We will be welcoming 2018 with grateful yet somber hearts.
Grateful because of the blessings we’ve received this year, but somber because of what happened recently.
Last November, we found out that Bel was pregnant. We were anxious but joyful at the same time. We didn’t expect to have another baby, but we’ve always wanted three kids, so it was welcome news. We delayed the announcement, though, because we wanted to have a definite confirmation through an ultrasound. But an initial TVS by her doctor failed to detect the baby. Our joy was clouded with worry. So Bel got an hCG test and it confirmed that she was indeed pregnant, the only problem was the baby was nowhere to be found. After several weeks, the sign was finally seen: the ultrasound showed a fetal sac. But it was empty. Successive tests showed the same results. The gestational sac just did not contain a fetus. It baffled our doctor, but she suggested that perhaps it’s a case of Blighted Ovum, wherein the sac develops without the fetus. This could be due to chromosomal abnormalities, and it happens at least once in the life of many mothers. We were very disheartened because we’ve already imagined a new baby in the family and we’ve already broken the news to our kids that they are soon to have a baby brother or sister.
A miscarriage was therefore to be expected, we just didn’t know when it will happen.
It finally did on our last night in Laguna. Bel has been experiencing mild pain since Christmas Eve, and the severity peaked a few days later. We rushed her to the nearest hospital at 3 in the morning when the pain became unbearable and the bleeding increased.
We know from biology that life starts at conception; that is, upon fertilization, when the male and female gametes fuse to form a new and unique human organism. So we believe that we really did have a baby, a living person. He or she started out as a zygote, then he or she got implanted to the wall of the uterus. But for some reason or other (chromosomal abnormalities or some other cause or causes) certain of his or her cells developed into his or her gestational sac but the others did not develop into his or her body. The sac cannot sustain itself for long without the fetus developing within it, so it will naturally or spontaneously shed off.
I wanted to share this little story because this is the only story we will ever be able to share about him or her (and the photo below is the only photo we will ever be able to show you). Unlike our other kids whom we’re able to tell tons of stories about and pictures of as they grew up — stories about and pictures of their infancy, toddlerhood, preschool days, and so on — we’ll only be able to share this one story and this one photo of our third child.
We’ve decided to give him the name Emmanuel, if he’s a boy, or Emmanuelle, if she’s a girl, on account of it being the Christmas season. We also noted that Bel’s emergency happened on the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents, when the blood of countless babies were shed by Herod following Jesus’ birth over two centuries ago.
We’re just happy that he or she is probably with his or her Ama Leling, Lolo Dante, and Tita Christine by now. The latter was my younger sister who died at birth. We know that we’ll see our baby someday.
Please pray for Bel and our kid.