The week before Christmas I found out I was pregnant.
Unexpected, unplanned, and, frankly, unwanted.
It was overwhelming and crushing and upsetting and a million other things. There was dread and guilt. There was anger and frustration. There was confusion and regret.
That lasted for a few days and then, it all gave way to peace.
And eventually, excitement.
This isn't what we planned---we were done having kids. We had given away all our baby stuff as Harper out grew it. There were no baby clothes, no bottles, no bassinet, no swing, no blankets, no car seat. There was a crib, but only because Harper refused to sleep on the bottom bunk of Elliott's bunk beds.
There was some changing of plans, some new goals made, some re-routing of the life we had planned and we were settling into a new normal. We were going to be a family of five and although it wasn't what we had envisioned for our lives, it wasn't the end of the world like we originally thought.
We waited until after Christmas to tell everyone--we felt it should be our secret for a while. We didn't want to share the news until there was nothing but joy in our hearts. We knew this was going to be completely unexpected news and we needed to be settled and okay before surprising everyone else.
At seven weeks, we shared the news with most of our immediate family and a few close friends.
I'm not going to lie, the out-of-left-field announcement was fun to share--I love a good surprise and this was the ultimate shocker.
No one saw it coming.
You know what else we didn't see coming?
A miscarriage later that week.
The baby we had just started to feel joy over. The baby that was going to be a boy, we were just sure. The baby we were now wanting, planning for, dreaming about, was gone.
Chris said it just felt like a cruel joke.
I think it felt like some weird holiday experiment.
I sat in front of the Christmas tree and sobbed the news of a baby to Chris. We talked and complained and whined and then, later, we dreamed about our new reality as we sat in the kitchen by the glowing strands of Christmas lights.
On New Year's Day, we took down the Christmas decorations and I commented about how it made our house feel cold and empty.
That night I lost the baby.
It made it feel like we just put our baby away with the tree and the light-up snowman and the glittery angels. Like it was temporary and not real and done.
And it made our house, and me, feel cold and empty.