 100 degrees most of those days. It would have been awful if I was stuck at home, but I wasn’t. We grabbed the kids and the cats and drove a few hours to my in-laws’ beach house where it was air-conditioned and instead of suffering after a natural disaster I was suddenly on vacation.

Because I am lucky.

Our power was was restored on the 4th of July. There were crews from out of state working in my neighborhood even though it was a Federal holiday. I know this because I have awesome neighbors that kept me up to date on the situation at home. I was having a snack and drinking a margarita at a beach bar with one of my favorite people in the world when I got the text update that we finally got electricity again.

Because I am lucky.

On the 4th of July back in 2003 I didn’t go outside to see the fireworks. I sat on the floor with my husband and my parents and we played Trivial Pursuit as a distraction while we all tried to pretend I wasn’t miscarrying. I could hear the fireworks outside as I tried to decide if the cramping was bad enough to go to the emergency room or if I could just ride out the pain and bleeding at home and hold out for the doctor’s appointment I had scheduled for Monday.

I lost the baby and I thought it was the end of the world.

Of course it wasn’t the end of the world. The doctor said we had to wait three months to try again and so we did. On October 11th I found out I was pregnant again.

Because I am lucky.

I was really sick this time. I was only eight weeks pregnant when I had to go back to the doctor. We were concerned because I was so ill right after the first loss. There wasn’t anything wrong this time – unless you count more than one baby as something wrong.

This time I was pregnant with twins. Two healthy babies with two strong heartbeats.

The pregnancy was difficult. I was sick for the first 22 weeks and then I went into labor at 28 weeks. I was admitted to the hospital at 28 weeks and I lived there for 41 days. The amazing hospital staff was able to keep the babies in me for an extra five and a half weeks. It was uncomfortable but a small price to pay. My children were born premature and there were some issues in the beginning, but by the time they were a year old they were developmentally caught up with their full term friends.

Because I am lucky.

I sat on the beach last night and it was hot, but there was a nice breeze coming off of the ocean and so it was very comfortable. I was thinking about losing that first baby, like I do every 4th of July. Really, I think about it every time I see fireworks. One time a friend that had just miscarried asked me if if ever gets easier, if you ever forget. I told her that you never forget but it does get easier. I have a unwelcome reminder every year. She might not.

The fireworks were beautiful. They were the nicest ones I have ever seen. I don’t know what is going on with pyrotechnic technology, but there was some really cool stuff I had never seen before.

I sat on the beach and watched my healthy, happy children watch the fireworks.

Photo by Laurie White

Because I am lucky.

I am so very lucky.

 

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Read more from me on Sarah and the Goon Squad and Draft Day Suit
Follow me on Twitter for updates.

More of me on That’s Right. You Heard Me:
Summer Reading
10 Free Things to Do With Your Kids in Washington D.C.
80s Movie Lines I Use on My Kids

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