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i’m honored to offer you the following guest post written by a dear, dear friend who sadly knows the pain of pregnancy loss and fertility hunting quite well.  she writes beautifully and with raw honesty about some of her heart breaking experiences below. 

thank you for sharing part of your journey, c.  you are a brave and lovely woman.  i’m so grateful to have you as part of the hunt for my fertility…

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I took my 8 year old daughter to a birthday party the first weekend of the month.  That seems harmless, and it was such a beautiful day.  It was for her friend’s younger sister.  After the party I talked with the mom, a friend, for a while…great party, they had a super time, is today her birthday?  Or sometime this week?  Oh, no, it’s not till May 20th, but next weekend is busy, etc.  She continued listing all the busy-ness which created the need to have her daughter’s 6th birthday party 17 days before her actual birthday.  I think I nodded and um-hmmed in the right spots, but I wasn’t listening.  I had a miscarriage on the 20th of May.  But wait… her daughter’s birthday is the 20th?  And she’s six?  Wait…!!  That’s my daughter’s birthday too, I wanted to say.  That’s my daughter’s birthday too!!!  I want to scream.  It says so on her headstone.  The very same day, the same day, the same year, that Tuesday, in 2003, she and I had babies.  But her baby is six now, with long blond hair and a beautiful face and a huge attitude and a quirky smile, and she’s having a birthday party.  And my baby is not. 

As my mind struggles to make sense of this (How is this possible?  How could we both have given birth on the same day?!  Healthy babies were born on that day?  What?!!), I am thinking of  a hospital room on the other side of the country, in a city I no longer live in, surrounded by doctors and nurses fighting for my life and NOT fighting for my baby.  In fact, when she was born, they put her in a bowl.  A stainless steel shiny bowl.  (I didn’t remember this until just a couple of years ago, but she should not have been put in a bowl.)  She died when she was born, or just before, or just after…I’ve never asked and I don’t want to know.  Because I had severe pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome, I was heavily medicated and those days are like remembering a nightmare that you didn’t quite understand when you were having it.  I was 19 weeks along in my third pregnancy and this would be my second miscarriage.  My first miscarriage was also in May, the year before.  But this time we heard her heart beat!  Several times.  And I could feel her kicking me.  She kicked hard.  She was alive the day before she was born.  She was with me for 19 weeks and one day.  That’s not long enough.  It should have been 6 years by now.  I should be planning her birthday party. 

In September I had a baby.  It was a long, hard, amazing and sometimes terrifying journey, involving tears, fear, my husband’s vasectomy, a move across the country, prayer, more fear, 3 more shorter moves, tons of research on pre-eclampsia and partial molar pregnancy, more fear, more prayer, dietary changes, cleansing programs, SF722, overcoming fear, my husband’s vasectomy reversal, doubts, another abnormal ultrasound, more fear, nightmares, more tears, almost a quart of raw milk a day, desiccated liver, and hypno-birthing.  She’s amazing and healthy and happy and gorgeous.  I love her so much that my body isn’t big enough to hold it sometimes – how amazing that I get to be her mom!  But somewhere inside me I think I felt like having a healthy baby would set things right.  I never would have said that or even acknowledged it as a possibility.  But I think it was there because hurting for my lost babies surprises me now.  Having a healthy baby didn’t make me miss my other babies less.  It made me miss them more.  As I hug her I think how I never got to hug or even hold the others.  As I kiss her I think how I never got to kiss their soft little necks or round cheeks or tiny toes. I watch her going through stages I never saw the others go through.

I’m amazed at the ferociousness with which I love her at times…I want to gobble her up, to swallow her, to hug her so close that I absorb her, so that she is always with me in her babyness.  She’s one baby – she can’t be them too.  But maybe if I love her enough, I’m somehow loving them.  Maybe if I love her enough, I’ll get to keep her.

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