I knew deep down that I would end up writing this post, but I pushed it off as my normally neurotic mind trying to drive myself insane. Just like I suddenly knew I was pregnant, I knew something was going wrong. I could no longer identify what I thought the sex was. I had always thought girl- but then suddenly, I just didn’t feel anything.
My doctor’s appointment on June 4th confirmed that the baby’s heart had stopped beating only a few days before.
There isn’t a word to describe the devastation that I feel. I cannot understand how my baby’s strong heartbeat at 8 weeks just stopped at 11 weeks, one or two days; the doctor wasn’t quite sure when.
I walked around knowing I was carrying my lifeless child in me for a week.
I tried to do things that I would have wanted her (maybe him) to see. I went and stared at the Gulf of Mexico. I told her (or him) about how her (or his) daddy and I picked sea shells along the Gulf, all the way down to Venice, to use at the reception for our wedding. I told her (him) that we forgot most of them at home before we left for our St. Augustine wedding.
We went to the nearby Botanical Gardens, where on Christmas Eve 2014 I walked along the paths lit with Christmas lights and thought ‘Maybe this time next year I’ll be pushing a stroller’. I love the gardens. I love the plants and the beauty and tranquility I feel when I’m there. We saw a red dragonfly sitting quietly on a lily pad. A quick Google search told me that the red dragonfly is extremely rare, and brought a mixed omen: one of eternal love and one of death. For a brief moment, I thought that brought me some sort of solace.
I had a D&C on the 10th.
I went back to work on the 18th. I don’t think I was ready. Sometimes, I still don’t think I’m ready. What I want to do is sit at home and stare blankley at the TV, only I’m out of sick and vacation days, and the fertility treatments drained my savings. Instead, I walk around my hospital and care for my patients, perhaps better now than ever, because I’m trying to atone for what I feel is my greatest failure: being unable to care for my child.
The nurse in me knows that I did nothing wrong, and that miscarriage is unfortunately all too common: as many as 25% of women will experience a miscarriage. That’s 1 in 4 women. This doesn’t make me feel any better. It doesn’t make me feel any worse.
I think about the baby I thought I would have. I thought about taking her (him) to their first trip to the pool, wearing a big floppy hat to protect their face from the sun. I saw her (his) chubby little face laughing and splashing in the pool.
I hate my imagination.
I sit waiting for the chromosomal tests to come back. I fear that they messed up the tests and I’ll get a call that they weren’t performed, or worse yet, there is no reason they could find that my baby is dead. I wish I never read the pathology report, because I can’t unread what was left of my child.
I sit trying to write a research paper for school on whether or not the rights of reproductive freedom should be upheld. Just thinking of the word reproductive makes it impossible to think straight. I’ll turn it in late, and not really care about what grade I get.
I get panic attacks sitting in the OB’s office, where very pregnant women, and women with brand new babies, come prancing through the doors without a care in the world. I try to remind myself that I don’t know their story; that they could have been me a year ago- lost and drowning in ‘what if’s’. It doesn’t make the ache any less. They should have a room where women like me, who are days out from having their soul removed, can go and sit and cry in peace. Instead I stood and cried in the hall, wishing I had made my husband take the day off of work.
I’ve already met with my fertility specialist on when to resume treatments. I’m just going through the motions of everything I know I’m supposed to do because I hope, eventually, I will actually feel like doing them.
I try to eat. I try to focus. I try to smile, and not sound like an emotionless robot when I talk. I’m on autopilot.
I try not to get angry when people use the phrase “It wasn’t meant to be” or “At least you know you can get pregnant”, or “God has a plan for everything”. I know people are well meaning when offering sympathy. Only I don’t understand what plan could anyone have that would include this happening, or this women who so easily got pregnant and killed her children, while I struggled for just one?
My religious beliefs have always been fluid, changing as I age, but I in no way believe any benevolent deity would intentionally plan such pain.
I guess I spend the majority of my time hanging out in the ‘anger’ stage of the 5 stages of grief.
It isn’t fair. There is nothing I can do to change this.
I now sit waiting to be blessed with a rainbow baby, a term I wish I knew nothing about.