Late at night on Sunday, December 7th, I wrote this article, for Deep South Moms Blog, about what it feels like to face the holiday season with the first instance of the due date of my miscarried baby looming. When I miscarried back in April, I knew Christmas Eve would never be the same. That is when that first lost baby was due.
As I wrote the piece, I was reflecting on how far I’ve come since those first few days after losing the baby back in April. The utter hopelessness. The anger. The confusion and pain. I realized that the pain is so deep, it’s as if it will never go away completely… but over time, it somehow becomes easier to live with, and serves to remind me to be more thankful of the loved ones I still have in my life.
It has been almost 8 months since that first miscarriage, and I was just feeling like I had come out on the other side of the deepest of the immediate grief. And I knew that it was in part due to the passage of time, and the love and kindness of family and friends. In part it has been due to my being lucky enough to be able to write about my feelings and emotions here, and receive support from all of you. (Have I said thank you? Really. Thank you so much.)
I was feeling something I haven’t felt for awhile.
But what’s really bitter now is that a large part of my renewed hope came from the fact that I had a new life within me. A life that was crossing into the second trimester of a pregnancy that I had not even expected, but that I was starting to believe was meant to help me heal.
I spent weeks upon weeks feeling tense. I spent almost 3 months checking my underwear multiple times a day, and staring at the toilet paper every single time I wiped.
Slowly, so so slowly, the tension had just started to recede.
I had seen and heard his tiny heart beating, quickly, with vigor. He was healthy, and moving. He was ALIVE. He was going to make it, damnit. He really was.
Surely, so so surely, the tension has just started to recede.
I found myself leaving the restroom and realizing, after the fact, that I hadn’t looked at my underwear. I hadn’t checked my toilet paper.
I believed. I wasn’t just saying I believed. I really did.
It felt so good.
And then on Tuesday morning, December 9th, everything fell apart around me (us).
It was as if I’d been walking carefully on a thin sheet of glass suspended over a black abyss for months, but somehow, I’d just started to believe it was cement, and I started tap-dancing. The bottom fell out – the floor exploded, and all I had to grab for as I fell were shards of glass that cut my hands as I dropped into the abyss.
No heartbeat on the fetal doppler for us to hear.
No little, pulsing muscle in his tiny chest for me to see on mini-ultrasound.
My lovely doctor trying so hard over and over to find it. My lovely doctor getting visibly frustrated, upset, but still trying and trying. My lovely doctor giving up and telling me she was so so sorry.
Ohhh, my inability to believe this was happening… and ohhhh, my immense guilt over believing for so long that it would end this way, anyway.
And Oh, my Anger that it actually did.
My hope? Gone.
No heartbeat on a full blown ultrasound.
I stared at the screen, at his tiny body inside of me.
People, he looked beautiful and perfect on that high-tech ultrasound screen. I saw his little body facing me, as if he was looking at me to say goodbye. His tiny little arms and legs were there, framing the perfect little body in the middle.
Framing the perfect, little, middle part, where everything was silent and still.
Not really so perfect at all.
Every night since then, I’ve stayed up late, so late, doing ridiculous things like working on my website redesign. Things that I can blur my mind with. I’ve stayed up until my eyes just couldn’t see straight anymore, until I just couldn’t hold them open anymore, so that when I did lay down in bed, I’d fall right asleep.
I’m not ready for the thoughts that will come in the quiet darkness.
Every morning when I’ve awoken, I’ve had that horrible moment when I realize that, Yes, this reality is my reality. There is still a dead baby in my womb.
And when they take him from me on this Tuesday morning, I don’t know what I’ll have left to do but start to move on.
And that is the saddest thing of all.
And I’m sorry about that.
No heartbeat at yesterday’s prenatal appointment.
Based on size, Fuzzball made it to 11 weeks, 4 days.
In a sense, there’s nothing more to say.
And still, there’s so much more to say.
So little desire.
So nice to be home
but soon we will leave again -
I feel like I need
a good trip to a Spa to
get over last trip.
Anyone want to
buy me a massage, facial?
I didn’t think so.
Getting to spend time
with family is worth it…
but DAMN, the drive sucks.
Was thinking of a
larger family car soon…
But now I’m thinking
a cab with divider glass
is the way to go.
At least I can buy
a set of earplugs before
we leave this next time.
And maybe also
a large bottle of some nice,
groovy, sleeping pills.
Once I start taking the belly shots, you better watch out. I am prone to getting carried away.
So here is The Belly at 10weeks, 2days. Orange to celebrate Fall!
Also, with Rack. Cause you know you wanted it.
November Rack Shot is here.
- Being an “Internet Pee Holder” has never been more difficult. (You know you do it, too.)
- I want to take eleventy-seven naps a day. Braden is getting sick of the closet.
