It was one year ago on Thanksgiving that I awoke early to check the turkey and to begin preparing the rest of the meal. I was cutting the bread into little cubes and leaned against the counter. I felt the presence of the pregnancy in the first "real" way. Up until then the evidence was known only through the hormonal cues. I was emotionally off my rocker and was able to sleep, to laugh or to cry in an instant. I had been pushing the knowledge of the pregnancy to one side for many days. We had decided that we would wait until Christmas Day to tell our families and it was fun to daydream about different ways of announcing the pregnancy. It was a special feeling to know that Handsome and I had the secret and only a couple of others knew. Our families would have to wait.
It was one year ago on Saturday that I let myself work on a firm plan…I had decided that a movie poster announcement would be fun. I picked the photo…I worked on the text…and that afternoon I began to cramp and bleed. Fear entered in and shut-down the fun.
It was one year ago and we lost the baby. We never met him. We never even got to see a shape in the ultrasound. It is still a miracle though. We got to see the place where the pregnancy was forming…the egg sack…evidence that the pregnancy was underway…evidence that it wasn't our imaginations…evidence.
The grieving is confusing. I am a mother! Or, am I a mother? That is the strange part of pre-term miscarriage. It is a grief that belongs to the couple but others never felt what we felt. Others didn't see the pregnancy tests. Others never got to "see" the reality.
I write this post because I don't want to be sensitive about it. I had a relative bring it up on Thanksgiving Day. She said that she had heard that my feelings were hurt and she explained to me that probably nobody knew what to say. I suppose that is true. I didn't even know what to say. I had to wonder what made her bring it up finally.
The miscarriage lasted almost a week and a half. I eventually had to have a D & C in order to finish what my body couldn't. A couple of days later, my emotional world began to collapse into a pile of emotions that were hard to manage. These emotions resisted the truth…resisited hope…resisted kindness…resisted understanding…resisited the familiar. I learned a lot about myself as a result. I learned that rigid answers don't heal folks.
This issue has not allowed for creativity at all. This journey has been very much about survival. It stripped me of my pat answers and has given me a new perspective on the issues in the lives of others which I might have once thought "minor" and of no consequence. This journey with the miscarriage is teaching me compassion (but it would be untruthful to say that I have become compassionate) and I need this lesson.
The journey of wanting to have a baby and then being pregnant has left me with something else. This thing seems to be more significant than anything else. (Someday I will have to tell you the backstory for what I write next but I can't do that right now. It is 3:45 a.m. and I really need to finish my processing for the night.) I have been left with a gift. I am a woman and belong to the tribe of women. I loved my husband and we got pregnant. THAT is a miracle. I found out I was pregnant the week of my 44th birthday. It defies statistics. It was a blessing to our union. The marriage and pregnancy didn't make me a woman…but revealed to me my place. It isn't a curse. It is good. Being a woman in my marriage with the man who pursued me for years to get me…it is very affirming and I am lucky to have him. Together, we have a child. Our child is waiting for us.