1

The Next Step

I’m always trying to move from one point to the next, hopefully forging ahead in a helpful direction, and at the very least distracting myself from discomfort.  Looking back on my laboring style, that was a huge problem.  Moving around constantly, trying to stay on top of the contractions, breaking out in complete panic when I could no longer do that.  I had an anxiety attack and needed oxygen and you know, was just a mess in general.  I do that in life too.  I stay on top of my emotions and always move around, trying to shake them off or escape them.  This is a very harmful thing…

So the next step is to stand still. 

I have a lovely friend who had a stillborn.  Incredibly heartbreaking and nearly inconceivable for most, this experience was something she experienced with the most grace you can imagine.  She honored the baby, made a scrap book for him, grieved his loss, and even corrected family members who felt the experience was too uncomfortable to speak about.  “Moving on” looked like child’s play compared to the way she bravely faced the heartbreaking reality and emotions.

She has inspired me today to try and give myself time to process and grieve, and to honor this little lost life.  To not place such value in getting away, moving on, feeling less.

All we have of the pregnancy is an ultrasound photo, taken after the loss, but it’s something.  Zack and I picked out a name.  Blaine- we thought this was a great unisex name, and unique and trendy enough to be in a family with a Gwenna and a Clover.  I think I will make a scrapbook page with Zack and Gwenna, and this will be a good opportunity to explain to her that the baby in mommy’s belly is not going to grow big and come out the way Clover did.  We still haven’t told her.

We are experiencing an outpouring of kindness and support from friends and family, and that has been so valuable.  I appreciate every kind word and prayer.  Although my relationship with God has been very complicated and confusing lately, I like to think there is a heaven where the little one will be able to exist as she was meant to be, have all of the happiness she was meant to have.  And be able to see we all miss her.

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3

A Loss

Long story short, I’m miscarrying.

Monday night I had bleeding and cramping, and when I woke up the next morning I was fine.  Out of confusion, I went to Dr. DuTreil, a very charming and knowledgeable doctor.  The examinations told me that the development of the pregnancy was at least a week behind our calculated dates- dates that there was really no way around.  After this news and scheduling an appointment for next week for a follow-up, the bleeding started heavier.

Even as most signs confirm the miscarriage, pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and light nausea are still hanging around.  Even getting a little more defined.  I’m told this is normal as well, as the body hasn’t completely registered the loss.  Insult to injury, to have the symptoms but no baby.

The process has yet to reach the level of physical discomfort I know it will have, and sometimes these things take way more time than they should be allowed.  I guess that’s why doctors do D&Cs.  Dr. DuTreil talked about options with me, and his tone was most hopeful when he mentioned “just do nothing.”  As I was beginning to plan a homebirth, I can certainly appreciate the idea of letting my body do its own thing.

My first miscarriage happened before I knew there were other options.  It was very early, and even then, the physical aspect of the experience was unforgiving.  This also happened at a time when my entire life was in a state of turmoil- sick family, a breakup, a move.  I think the hormones that were present allowed me to feel the emotions of grief that would have otherwise been too overwhelming in that situation.

Since then, I’ve become much better at avoiding feelings.  So much so that when I am given condolences, I have to adjust to the level of emotion apparent in the giver’s message.  Strange to think that even the doctor is hurting more than I am.  But that’s just the surface of things- it’s not the reality.  This realization prompted me to consider…

Just a few days ago, I was speaking to my daughter’s nanny, explaining that both of my daughters were very specific people who “happened” at a very specific time, and we’d be at such a loss if they hadn’t happened just then, and been just who they are.  Of course this is true for all children.  Who would this baby have been?  The little one would have been very close to Clover in age.  So close that they wouldn’t be able to help their bond.  Irish twins.  This baby was going to surprise us at the birth with whether it was a boy or a girl.  A girl, I think.  As Clover was different from Gwenna in so many ways, even from the very beginning, I imagine this girl as the sleeper we haven’t yet had- the one who sleeps from the night practically from day one.  Maybe she’s slower in reaching her milestones because her sisters spent so much time awake, working on these things, that she is not as intensely interested in.  She is a wind whisper in a hurricane house, and balances our family.  As the baby, she looks up to her sisters and when they cry, maybe because I said we couldn’t go to the zoo immediately, she brings them pretend tea.  Hugs and kisses.

This baby will not ever be that person, or any other.  What the baby is, though, is a reminder that we have two lovely miracles.  A chance for me to cry, and reconsider all the things I do to “get ahead” instead of getting dirty playing.  A chance to look at how distant I’ve been with everyone I love, and compare that person with the one with all these emotions right now… and strive to be this person when my two year old is too tired to do anything but whine in a pitch so high it’s unregistered to all but dog ears, when my husband is distracted by the TV and I need to repeat myself 3 times, when Clover is teething and needs to be held all day.

It seems impossible… but you will be missed.