On October 3rd, 2008, I found out he was alive inside of me.
I was surprised.
I sent my husband this photograph in an email with the subject line, “Ready to rumble?”
The body of the email said, “Here comes the fear, do-do-do-do….”
I was scared.
But also, I was cautiously happy.
Before long, I was full of hope. And dreams. And the future.
My last pregnancy had ended in miscarriage at 5 weeks.
On October 18th, 2008, I had morning sickness for the first time. I have never been so happy to feel so sick.
I turned my arms within and held my baby a little closer, starting to believe I could hold on to that sweetness forever.
On November 10th, 2008, I saw him on a fuzzy, mini-ultrasound.
I saw his heart beating. And that was it. I Believed. He could make it.
We called him Fuzzball.
I thought one day I would be rubbing his head, calling him that.
I began showing. It felt glorious.
On November 24th, 2008, I heard his heart beating. It was vigorous.
In spirit, I jumped over the moon, grabbed a star, and brought it back to earth with me. It glowed inside of me.
Up until the end, I thought he was a girl. Maybe that is because, at a time when I felt like I was filled with snips and snails, he filled me with sugar instead. And spice.
And everything nice.
On December 9th, 2008 I found out he had died.
Everything nice scattered in the wind so quickly.
I saw him on a high quality ultrasound that day. He looked beautiful to me. I wish I could see him again.
I was too shaken up to ask for a print of the image. I regret that so much.
I have a pile of things – a pregnancy test, papers, armbands, photographs. They’re just material things. They are cold. They do not kick me in the stomach. They will never smile at me or hug my neck. But I look at them; I touch them.
I think of him.
On December 16th, 2008, people I hardly knew removed him from my body by way of a cold, surgical procedure. His body was sent for testing.
He was considered biological material.
Biological material. He did not have a name then. He was labeled “the product of conception.” They cultured his cells in a lab.
Davin had Trisomy 13.
I could write a whole essay on this alone, but that will come later.
I wanted to find a boy’s name I liked that meant “Hope.”
Even though I feel very little of it right now, I wanted to name him after the thing I thought I had lost forever, but which he gave me in surplus, even for such a brief time, without receiving anything in return.
And which, I know, will return in time. In part because he taught me that it’s okay to hope again even after you think it’s impossible.
Even if it hurts. Because it tells you that you are alive. And that you want to keep living. And that you believe that each day can be new if you can just let that come back to you.
Instead, we named him Davin, which means “Beloved.”
Forever he will be.
I miss him so.
Ok, so. Since I’ve started talking about the death of this baby, I’ve been letting myself vomit all these emotions and feelings I’ve had onto The Internet. That’s infinitely cool and wonderful for me, personally, and you have all been so supportive. And I’ve been really glad of that. But I’ve also felt just a little, teeny bit uncomfortable, because some of you have said things that I feel give me far too much credit. Like that I’m really strong, or handling things with grace, etc.
And while I am incredibly touched by the kindness and love in those kinds of comments and messages, I have to be honest and tell you that I am really, really not strong or graceful. I’m just emotional and mouthy.
I let all these things flow because I’m weak, and needy, and insecure and unsure and I’m searching for meaning and grasping at anything that might make me feel better.
And I really have to do exactly what I always say I do (be honest and real here), or I’ll be a total asshole. Yes, I let myself be really emotional, and I am sharing with you guys these big, fat, weepy, sentimental thoughts I’ve been having.
I haven’t really typed any of the ugly yet.
Oh.Mah.Gah, the ugly feelings. The ugly, ugly thoughts I have. To be sure, I’m experiencing plenty of anger, shock, and bitterness. I am, by no means, immune to The Big Fat Ugly side of this whole thing.
In fact, I’m an Expert at The Big Fat Ugly.
The Oh So Not Strong OR Graceful Moments of late:
- On Thursdays they show shots of babies born that day, at a local hospital (the one at which Braden was born), on TV. I saw this the Thursday after finding out Fuzzball was dead, and busted out crying, snotting all over the couch, in a heap. When John came over to comfort me, I had the gall to wipe away my tears and tell him I was crying because those babies were so damn ugly. (Graceful much?)
- I was reading blog posts about ordinary things this past week… and seeing people complain about… regular stuff, and gee, that is normal and that is what we all do, yes? But right now, I am rolling in and out of The Ugly, Bitter Phase. I have been biting my fingers not to say things on these blog posts like, “Oh, Really? You’re upset b/c you’re leaking vaginally after you gave birth to a healthy baby? F YOU. I’m wearing pads and leaking after having my dead baby scraped out of me. Go hug your baby and shut up.” (And really, all apologies, b/c the post was great, there was nothing wrong with it at ALL. It’s just ME right now. I HATE feeling this way.)
