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Mommy of Two -Almost

Photo by: iStock

There are two periods of time that they do not tell you about.

There’s the BEFORE: a glowing happy period, where you have this secret that you’re keeping inside, that you can’t wait to share. The secret that some people can guess simply by knowing you well.

Then, there’s the AFTER.

“I’m sorry.” The ultrasound technician tapped efficiently at the keyboard while scanning the screen. I watched the gray images evolve on the TV with my husband and son. “Where’s the baby, mommy?” my child asked. “I’m sorry,” the technician said again, with a practiced but sympathetic look on her face. "It looks like there is a pregnancy sac, but too small at 8 weeks. I can’t find a fetal pole or a heart beat. This pregnancy is not viable. The doctor will speak to you next.”

My husband looks stunned. My toddler looks sad. My world has tilted on its axis: There’s no baby. There never was a baby. I had morning sickness. I took my vitamins. I peed on two sticks. Then, absurdly: I’m not wearing any pants. No pants. Must get pants on. Tomorrow is my son’s fifth birthday. My child starts to cry and my husband picks him up to soothe him but he wants mommy.

Somehow we end up in another exam room. Undress from the waist down again please. Feet up. My OB knocks, enters the room, and looks sad. He explains that one in four pregnancies end this way. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant, he says. It just looks like a missed period, then a very heavy one. I knew I was pregnant because we were trying. It took me four years to want another child and one year of trying to get this far. So on the first day of my missed period, I peed on two sticks two weeks apart. I took a picture of my 5 year old pretending to read my “I’m Pregnant” book in bed and planned to share my news that way to close friends. And I never really had the chance.

My OB gives me a choice to let nature take its course or have a D&C. The good news is that we can “try again”. My husband leaps at the suggestion: “How soon?” Absurdly again I want to scream, and cry, and say “NO MORE, I AM DONE.” Logistics: there is a waiting list of some sort for D&C, because this happens “all the time.” Then the phone calls begin: to his parents, to my widowed mom – heartbreak over and over again with each call.

To share the bad news with friends, I am too devastated to call. So I use Facebook messages and texts. The messages pour in: women who’ve had the same experience or worse. I’m supposed to take it one day at a time. I am floored by the number of friends who’ve gone through this same heartbreak in secret. I cried myself to sleep for days. My husband was grieving too. We were zombies that still had to wake up, go to work, take care of our child, and move as if life was still happening and the world was still spinning.

Two days before my scheduled D&C I started bleeding and cramping while still at work. I hid in the employee bathroom and cried. I put on a brave face as that day my boss was visiting. Surgery went well and I woke up thinking absurdly: I really really want a cheeseburger. My heart ached and I felt empty.

At bedtime we watch a Youtube video montage of my child and husband. Then we say good night. My firstborn is #1 and we had referred to the new addition as #2. “Goodnight number one, goodnight number two!” my five year old said, patting my tummy. His dad explained that number two is in heaven, and we can say goodnight but wave in the air. We all waved in the air and said “Goodnight, number two.”

It’s been almost a year since my pregnancy loss but we have been blessed anew since then.

A mere five months later I found out I was pregnant again, and we were over the moon. I am due to deliver via scheduled c-section a baby boy (lovingly referred to as number three) on March 14, 2016. My son is ecstatic to assume the role of big brother, and my husband and I are truly grateful. Where there is love, there is hope. And I am truly blessed to have both. My support system in family and friends has helped me move forward and heal, and in sharing my story I hope to do the same for others.

Sarah Manongdo-Joya is an optometrist, author, online entrepreneur, and mom to 5-year-old Michael. She lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband and son. You can visit her at her website,

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