I have always wanted two children. For as long as I can remember, it was the dream I’d had for my future. After having Rowan and experiencing the beauty of watching him grow everyday… I knew with even more certainty that I wanted a second child.
When Rowan was 4 months old, we suffered a medically necessitated loss of a pregnancy at 10 weeks. It was traumatic, and we battled our grief for quite some time afterwards. We were elated when I got pregnant a third time a little more than a year later. We hadn’t actively been trying, we had only just decided we were ready for another baby if it were to happen. It was a month after our wedding when we found out, I was 5 weeks pregnant when we excitedly told Rowan on his birthday. Only 3 weeks later, we lost the pregnancy. We had been so thrilled, had already chosen a name, and told family and friends. I kept thinking “How could this happen to us again?” “How do we explain this to Rowan?” We were absolutely devastated.
We tried for months after the second loss, and no amount of charting or planning was successful. I just could not get pregnant again. We both went through testing, I had bi-weekly ultrasounds to check my ovaries, weekly blood draws, and a regimen to follow at home. I would see my friends announce pregnancies and I’d cry alone in the bathroom. One sister in law was pregnant and the other had just had a baby. It was all exhausting and I felt like such a failure, as if the one thing my body was designed to do, I couldn’t. Infertility was a battle I felt I just couldn’t win.
Finally, as we approached 7 long months without success, I was put on Clomid. It only took one cycle and I was pregnant again, with our miracle baby. I squealed at the sight of the positive test, then again when my blood work came back with great numbers. When we sat in the office for our first ultrasound and we heard that little heartbeat, tears streamed down my face. At 10 weeks we chose the name Sloan, girl or boy.
When we made it to the second trimester I sobbed. We hadn’t made it that far into a pregnancy since Rowan. It was such a milestone for us. We found out we were having a boy at 17 weeks. Sloan Valor DeRosier. I would talk to him, sing to him, stay up at night imagining what it would be like once he was in our arms. Everything was finally feeling real. He was moving, kicking, rolling.
At 20 weeks we had our anatomy scan. I was just so overwhelmed with joy. Joy that we would finally get to experience being second time parents, joy that Rowan would finally have a sibling, joy that my body was finally allowing us this blessing. When a nurse called later that day and said they’d found a dark spot on the left ventricle of his heart, my own skipped a beat. I felt the world drop from underneath me, I could hear my breathing get shallow. She kept telling me it wasn’t always something to worry about, but that we’d have to go back two weeks later for more testing and another ultrasound. Two weeks of wondering, panicking, researching…felt like agony. But the second ultrasound showed that the spot had gone away, and after more blood work, we were assured our miracle baby was just fine. I felt so much relief, so much weight was lifted. He was ok, he was perfect, he was ours.
16 long weeks later, Sloan was born. The labor was a whirlwind 2 hours and 45 minutes from my water breaking, to birth. I had woken up just before 3am to contractions and my water breaking. By the time we got to the hospital an hour later, my contractions were only a minute apart and I could no longer talk through them. They rushed us through triage, already able to feel his hair during the check. Once we were in a delivery room and I was hooked up, the epidural was brought in and administered. Throwing us for a loop, Sloan had his own plan and 5 mins later, before the epidural could actually start to affect me, I felt the need to push. A mere 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital, it was time to bring our miracle baby into the world. I screamed, through contractions and between contractions, I sobbed and I cursed. I pushed and stopped, pushed and stopped for 15-20 minutes. I was doing the impossible and feeling every single moment of it, every tear, stretch, scratch, push, and the infamous “ring of fire”. Then… at 5:47am Sunday December 4th, he was in my arms. They put him on my chest and we spent a wonderful hour radiating love skin to skin. I felt so empowered, so elated. We waited a very long time for that moment, 3 years, two losses, infertility and 9 months of impatience. Sloan was a healthy 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and 20 inches at 38 weeks. He was absolutely beautiful, and everything about our journey to him seemed to suddenly make sense. It was all supposed to happen, so that we could hold that sweet little miracle. He was who we had been waiting for, he was the light, after so much darkness.
It’s been 9 months since Sloan was brought into this world, and 2 months since he left it. It feels like yesterday, and yet, it feels like years ago. Now, remembering that high- the glory of holding the sweet miracle we’d longed for all that time, is bittersweet. While we are nowhere near ready to approach the idea, I do know that someday, we will experience that joy after loss again. But just as before, it will not be without frustration, immense fear, and incredible will power.