We showed back up to the waiting room counting our losses. It was March. We were battered and bruised. Our dreams were still there but our hopes not as high. Children chased their siblings around the waiting room and moms with tired eyes and bulging bellies sat alongside us. Jealousy rushed through my veins, as I ached to feel you in my womb, to hold you in my arms, to watch you with your brother.
We waited in this room for your brother too — our dearest first-born, Lochlan. With him, we entered IVF with unabashed naivety. It worked, and he arrived at exactly 41 weeks gestation. He was, and still is, perfect. But there were two frozen embryos remaining and we thought about them all the time. In fact, bringing a sibling into the world was a dream we would end up going through hell and back for.
I dreamt of creating something for you to see that would encompass everything about your journey in one visually piercing shot. I needed to turn what most view as harsh, painful, or medical waste into what it was, for us, the beautiful tools necessary to get you in our arms.
This picture of you at the base of a colorful rainbow created from every single needle, vial of medication, patch, and pill bottle that we used in the past two years became that shot. It represents hours of injections, sticky residue from medicine patches, and pills carefully tracked. What it doesn’t show are the countless doctor’s appointments, my bruised abdomen, our hopes lifted, our dreams crushed and many tears shed.
It doesn’t show that we had a canceled cycle just days before our scheduled transfer, and then a dilation and curettage (D&C) to correct new issues that had surfaced. It doesn’t show that our subsequent transfer worked – that we had our number two. It doesn’t show the excitement that surged through our veins. It doesn’t show that a few short weeks later, we sat in a cold exam room staring at an empty black circle on the screen. It doesn’t show me alone and scared in the bathroom at work the moment I began to lose that baby. It doesn’t show my tear stained body curled up on the bathroom floor at home after the miscarriage was complete. It doesn’t show that we had a spontaneous pregnancy a few months later, and that it ended the same way. It doesn’t show the near crippling anxiety – the way I removed myself from friends and family, questioned my body, and my choices.
This one striking picture of you couldn’t possibly show it all. What is does show is that we never gave up. We never stopped fighting for you and battled at every turn, refusing to be knocked down for good.
Lennon Kemal, you were our last hope that day in the waiting room. You were our last embryo, frozen in time for three years and 6 days before you were transferred back to us. You arrived exactly 3 years and 3 days after your big brother. You, his medical twin, were born on December 14, 2017, as our ‘double rainbow’ (baby born after two losses), and you are nothing short of a miracle.
As I watch you sleep peacefully in your bassinet, I can’t help but count my blessings. While I would probably never choose this path voluntarily, I can say without a doubt that this was the journey we were meant to walk together. Welcome to the world, sweet boy. You’ll never quite know just how loved and wanted you truly are.
Love always and forever,
Mom and Dad”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lesleigh Cetinguc, 38, of Overland Park, Kansas.
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