Inside the Outside
A few of my friends have suffered miscarriages and still births recently, and several of my friends have lost babies in the past. Losing a child is a heartbreaking, world changing thing no matter at what stage or age the child. When you are looking forward to life with this little person, moving ahead once that dream is shattered is a challenge for both mothers and fathers.
I thought we were losing Thor right after we found out we were expecting him. That’s part of how he got his nickname. Not only had he prevailed against birth control, he had prevailed against a flood of cough syrup and a Zpack–you know, because I thought I had the flu, not a case of the babies. He was a mighty Viking in the making, and I pictured him in there, wearing his horned helment and hanging on to my insides with his pic axe. The Mighty Thor was born, both figuratively and literally, healthy and wonderful. However, for those days I thought he might be losing his grip on the axe, I was frantic.
Like many women, I think I became a mother the moment the stripe turned pink on the pregnancy test. Immediately, I was someone’s mother. It was my job to protect and nurture this life. I changed my diet. I changed my patterns. I gave up coffee! I gave up coffee (which is probably why I was always so irritated with Ryan slurping his in the next cubicle–I had jealousy!)
When I thought I was losing my baby, I went to the doctor to find out what I could do to save it. Would I need to stand on my head? Did I need a cork? Could I drink something? Take a pill? Lie in bed for 8 more months? Yoga? Meditation? Animal sacrifice? Oh yeah, I’d have gone there.
The doctor was removed and pragmatic. He was pulling off his rubber gloves and he said, “At this poing, there’s nothing we can do. If you’re going to lose it, you’re going to lose it.” Then, he sent my shellshocked self to the nurse for bloodwork, and that poor girl was new. She told me all about how many pregnancies end in miscarriage, I guess hoping to make me feel not so alone in my probable fate? She figured out that was not helping when I burst into tears.
I found a new doctor. Thor hung in there. We have a lovely boy.
Back last September, I got a new pink stripe on a pregnancy test.
People ask me if we plan to have other children pretty frequently. I don’t think they are being rude. It’s just conversation. I have one child, so I must not be opposed to the idea of children, and if I am not, then might I not want more? I would love to have more children. It just hasn’t worked out that way.
So, back in September, we got excited. We had our moment of shock, and I did my dance of trying to pretend it wasn’t that big a deal because when things are really important to me, I am a weirdo. We had about 24 hours of being very excited, talking about names, and a new nickname–just enough time to fall in love with the idea and the potential for reality. It was a Saturday. I planned to call the doctor on Monday and make an appointment. But, on Sunday all the plans changed. It simply was not to be.
I was too sad to talk about it at the time. I told a couple of select people, but I didn’t even tell my therapist about it. I sat on her couch just a few days later and thought, “I should be talking about this, but it seems silly. It wasn’t dramatic. It wasn’t even a big enough deal to go to the hospital. It’s over and done, and nothing can change it. Why talk about it? Why trivialize what other women go through, when this was such a simple-to-lose loss?”
You all know that I’m not an “all things happen for a reason” person. I’m a “sometimes shit happens” person. I have faith in biology, and oddly enough, in natural selection. It simply was not to be. And, it was simply sad. And, quite simply, I was broken-hearted.
So why talk about it now? Because you all also know that I am a “talks about everything eventually” person. It all comes out sooner or later, and because my friends who have so recently suffered have said, it helps to know someone gets it. Because it’s the damnedest thing how attached you can get to something that isn’t the size of the head of a pin, and what a huge hole that pinprick leaves when it goes.
There is joy in remembering the excitement, though. And joy in the knowledge that the capacity to love is endless. And joy in other friends who are expecting.
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