Family

News

I shared on Facebook that we are expecting baby number 3 earlier this week.

I’ve been worried about sharing this news; worried in different kinds of ways. I continue to be surprised by the reactions of others. When we announced we were pregnant with Blake, some people were very kind. Other people were not. Kenley and Blake are 17 and ½ months apart. Apparently that was too soon for some who weren’t carrying or raising my children. Go figure.

We were very surprised when found out we’re pregnant for the third time, especially, during such an intense time of grief after Blake’s death.

First, I worry about the typical “Is this your first pregnancy?” questions from strangers. I’m told I look 12 often, so when I say, “No, it’s my third”, people look at me cross eyed. Then, they ask the ages of my children and when I start with “My oldest is 2”, things get even more uncomfortable. Eventually, we get to “My younger daughter would be 1.” Then, they’re feeling awkward and I want to book it.

baby-number-3
Made by Modern Vintage Design

I’m also worried about the slough of questions from people we know. “How did you get pregnant? Was it planned? What would you have done if this baby had SMA?” All questions you shouldn’t ask people, by the way. I’m not sure how it became okay to ask as many questions as you want about someone else’s reproduction. Or questions about plans, like, where will the baby sleep or will I go back to work – future questions are not my thing in this grief journey. I’m just trying to make it through today.

My biggest worry is that people will somehow think that because we’re having another child, Blake doesn’t matter or that everything is okay now. That we’re okay now or we’ve moved on (just so you know, even typing that makes me cringe). I know most people will realize how stupid that is. It’s like saying you stop caring about your first born when your second child comes.

I’ve had lots and lots of weeks to think about all of this.

I’ve come to this conclusion: I don’t give a shit what people think. If you’re out there thinking we’re trying to replace Blake with another baby, you couldn’t be more wrong. You have: A) never lost a child, and B) didn’t know Blake; there is absolutely no replacing that little girl. If you’ve been absent since Blake was diagnosed or since we lost her, just go ahead and stay absent. You can’t only be present and with our family during easier times. I considered saying all that in a nicer way, but no. I think some people out there need to be told to stop being dicks. So… stop being dicks.

This pregnancy has been very difficult. Not at all in the physical sense, either. By number three I’m pretty much a pro on what is coming and how to soothe my pregnancy discomforts. Fortunately, thus far, my pregnancies themselves have been healthy. Emotionally, I’m in a whole new crazy situation. For two straight months I was on the verge of a panic attack. We couldn’t test for SMA until 10 weeks (via CVS test – I will explain more on that later as requested). Then we had to wait for results, given over the phone. The day we were told this baby doesn’t have SMA was an amazing day. A huge weight was lifted, but others remained.

Now we just wait and wait more.

Once the worst happens to you, it opens up a whole new world. I’ve met SO many families since Blake was diagnosed, who have lost their children (sometimes multiple children) from all different kinds of things: infections, stillbirth, SIDS, viruses, heart defects, tumors, and the list is endless. While nothing in this life is guaranteed, when you lose your child, you realize anything can happen. That it could happen to us again.

For now, I try to remain as calm and as mentally healthy as I can. This is for me, baby number 3, Kenley, Jeff and because of Blake. Our recent anatomy ultrasound brought some comfort and a little bit of joy we hadn’t gotten to experience yet.

We are SO grateful, hopeful and terrified, all wrapped into one. Kenley will be as amazing a big sister to her next baby as she was to Blakey. I know Blake would follow in Kenley’s little footsteps.

Here’s to the Reid’s, soon to be family of 5.

10 thoughts on “News

  1. EVERY CHILD is a blessing in their own way and only people who are really insensitive could think one child replaces another. So very very happy for you but understand the emotional roller coaster you must be on. May this pregnancy be smooth and healthy. May God shine his good graces on you and your family and may all the people who act like shits and dicks stay far far away ( oops sorry God..probably shouldn’t have put you in the same sentence but you understand) We have never met but I sincerely hope and pray for all the best for you and your family ..all five of you!!!

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  2. I for one Stephanie am very proud of you for putting it all out there, keep telling stories of Blake, keep sharing her photo’s, her spirit will always live on. Kenley is an amazing big sister & I have no doubt she’ll continue being a loving & caring big sister because of the love you & Jeff share with her. Your family is your rock, you stand on the heights of that rock & always be true to yourself, if others don’t understand, it’s their issues, not yours. Starting up this company in Blake’s honor, keeping her spirit alive, sharing all of it with the world to educate people about SMA is a beautiful thing. You are honest, you have a beautiful soul, and most of all you are loved. Congratulations again on Reid Baby #3 & I am sorry for the idiots out there that are insensitive & unkind.

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  3. As a Mum of a child with a rare disability (my daughter is one of two in the world with her diagnosis) many were ‘aghast’ that we decided to give our gorgeous girl a sibling. Many were worried that her non-inherited disability might happen again. As I said to those commenters, I don’t comment on your family dynamic and how dare you comment on mine. Our choices were our choices and not up with discussion or query.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy and may Kenley and Blake’s forthcoming sibling bring great joy to you all.

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  4. I was shocked at the comments my best friend received from total strangers as the mother of a child who has Down Syndrome. Some people feel rudeness is their right. Blessings to your family and joy. Following your story has moved me and made me a better person. I can’t help but be happy for Kenley. She seems like such a precious child who has lost so much. The baby is a gift. Take solace in the fact that your life experience will never lead you to be as rude as many have been to you.

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  5. Stephanie, you give “one hot mama” a totally different meaning! You carry the love of your children and family like a torch, blazing the way for compassion, love, and education, friendship, and understanding to grow and grow, Bless little Blake for being such a cute little instigator, and bless you all for the pain that goes with all the love. You and your family are so dear. Much love to all of you!

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  6. Aw Stephie, who cares what people think? Joy is joy and it is the reason we all continue. I love you all (family of five) and am proud to be part of your family. You and Jeff and Kenley (and Blakey in her own special way) will welcome this child into a world of love, support, and experience. I will too. So will we all. Do what you do, Sweetheart. You know how. I love you to the moon and back. Or, to quote your mother, I love you more than pie! Stay strong! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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