**This post was originally published on my previous blog, Confessions of a Supermommy.**
I took a sip of my French Martini, refusing to feel out of place in the trendiest restaurant we'd been to in years. After all, it was date night. A rare event, and one to savor.
Leaning forward, I looked straight into my husband's eyes. "I think you could pull it off," I dared, nodding my head towards the owner.
It's a difficult trick to appraise someone without their noticing, but my husband manages easily.
Hip glasses and designer jeans aside, the showcase piece is a striped button down with bright paisley cuffs. It's the sort of shirt made famous by Cam on Modern Family, but this guy is no Cam. Nope, definitely no Cam.
"You know?" he geared up, "I think I could! I'm confident in my manliness. I'm the father of four boys!"
"Four!" I laughed. "You sure you're counting right?"
His laughter, full and lovely, joined mine for a brief moment, and then,
Our eyes filled with unshed tears as we remembered.
After struggling with infertility for well over a year, our fourth cycle of Clomid worked. I was pregnant and we reveled in excitement untainted by fear, even as my husband stepped on a plane the next week to rejoin his squadron for the last month of their deployment. Blood work showed my HcG levels were steadily increasing, and I couldn't wait for my first appointment. I couldn't wait to see my baby.
But from the first ultrasound, things looked grim. Minutes after directing the nurse to turn off the video camera I'd brought, my doctor gave it to me straight. The baby was measuring 5 weeks. A full week behind. There was no heartbeat. This baby, most likely, was not going to make it.
My husband, flying halfway around the world, was unreachable, and I carried this news alone for three days, almost breaking under its weight.
When he was finally able to contact me, a flood of words and tears rushed forth as I told him what neither of us wanted to hear. We prayed from our lips and our minds and our hearts that our doctor was wrong. That this was our baby.
I brought my mother to the second appointment, a week later. Our baby had a heartbeat, but it was only 50 beats per minute. Half the normal speed. Again, the doctor warned me, "It doesn't look good. He's trying so hard, but it doesn't look good."
The following week, our baby died.
The lab report showed the cause of miscarriage to be Trisomy 15.
Our baby had a body not meant for this world.
Three months after the D and C, thanks to another round of fertility treatments, I carried a second baby. Our E. Our beautiful, bright, thoughtful and giving, occasionally bossy, and always loving, E.
For a time I believed E was our first baby. That he had wanted so badly to be here with us that his little soul returned. But I know better, now. Our baby is an angel. A twinkling star in the night sky. A guardian to his brothers.
I glanced around the restaurant, my eyes flicking across the artwork and other customers before resting on our hands, fingers intertwined on the tabletop. I willed myself to shake off the grief of the past.
"So you think he was a boy, huh?"
"Of course he was a boy. I only make boys," my husband teased, wiping a tear that threatened to escape.
And what wonderful boys they are. All four.