it’s raining. it’s actually pouring and it has been for hours. somehow i can’t cry anymore. the grey day is very calming to me, making me feel at once small and yet timeless. appropriate. like my body is conducting my soul toward a meeting set years ago. i feel the storm is endless.
if i can’t cry tears anymore, then maybe i need to write this. tears have, so far, been the most helpful of all my remedies. though my noisy pile of blue plastic homeopathic vials have also been useful.
it’s just over a month since i knew in my heart that i was pregnant. nearly 2 weeks since the doctor confirmed. i may have said 5 weeks along…did i? but it can’t have been more than 4. before the pregnancy, there was fear and curiosity about what it would be like to have another baby who would be another child and if it would be “ok”, and endless other questions that could only be answered by experience. you can’t plan for everything, after all. sometimes you have to just jump. all of that disappeared, however, when i felt the baby’s presence. an answer: yes. it will be ok.
and yes, just cells by then. but cells organizing themselves to become the 5th member of my family. instantly my body made room. i was nauseous. i was sore. i was tired. i cut out my second cup of daily tea.
the mountains of disbelief (did i say that?) that had been months of decision making about a 3rd child were pushed aside like so much meaningless fluff. the concerns of money and space and family dynamics answered by the thrill of a new life. there was no question. well, there was one question, actually. why was i bleeding?
then thursday what was an ache at 10am was by 10:15 a bold pain. by 10:20 i was on the floor in agony. the mother held her belly and told her 4 and 6 year old she would be ok. they looked scared. she called her husband who was rushing home, 25 minutes away. they stayed on the phone so she wouldn’t pass out. her kids went to the basement and drew her pictures and stuffed them in her pockets for “love” and because they were so worried. kids are helpless in these moments, and this was what they could do. what a beautiful gesture. the mother kissed them both and promised it was going to be ok.
the next hours were just pain and more pain. an ultrasound that was excruciating.
a drive the ER while the kids asked sweet, nervous questions from the back seat. The most difficult kiss goodbye to each child she had ever had to give.
then she was sitting alone in the ER waiting room when it was finally ok to break down. sobbing while strangers looked away. she didn’t have to wait long because the ultrasound report was sent and it said she was hemorrhaging. and she felt it.
then a rush of doctors. 3 different doctors with 3 different opinions, until finally one took over. she was hemorrhaging so they needed to act right away. they couldn’t tell her for certain that the baby was dead, but they asked for permission to do immediate surgery and, if needed, a D & C while she was out. she had to decide. life or death for both of them. her husband was with her as he has been the entire time, holding her.
a surgery bay was being cleared. it’s almost time.
as she waits for the surgery she can no longer take a deep breath because the pain is so intense, like knives across her abdomen.
at 3:15 she finally gets a dose of dilaudid, after dealing with the incredible pain for hours by breathing and chanting. dilaudid. it makes her feel like she’s made of lead. at 4:15 she is taken to the OR. the last thing she remembers thinking is that she wants to see her kids again.
she awakens in the recovery room. the doctor is there, but the mother is so groggy. 3 incisions, only an inch long each. laparoscopy. she can go home to recover. the doctor shows her a picture the fallopian tube they removed. it’s purple and swollen and not at all healthy looking. inside it is the baby. both are gone now.
the recovery nurse gives her apple juice and discharge instructions.
her husband drives her home, takes care of her, puts her to bed.
her friends keep her kids overnight. they have a wonderful time with their friends. it’s their first overnight!
grief sets in. trauma takes hold. every time she tries to sleep she wakes up reliving the hours of pain. the mental picture of the twisted purple tube that held the baby makes her curl up in agony again. but it doesn’t last.
that night i realized that gratitude would be my lifeline through the grief. the baby is gone. the baby is gone. and a part of my body went with him. and i am so grateful to be here, to have my kids to hold and my husband to hold. i am so grateful i have the friends i have. every single one of them has recognized the loss. every single one of them has offered to help. every single one of them has sent us their love. i feel so incredibly grateful for this. it makes my heart swell with love and it makes our years of wandering and looking for a home feel well spent because we have found home. that’s huge for me. and i know they all will forgive me if i continue to grieve, even so.