We sold it for $40.
I can’t remember how much my mother had paid for it, but brand new, the Baby Einstein baby bouncer was a lot more than $40.
We were moving to our new home, and as everyone who is moving tends to do, we wanted to purge what we were no longer using rather than pack it or load it in a truck. When one purges, one no longer cares how much something sold for so long as it gets out of the house.
Yet, I was a bit nostalgic about losing the bouncer. While I had already gotten rid of almost all the baby clothes in the weeks prior, somehow this felt more official. As if we were declaring that we were forever moving out of the baby season.
It’s weird how I hated the sounds that thing made, but knew that if I ever again heard the clanking of the rattles, or the loud songs that played over flashing lights, I would go right back to a time when my babies were still babies. I wondered briefly if I should be hanging on to the bouncer for sentimentality’s sake, but those things are way to big to fit in any kind of memory box.
Ironically, the feelings didn’t last.
In fact, the very next day as I noticed the empty space in my living room where the bouncer had been, I felt immediately grateful to finally get some of that “baby crap” out of my living space.
I never really minded the thought of being a mother of three. This is probably because I have two sisters and there’s just something special about being a part of 3. My husband and I both knew before we even started planning for kids that we wanted a daughter, so when Asher was born it was my ongoing joke that if baby #2 was a boy, that would just be God’s way of telling us we were going for 3.
My husband only ever wanted two, so when Charlie Ann arrived, and he had his boy and a girl, he was set. No need to roll the dice again.
Considering that I hate being pregnant and have yet to have a delivery without either a distressed C-section or a baby in the NICU, by this time I was actually good with ending on two as well.
Well…I was 95% sure.
“Unless you’re 100% sure you do not want to have any more kids, then don’t rush into a vasectomy. Just wait for a year and let those hormones calm down and then make decisions,” my OBGYN recommended.
“How about an IUD?” My doc asked. “It’s safe and effective and you don’t even have to think about it.”
Since there was no way I was going back on the pill for a myriad of reasons, the IUD sounded like a great compromise.
I had the quick procedure, and came back for a follow up four months later and everything looked great.
I started making plans to rush my school schedule along to catch up from the time I took off with Charlie and didn’t think twice about my birth control.
I gave all the baby clothes lacking in sentimental value to friends and family and told them to not bother returning them. I packed up all the bottles, swaddle blankets, and play gyms and sent them to Goodwill.
We sold the bouncer.
A few months later I was taking a pregnancy test.
It was different than the two times before.
No excitement, or anticipation. Just the feeling of this being ridiculous and maybe I’m just coming down with something.
For a split-second there was unbelievable relief as the first wave of the test showed a minus sign.
“I told you…see it’s negative,” I yelled out to my husband while waving the white stick.
But there’s a reason they tell you to wait three minutes before checking. The word “negative” had barely left my mouth when as if on cue the second line appeared, crossing the first.
I don’t know how to explain how I felt in this moment.
I remembering screaming, bursting into tears and yelling, “No! No! No!” I remember feeling my husband’s arm come around me and I doubled over and sobbed.
I had an IUD and now also had a positive pregnancy test. Fear overwhelmed all other emotions.
IUD pregnancies lead to higher chances of miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, and sweet lord do not Google it if you ever test positive on a Friday morning and the doctor can’t see you until Monday.
I didn’t want to be pregnant only to miscarry from the IUD. I didn’t want my fallopian tube to burst over the weekend. I didn’t want to have to make decisions. I didn’t want any painful or harsh procedures.
And I didn’t want another baby.
It was a long weekend. When I called to make the appointment all I got from the nurse on the other end of the line was an, “It happens,” along with an “If you double over in pain, rush to the ER. Otherwise we’ll see you Monday!”
My doctor was kind, but also in her own state of shock.
“I have to tell you, I have never had this brand of IUD fail before,” she said.
I didn’t know how to respond, so instead I just laid back on the table as she pulled out the ultrasound equipment.
Sure enough…there was a baby, just like twice before…and nothing else.
“Where’s the IUD?” I asked.
“I don’t know, it could be in your cervix, but I’m not seeing it. It’s highly likely it just fell out,” my doctor answered never looking away from the screen.
“Fell out?? I’m sorry…” I said taking a moment so as not to chew the poor woman out. “How could it just fall out with out me knowing?” I asked incredulously.
“It happens,” she answered. “If it fell out during that time of the month, you could’ve easily not known.”
I never read that in the information packets.
I would get further imaging done just to be safe, but they found nothing…other than a baby of course.
I am now about 20 weeks with the baby due on June 22nd.
It took us a while to want to share the news, mostly because we just weren’t ready to here congratulations over and over again. Condolences felt more appropriate.
And we get it. There are couples that would give anything to be in our place. If there is anything I know about bringing life into this world it is that it is damn traumatic and unfair.
My own dear cousin found out she was pregnant just days before I did. Amazingly we have been pregnant at the same time for at least a few weeks, with both of our kids. And here we were about to do it again, but this time, with due dates less than a week apart!
She was excited for her third. They had tried and planned, and it was happening.
And then it wasn’t.
I got the text that the baby no longer had a heartbeat and her D&C had already been scheduled.
I sat alone in my house and sobbed, heartbroken with a side of guilt.
Here’s what I know:
While I don’t believe “everything happens for a reason,” or that God ordained this pregnancy because it’s a life that “just has to be born”…I do know God’s hand, his blessing, and his guidance will be all over this.
This baby is not a mistake.
We know our kids will love being a part of three. There’s something to the more children than parents dynamic that somehow favors the children.
We know we will hold this little baby in June and won’t be able to imagine ever wishing that minus sign had stayed.
We also know it is important to feel what you feel and not worry what anyone else thinks about those feelings. They are what they are. Feel them. Process them. Move forward.
That’s what we’re doing.
That and trying to figure out what kind of SUV or Minivan we should purchase. Our family cars consist of a Mini Cooper and a 14-year old Corolla…we are not large vehicle people. Help us Jesus.
Soon, I’ll find a baby outfit I can’t live without. Soon, I’ll register for new baby things as if this were my first, because I have already given so much away.
Before we know it…it will be just like before.
Filled with excitement and anticipation.
Waiting for the arrival of the newest member of our dear, not so little anymore, family.