Every time I start writing this post, something comes up. Maybe I’m not meant to write about it, maybe I should just hold it in my heart. Or maybe it’s because there’s not much to tell, it happened so fast. Looking back it almost seemed like the blink of an eye….I got pregnant, got excited, and then bam…it was over. My story also feels very intertwined with my friend’s story, as so many feelings for and about her swirled around me the entire three weeks or so this took place.
I guess the starting point would be before I even found out I was pregnant. When my close friend’s baby died during her 14th week of pregnancy last November, our whole circle of friends was shaken to the core. This was the first time any of us had close ties with someone experiencing this kind of loss (my aunt had several miscarriages during my youth, but I really didn’t get “it” then), and we all grieved with her. I cried and cried for her/with her, her baby boy, her family. I cried until I could cry no more and then, I cried even more. I was surprised at the many facets of grief and how loss affects SO MANY parts of your life in ways you never expected.
Flash forward to March, when I found out I was pregnant. My very first thought was, “Oh no, what about M?”. There were a lot of other thoughts going on too, which I wrote about here, but I kept going back to feeling like I had taken away something from my friend. I kept thinking about how much she longed for a baby, how hard Noah’s death had been for her, and how awful it was that her baby died and Oops! I got pregnant. How unfair is that??!! It wasn’t supposed to be my turn yet, it was hers and it felt wrong that I should get to have a baby before her.
I told her as gently as I could, by just stating the facts and letting her process. She had a few days to think about it before we saw each other, and when we did we hugged and cried. I felt very relieved that she knew and we had talked. The guilt and sadness were still there, but not nearly as much as it had been.
A few days later, I was doing some yoga and all of a sudden I felt wet. Knowing how juicy I tend to be during pregnancy, I wasn’t immediately concerned. I went to the bathroom anyway, and to my horror it was blood. I yelled for Mike and started crying. It was over and I knew it. And again, my dominant thought was “Oh no, what about M?”. How could I not only take away her “turn” in pregnancy but now I was going to have a miscarriage too?! This was so wrong and unfair.
We called the midwife, who suggested an herbal tincture and lots of rest to see if we could stop it. I did as she suggested, even though I knew it was no good. I knew it. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t make a decision. I laid on the couch with my laptop, watching the world go on.
Physically, there wasn’t much. I was barely 9 weeks along. I felt cramping that seemed to have a somewhat regular pattern, and eventually a clottish looking form came out. It had a dark spot, but after close inspection and some research, I think what I saw was not what an 8 or 9 wk. baby-start should have looked like. The whole process, from start to finish, probably took only a few hours. Colin nursed incessantly the entire time, which I think was probably beneficial for me ~ physically, at least. It was a very strange time, I knew he was probably helping but I couldn’t stop thinking that if he would just STOP nursing maybe this baby could hang on in there.
I was surprise by how hollow I felt. I think that (and probably the initial realization that my pregnancy was over without a baby) was quite possibly the worst feeling. Empty where I shouldn’t have been.