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Elephant in the Room

On my birthday, I spent the afternoon shopping for a dress to wear to one of my best friend’s funeral.

It sucked. It was difficult. I hated it.

That weekend felt like it lasted months, yet only hours, all at the same time. Even today, as I write this, it’s hard for me not to pick up my phone and text him something ridiculous that I just saw on television. He was among the first friends I made when I moved from Michigan to Tennessee in Jr. High.  I miss him. His laugh. Our entire conversation about the exhaust system on my Jetta still makes me laugh out loud. My heart had just started to slowly, slowly mend.

That Monday night after I had gotten home, I was feeling particularly ill. On a whim, my husband came home with a pregnancy test and I took it upstairs, slightly numb to the process. My husband and I have been married seven years. Five years ago, I had an unknown ectopic pregnancy that ruptured. Thankfully, it happened while I was awaiting an ultra sound and I was whisked off to the ER for emergency surgery, my life spared. Physically recovering from that process took awhile, but emotionally, it took years. That’s not even a joke. I would say that just within the past year, I felt back to myself. I could hold your baby. I could knit precious little things for them. I could go to your baby shower and not fall apart in the car afterwards.  We quit trying to have a baby years ago and began to look forward to other milestones.

So when I hiked up the stairs to take that pregnancy test, I thought nothing of it. My buddy had passed away just four days prior. My heart was still broken and I chalked up my ill feeling to the stress of that, plus those few Makers Mark’s we’d all shared on Saturday and Sunday night. Yet, as I sat on the toilet, there it was….

Two very solid lines.

I grabbed the instructions to verify.

Yep.

Pregnant.

Very, very pregnant.

I couldn’t believe it. I sobbed for a good five minutes before making it downstairs to tell my husband. He cried. I cried more. Then we both cried for what felt like the rest of the day. How could this be? In all honesty, I wouldn’t allow myself to feel any sort of excitement, just because I’d read so many articles about miscarriage or chemical pregnancies or ectopics. I wasn’t going to believe it until my doctor confirmed and I saw life on a black and white screen.

Three days later, I saw.

Teenie tiny little life just floating around in my womb.

As the ultra sound tech showed us, I said, “Holy shit. Holy shit. This is happening.”

I shared a happy moment with my husband, I couldn’t stop smiling, my doctor was really excited, everything looked normal and for the rest of the day I thought, “Maybe I should just relax.”

But I couldn’t.

The next day at work, I started bleeding. I called the doctor’s office and they told me this was normal. It didn’t really feel normal, but another ultra sound later, I saw our tiny little human swimming around. I let myself take a deep breath again. My husband and I waited another week or so before telling MD. He couldn’t believe it either. “Seriously? A baby? Holy… Whaaaaat! This is awesome!” We asked that he keep it to himself, as he was the only one who knew.

We showed him the ultrasound. We all smiled. My son was going to be a big brother again. I was going to be a Mother. My husband, a Father.

And then, last Tuesday night, I had a dream that I kissed our baby girl before she went on a vacation far away. I woke up on Wednesday and I just knew. My baby was gone. Mother’s intuition. So I began to prepare myself emotionally for my afternoon appointment. I wish I could just get the ultrasound tech’s voice out of my head. Maybe in time. Maybe when I’ve healed more. I watched her face, not the screen and I knew before she said it: No heartbeat.

I said nothing.

In the doctors office, I sobbed. Disgusting, heavy, ugly sobs.

My husband asked that I just try to stay strong, to have faith, that we’ll get through this together.  I looked up at him and said, “How can I have faith when we receive this surprise, only to have it ripped from us?”  I was pissed. I was even more pissed when my doctor suggested that I could “wait it out.”  My exact words were, “FUCK THAT.” How emotionally horrific. So I signed the documents and agreed to have a D&C on Monday (today) at 11:00 am.

No one likes to share their heartache.

No one likes to post to Facebook, “I had a miscarriage.” I didn’t “lose” my baby, I knew where she was. She died. And I say she based on every dream I had about the baby, was a girl. Every single time. With thick, curly sandy brown hair and hazel eyes. Fat faced. Fat legs. Delicious baby descriptions.

We had planned to tell my in laws on Easter. I had let my guard down enough to knit a pair of baby shoes. We were going to tell my parents the following weekend. I was so close to that window of letting the cat out of the bag. Because those of you who have been pregnant know- it’s just taboo to announce anything before 13 weeks. Why the hell is that? Why? I wanted so badly to call all of our parents the moment we found out, but I waited. Instead, we had to call and say, “I’m having a miscarriage.”

No one likes to share that news.

However, there are a million Pinterest boards about it. There are countless articles on what not to say.There are quotes. Ribbons. Tattoos. The internet has everything you could ever want to know/do/say/feel on the matter.  I didn’t find much on how you’ll feel afterwards, but needless to say, you’re going to feel like a wreck. Actually, I feel okay. That could be the drugs still in my system, but for the most part, I’m doing okay. Today I started making peace with the fact that our baby died before I could hold her.I will say that my doctor, his nurses and the entire surgical staff today were simply phenomenal. They all held my hand. One nurse told me her story about her D&C. Each of them expressed sadness and that they wished it was other circumstances we were all meeting. Their kindness soothed me, relaxed me and for a brief moment, I forgot why I was there. My nurse said she could give me a prescription for percocet, but I thought that was a bit excessive. I’m not much on taking medicine. Especially a narcotic. I thanked her and declined. She helped me into the wheelchair and my husband walked next to me as I was wheeled out to our car.

And now, I am at home recovering. Which means I’m watching reruns of Bizarre Foods, snacking and knitting. I mulled over writing this post for a few hours. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share, but then I thought, “No. I will share. This is important. It’s part of my grieving process.”

I don’t have any advice here. I don’t have any philosophical quotes to share. Oddly enough, I’m reminded of Heather Armstrong’s book about her first pregnancy: It Sucked and Then I Cried.

I do have a really phenomenal support system.  I’m thankful for the few friends I was able to share this with.

Now, I move on. One day at a time.

To heal myself emotionally.

To allow my body to heal physically.

To cry when I want.

To hold my husband when he cries.

To lay around watching television with my son as we share a blanket and gross gas station snacks- because I know that’s when he needs me.

To allow my family to grieve for a life they never had a chance to meet.

To know, that somewhere in the Universe, my beautiful child is happy, healthy and loved.

And to you, for allowing me to talk about this, when I really didn’t want to-

but sometimes,

you just gotta.