When I was pregnant with Zander, I was on the pregnancy forums at the Today’s Parent website day and night. It was a great place to talk to woman in the same state of excitement, worry, confusion….I found so much comfort there.
And that is where I met (in the cyberspace sense of the word) Karla. She mentioned that she was blogging about her pregnancy, so I took a peek. She had such a great sense of humour about the whole thing. Man, she made me laugh! And what made it even more fun to read her almost-daily posts was that she was only due a few weeks before me.
And then one day, the laughter that I expected while reading her latest post was replaced by uncontrollable sobbing. She had lost the beautiful daughter she and her husband had been waiting so anxiously for.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a prenatal appointment that morning. My mother was in town, so the plan was that the two of us would go pick up Carlos at work, and then head to my appointment. After the appointment we were going to go out for lunch before Carlos had to head back to work.
About 15 minutes before we were to leave, I told my mom I was just going to check my email. I figured I had enough time to check Karla’s blog, too, before leaving the house.
When I came back upstairs, my mother instantly panicked as my tear-stained face came into view. It was all I could do to choke out enough words to explain to my mother why I was crying. I could hardly bare it. Even though I had never met Karla, I felt so close to her. I’m not sure whether I felt connected because of our simultaneous pregnancies, or whether it was the way she opened up her world to me, and others so freely. But it felt as though a dear friend had just lost a child.
All of the worries that I had, until then, successfully kept at bay started creeping back. Karla asked that balloons be released in memory of Ava. I wanted to. I so badly wanted to. But everytime I would think of doing it, a feeling of dread took over. Like this simple act would make what happened to Karla too real. I couldn’t do it. I regret that to this day.
I remember shortly after Zander was born, I thought of Karla and her husband, and of their little angel Ava. And I felt so guilty to be holding this beautiful little boy, when they, and so many others, were in so much pain.
It hit me that day like a brick wall at 100 km/h. Carlos and I were so very lucky. We had this amazing son, and we could never take that for granted. Now we have two amazing sons. And there is not one day that passes that I take anything for granted. Even through the screaming, the tantrums, the force feeding, the GERD….through all of it. Look at what we have!
I still read Karla’s blog. And I still think of Ava often. She would be turning 2 soon. A couple of weeks before Zander’s 2nd birthday. I was reminded of this by Karla’s latest post. I can’t imagine how hard it is for her and her husband. But I am so glad that they have finally been blessed with a healthy child. A beautiful little boy. They so deserved this.
I have so much respect for Karla and her husband Mark, for what they have gone through and what they have survived. They are so strong. And they remind me everyday not to think of what I might not have, but to be grateful for what I do have. And that’s a lot.