- The nausea is fading now (Booyah!) and I never threw up. And I want to eat all day long. Bring on the fatness, oh yeah, baby. (I am NOT a skinny pregnant woman.)
- I really, really need to do Kegels. Pee-Pee Leaky No Sexay.
- Everything makes me cry. All shows which involve danger to a baby should be banned or I might die. Dog food commercials and grocery store fliers are even a danger, for crying out loud.
- When you are reeeeee-heeeee-leeeeee tiiiiired, shaving is SO overrated. If you don’t do it for a month, look like a freaking APE, and your husband literally tells you that’s disgusting, you should continue to not do it just out of spite. Even if you were totally about to do it the next day. Asshole.
- It is evil to be pregnant around Halloween. I HATE ALL the trick-or-treaters who DIDN’T come to my house, and left me with all the candy, which, by law, I am forced to consume myself now.
- I don’t drink caffeine during the first trimester. Just my thing. But I WOULD KILL FOR SOME COFFEE, OMG, I MIGHT CRY SOON.
- John looked at me wrong several times this past couple of months. I have devised at least 4 fool-proof ways of killing him such that no one could ever discover his remains. Unfortunately, he does not have a life insurance policy. Tooooootal murder buzz-kill.
- My boobs were one of the first things to “symptom up” with Braden. This time, no soreness… until NOW. Thanks, Braden, for tweaking my nipple and leading me to this tender discovery.
- Oh, and yeah, The Rack Is Expanding. Bow-Chicka.
- Unfortunately, so is my ass. Badonka.
When I showed off Fuzzball the other day, I didn’t mention “her” measurements. (We’ll come back to the “her” thing). The doctor informed me that she took measurements and they date the baby at 8weeks and 2 days (as of last Monday, 11.10.08).
Which is off, thank you very much, based on the “automatic” calculations done for pregnancy length based on first day of last period. According to that, the baby was about 9weeks and 1 day. It’s also off based on when I felt myself ovulate, September 19.
Ladies, can you feel it when you ovulate? Ever since the miscarriage, I felt it more precisely than ever before, complete with what’s called “Mittelschmerz.” There was actually a pain in the ovary that was releasing the egg, and I could feel it very distinctly.
On September 19, I was grocery shopping alone, getting really annoyed at the “mittelschmerz” pain while I tried to walk around grabbing food. John and I had sex before that day, not after (sorry for the TMI) so conception probably occurred on that day. Which would date the gestation at 7weeks 3 days on 11.10.08 – or with the arbitrary 2 weeks they add for your “Pregnancy,” we were at 9 weeks 3 days.
But she said the baby measured 8 weeks 2 days.
SO, they’re dating my kid a full week younger than I’m pretty darn sure she is, just based on size. Which I think is kind of weird. But to me it just means she’s small for age. And I’m hoping that’s okay.
Here’s a much too graphic photo of my midsection. Like my underwear? Yeah, baby, I live for TMI.
About the “her” and “she” thing – that’s just the feeling I have. I’ve felt that it’s a girl ever since very early in the pregnancy, and I have no really strong scientific reasons why I feel that way – it’s just a “feeling.”
Things that other people would point to for “proof” would be:
- sex several days before ovulation is more likely to result in a girl than a boy. Supposedly, Boy Sperm swim faster, but Girl Sperm are stronger and live longer.
- Heart-rate over 140 is more likely to be a girl (the heart-rate was 180). Oops, this is actually false, but is a popular myth. There is actually no correlation between heart-rate and gender. A boy is just as likely to have a heart-rate of 180!
Regardless, I automatically think “she” when I refer to the baby and it’s not because of anything in particular that I can describe or explain to you. It’s just… because. I know, I’m being incredibly scientific and highly persuasive here, right? Oh well.
I’ll let you you know after the 20 week ultie.
And if “she” has a penis, then we’ll all just know that I’m officially full of shit.
After I told the blogosphere I was pregnant, I started noticing that I seem to be bumping into quite a lot of preggies around The Interwebz!
And there are so many of us all milling around that I’m having a hard time keeping track.
So, if you’re pregnant, Belly Up to The Linky!
Leave your name and due date in the name form on the linky (and your URL in the other, of course).
If you don’t have a website, you can still enter name and due date in the linky!
(Please only sign the linky if YOU or significant other are pregnant. In other words, when baby is born, YOU will be a parent.)
Maybe we can all have a chocolate night together. Or Tums. Whatevs.
My child is weird.
He likes to dump out all the toys in this collapsible container and put it on his head. Often, he sits on this zebra when he does it.
He does it with such frequency that I have stopped even putting the toys back into the container. (Choose your battles.)
I love that little weirdo!
What quirky little behaviors endear your little ones to you?