- Braden has been really “2” this past week. More than once I have just covered my face and ears and just started breathing really hard, instead of responding when he was freaking out about something. As if he doesn’t need me. As if I’M the child here. I don’t know what I’d do if John wasn’t home right now. (Strong? Hah.)
- I completely, totally, insanely lost it and shrieked at John about his french fry selection when he brought dinner home one night. Then I refused to sit anywhere near him for at least the next 10 minutes to teach him a lesson. Later, I realized what a douchebag I had been. FRENCH FRIES. Ugh.
- I really, really, really, really, really, REALLY cannot handle people saying ANYTHING to me about God right now. This includes how I should feel about/towards Him, how I should be reacting Faithwise, what He has planned for the future, or why He let this happen, etc. I know people don’t know WHAT to say at a time like this, and are just trying to help… but in all honesty (that’s what I’m trying to do here) I am PISSED OFF. I am REALLY REALLY hurt and REALLY REALLY mad right now. Please just let me be mad and hurt right now. I have a right to feel this way. I don’t know how long it will take before I work it out. But I AM SAD, MAD, AND CONFUSED.
For the record, I have not resented anyone else for being pregnant right now – or for actually having healthy babies. Seeing complaints about issues surrounding pregnancy/birth makes me twitch a little, yes. But there is no actual resentment.
Mostly, I just feel sorrow when I think about the ladies I was supposed to “have a baby” with.
Like her (the first baby I lost would have been close to the one she’s about to have).
And look at all these ladies on my Pregnancy Roundup. I had so many plans to do fun things for them, celebrations and updates and photos and… well, I just can’t do it now. I can’t make myself do it anymore, and that makes me all kinds of Angry.
It’s the Big Fat Ugly.
The result has been that I lost 15 lbs and FINALLY made it back to my pre-baby weight! It’s about time, considering that Braden is very, very close to his 2 year birthday.
It’s kind of hard to keep calling it “baby-weight” once your kid can walk, talk, and count.
I’ve been fitting back into clothes I haven’t worn since 2005 and I’ve been feeling pretty darn good about myself. Being back at the weight I was when I got pregnant with Braden feels really good.
And I’m glad I really enjoyed it, for the short time I got to experience it again.
Braden has another chance to be a big brother, it seems!
This past week there have been signs… tenderness, bloating (already? gee.), increased hunger (also already? great.), olfactory sensitivity. A week ago, I knew that Braden, who was on the second floor, had dirtied his diaper. I was on the first floor. Hai, Pregnancy Nose!
This past Friday morning I did the ole’ Pee On A Steek test, and it confirmed that there is a tiny life beginning a journey inside of me. It’s been about 4 weeks since first day of last period (I’m sure you wanted to know)… so the pregnancy is considered to be about 4 weeks along (though conception probably occurred about 2 weeks ago).
I know some of you are wondering why the hell I would tell everyone so early. Especially since Baby Number 2’s journey ended in miscarriage just 5 months ago. The answer is simple: it’s just not in my nature to pretend things are anything other than what they are, or to hide things that are a big deal to me.
I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared. Nervous. Apprehensive. A tiny bit freaked out. Periodically on the verge of tears. Gassy as hell. (Well, it’s true. I am one HORRIBLY Gassy Preggie.)
But I am also excited and hopeful. I’m choosing not to let the fear consume me. To that effect, I can’t pretend I’m not pregnant. I can’t not share it with you guys! It would be like saying I’m expecting the worst, instead of believing for the best.
Oh, and yeah, I’m going to put one of those creepy baby widgets on the sidebar again. Because I’m sure it will skeeve a few of you, and that kind of makes me smirk.
Check out my lil’ 3D stomach alien on the left sidebar, folks!
By the way, I’m super thrilled to have discovered, on the same day I found out I was pregnant, that this gorgeous woman is pregnant with me and due around the same time! Look for dueling belly updates in the future. 😉
PS: Here’s one of those semi-obnoxious tickers, too. What can I say? I’m cheesy like that.
As I write this post, it is Tuesday morning.
John and I have waited since Saturday night for news about our baby.
I started bleeding on Saturday night.
The experience continued through the weekend and into Monday. I won’t describe it in detail.
I had blood tests on Monday. The results we got this morning confirmed the worst.
It was a miscarriage.
The baby I had already begun to love is gone.
I feel rather empty, in more ways than one.
I need to go hold my son very tightly and be held very tightly by my husband.
I may not post for awhile – not sure. I appreciate your patience and understanding while I carefully fold another Swan.