Our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 11 weeks gestation. The due date was December 15, 2006. By the time my due date came, I was almost 12 weeks pregnant. I remember going out to lunch with my mom on that day. It was a bittersweet day as we prepared for Christmas, were excited for a new baby and still sad over the one we had lost. My nerves were especially on edge as I neared the 12 week mark in that pregnancy. I was right around the same point where I had miscarried and I thought if I could just get past 12 weeks, everything would be okay. I carried this baby to term and he just turned seven last week. In the early years of his life, I often thought about how if I had not miscarried, I would not have my baby boy.
In December of 2008, I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks before Christmas. This was my third pregnancy. Just a week later on December 18, 2008, I miscarried at 5-6 weeks gestation. We never did have a definite due date, but this baby would have been due mid-August 2009. When August 2009 came, I was almost four months pregnant with my fourth pregnancy. Once again, I was pregnant after a miscarriage and before the due date of the baby I lost. This pregnancy resulted in a healthy baby boy born in the early months of 2010. He is almost 4 ½.
At this point, I had been pregnant four times, resulting in 2 healthy boys and 2 miscarriages. To me, there was a clear pattern: miscarriage, live birth, miscarriage, live birth. Like I said, both of my boys were conceived before the due date of the babies I miscarried. If I had not miscarried either of those babies, I would not have the boys I have today. This by no means says that I am glad I miscarried. There is no emotion in this knowledge, just fact. You cannot get pregnant with a new baby while you are 5-6 months pregnant with another. Emotionally, I have two babies that died within weeks of me finding out I was pregnant. Emotionally, I have two babies in heaven that I never got to meet, never got to name and do not even know if they were boys or girls. Someday, I believe I will meet them and know the answers to these questions. This becomes a sticky subject with some and is hard to really describe in words. I think about it all the time and it makes sense in my mind. But let me make one thing clear: My living boys did not replace the babies I lost. They did not replace them at birth and they do not replace them now. Up until this point in my life, I had four children.
In August of 2011, I found out I was pregnant for the 5th time. Our oldest son had just turned four and our youngest son was 18 months old. We wanted another child, but our plan was to wait at least six more months before getting pregnant. Things don’t always follow our timeline and we found out we were expecting just a few days after we sold our house. You can read more about that here, The Nudge. I expected to lose this baby to miscarriage. That may sound crazy to some, but I honestly did. Like I said above, I had a pattern of miscarrying before having a healthy, living baby. I had asked my doctor after my second miscarriage if we could do any testing to find out what was happening. Due to my age at the time, they wouldn’t check for any abnormalities until I had miscarried three consecutive times. Once I hit the 12 week mark without any problems, I figured I had reached the ‘safe zone’ with this new pregnancy. As we soon learned, there is no ‘safe zone’ when talking about pregnancy. Anything can happen at any point. This pregnancy was Kyleigh, my 5th child.
Now, we have six. Yes, you read that correctly … SIX children! I am just days away from entering my sixth month of pregnancy. Our oldest son just turned seven, our youngest son is almost 4 ½ and Kyleigh would have been just over 2 years old. There is no overlap with this baby. I was not even allowed to get pregnant within the first year after Kyleigh’s death. When I was pregnant with Kyleigh, we had decided she would be our last. We went back and forth for a while, but going into labor & delivery, we were 99% sure that this was it. I say 99%, because in the back of my mind I knew I could convince Rodger to have just one more. The baby that I am carrying now is that baby. If Kyleigh had lived, I would still be expecting her younger sibling. I know this because of what my faith teaches me … “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” Psalm 139:13. It is my belief that all children are created by God in His time. God has known far longer than we have that we would be pregnant with this child.
So you may be asking yourself why I am announcing our new baby this way and with these words. Here is why …
As I made clear above, my boys did not replace the babies I lost to miscarriage. Let me make another thing clear: The baby that we are expecting does not replace Kyleigh. To think or suggest otherwise is disrespectful to Kyleigh. She is part of our family and always will be. Our new baby is not a consolation prize that God has given us because Kyleigh died.
Some of you are reading this and thinking, “I never would have even thought that!” I never did either. Until someone mentioned it to me when I told them I was pregnant. I was so speechless I’m not sure I even responded. My hope is that this person will read this and realize that children are not replaceable. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings … HUMANS are not replaceable. We replace our fish when they die. We may get a new puppy a few months after a dog dies. We do not have more babies to replace the ones who die. At least not in my family! It was actually suggested to me after Kyleigh passed away to just have another baby, then everything will be okay. I have to be honest, comments like these really show how little some people value human life.
We have kept this pregnancy quiet from the beginning for personal reasons. We have told people a few at a time, as we were ready to. Recent comments by some who have found out made me ready to share with a broader audience. The comments were upsetting at first. So much to the point that I was done telling anyone our good news and thought everyone else could just wait until this baby is born. After I had some time to think about it, I decided that now is the time to share our news and educate everyone a little in the process. It’s not your typical ‘baby reveal,’ but those nauseate me anyway.
Some of you may be wondering about the details of this pregnancy, such as, when this baby is due, etc. Right now, we ask for your patience as we keep these details to ourselves. However, we welcome your thoughts and prayers as we continue on this journey. Pregnancy after loss is a lonely and sometimes difficult place to be. We are excited for what is to come, but also know all too well what can happen. We are trusting God to lead us through this and have faith that He will not leave our side. He has given us the blessing of six perfect babies! If you feel led, we would love for you to walk alongside us by supporting us with your love and prayers.
There will never be another Weller Baby #1, Oliver, Weller Baby #3, Garrison, Kyleigh or New Baby!
Leann, thank you for your honesty and courage. I will definitely be praying for you all through this time.