Today I am sharing the story of my first miscarriage (2002). Between my son and my daughter. I was actually pregnant with her so quickly after the miscarriage (1 1/2 -2 weeks later) that I spent half of the pregnancy not sure if she was one of a twin because she measured very small. I was very sick while pregnant with her too, anemic and dehydrated, and spent my whole pregnancy terrified I would lose her as well. It caused me to have attachment issues with her. I was scared to hope and lose another baby.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
The smells permeate her nose sharp and distasteful. The hustle surrounds her as she finishes the rounds on her hall, fighting the sharp pain in her side. She stops finally in the bathroom and prays the certainty growing in her mind is wrong.There it is, the tell tale spot and as her heart stops beating in her chest, she curls her fingers reflexively around her stomach. My baby.
She pulls the cloak of calm around her like a barrier and makes a beeline for the phone. One desperate call to the doctor later, she sits with clammy hands and a racing pulse waiting for the return call.When she gets the calm impersonal voice back on the phone, it says they want to see her for an appointment. Once again her heart stutters to a halt and she mechanically goes through her chain of command and once free she heads for the door on auto pilot. She imagines she must have driven there because she is behind the wheel as the car glides to a stop in the parking space, though she cannot for the life of her remember the road.
Two days she had defied him, two days she risked his wrath to try to prevent this very thing. She climbed numbly into her aunt’s van. They were on their way to the hospital. She stared out the window unseeing and started violently when the woman beside her spoke. “Do you know what today is?”
She stared at the woman for a moment as her brain chugged sluggishly into gear. “Uh, Friday?”. The woman chortled softly and prodded “Yeah but Friday the what?” The connection was made and resentment sprung to life as she glared contemptuously. When the woman turned to look at her all expression was smoothed from her face. She half smiled and said “That figures”. Her aunt laughed and said “Friday the thirteenth isn’t a terribly good day for this.”
“No sh!t Sherlock,” she muttered softly to herself. All her nerves were on fire both physically and mentally and her aunt was only making it worse. Why in heavens name would anyone with half a heart or brain even mention something like that? As if the dread in her heart wasn’t enough, let’s toss in the random dire portent. “Yeah I’ve read this plot line'” she thought bitterly.
The next thing that roused her from her benumbed state was lying in the dark in a gown, worn soft by all the washings. The ultrasound machine hummed to life and the cool air brushed across her cheeks making her shiver. The tech beside her uttered not a word as she pour on the warmed jelly and ran the wand across her belly that had barely begun to curve. She could see the amniotic fluid as a dark blotch on the screen, but the ominous silence hung dreadfully in her ears. Without a word to either her or the woman that sat next to her, strung tightly wound but blessedly silent, the tech left after instructing her to return to the room she was in before. Then her companion began to utter all the charming endearments we find spill heedless from the mouths of those outside the sucking black.
She felt drunk on dread, empty and scared. She knew he was at home, uncaring except for the burden of watching their small son. There was no comfort for her there. She was in the brightly lit, cheerless room; more fit for a holding cell. The bustle of the emergency room continued heedless of the way she drew taunt in expectation any time footsteps sounded outside her curtain. Finally, in strode the dark small man, he could barely bother to look at her as he uttered the pronouncement. “It is confirmed you are losing your baby”.
She thought she died in that moment, so heavy was the wall of pain and despair. Thru the haze she heard her aunt gasp, then watched the doctor’s head jerk up. His eyes were wide and horrified. “Oh my god, I thought the tech told you something”. He began to apologize profusely, though she scarcely heard it over the deep wracking sobs she heard coming from far away. Only barely did she realize it was her own voice that made them.The shell that remained of her, sat silent as stone, tears running down her pale cheeks, made ghostly in this moment.
The trip to the store for the prescriptions and the stop for a pack of smokes at her dull command seemed to be as pictures on a screen, as if she watched herself at the movies. When they arrived home, she stood uncertainly outside the van and spoke over her shoulder without looking, “Wait for me, till I see what will happen”. Her aunt made a noise of agreement, neither voicing what they knew to be the truth. It would not be pretty. For a long, dark, soul searching moment, she stared at the house. Every light in it was off and she knew what he would say, how he would react. The desperate corners of her soul begged for even a glimpse of light she knew in her heart would be denied her once more.
She entered slowly and quietly and when she paused in the doorway she heard his voice bite out of the darkness. “Where the fuck have you been?”. She felt the lash bite in and leave another welt upon her soul, but she was beyond the pain of that now. She was one of the walking dead. “I was at the hospital. I’m losing our baby”. Her voice was soft and pleading as she stared at the immobile back before her. “You mean you aren’t done yet?” She thought she was immune but the words cut her deeply and swiftly, in that moment slicing the thread that had been the love left for him. It vanished in the blink of an eye and she wondered for a second where it had fled so fast. “I need you. Say something, anything and I will stay. I need you dammit”. She heard his snort of disgust and could see in her minds eye the sardonic smirk that curved his mouth though she could only hear it this time. “Being a bitch isn’t the way to get anything from me”. She stared for one long moment at his immobile form, still facing away from her then grabbed her bag and walked out.
She returned to the van without an explanation, the woman did not need one. When they arrived at her aunt’s home, she stumbled out of the vehicle and collapsed on the front porch. “Please I need to call my mother.” When she sat gripping the phone in her hand she lit a cigarette and dialed the number. She sat praying silently and was grateful to hear her mother answer. Please God, let her be understanding, I couldn’t stand another rejection right now.……”I’m losing the baby mom”. She heard her mother weeping on the line. “I wish I was there for you sweetie”
She cried in sheer joy, her mother had never seemed to understand, to connect with her when she needed the softer side, always harsh and blunt. She grieved with her mother and the pain subsided a bit. They talked for a while until her stomach began to hurt in earnest. “I have to go mom, I love you”. She sat looking at the stars smoking and grieving and wondering why for what seemed like forever.
When the moment finally came for her angel to go to heaven she could not physically deal. Crying hysterically she called out for her aunt who rushed to her side. She heard the sound of rushing water come from behind her and felt the motherly arms of her aunt around her. She curled in upon herself.
She lost their child that night, alone in the darkness.
She thought. A hand smoothed her brow as a mother does a child, though she was grown and a mother herself and she floated slowly into the blessed relief of sleep. The agony in her soul was sharp. She grieved the loss of her child, she grieved the loss of him undeserving of it as he may be, she grieved the loss of the dream she had of family and happily ever after. After all, maybe he was right. Maybe it was all her fault.
Drifting in the final moments of lucid thought it echoed, “you will never be good enough…………. you will never be good enough”. A tear slid silently into her hair.
It was definitely one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. I have gone through two others in the last 3 years. It’s hard to talk about and to find people who are comfortable talking about something like this, let alone understanding it. Maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much time alone and scared if I had known where to go. If I had had someone tell their story and offer their hand. Please know you are not alone. Just because your child has gone to heaven does not mean you aren’t still a parent. That loss hurts too. It is okay to think about them and to talk about them. Please feel free to contact me or find a group called Miscarriage Matters on Facebook. Click their name and follow the link. You are never alone.
Until we meet again my friends, stay safe, be blessed and know you are loved.