Shortly after I posted in January, I found out I was pregnant. Again.
Hope looks like the healthy kicking 10wk old “Maybe Baby” I saw on ultrasound February 27th. Hope sounds like the healthy, strong heartbeat of the 12wk old baby-in-waiting I heard on March 19th.
I dared to hope.
On March 25th, ultrasound showed that heartbeat was gone.
Hope is a fragile thing. Hope could be the only thing holding me together.
For the next two weeks I faked like everything was fine — my pregnancy wasn’t common knowledge. I smiled until it hurt — most painfully, commiserated with an unknowing customer buying baby gifts for a friend that “three was surely enough”. I waited for my body to realize that it wasn’t pregnant anymore.
Though I expected it to be creepy and painful going about my life with a dead baby inside of me, it was oddly comforting to have a long drawn-out goodbye. There was time to make a certain amount of peace with the process. The sadness runs deeper.
There are lots of horrifying little details the doctors forget to tell you when you have a missed miscarriage. They forget to tell you that a late miscarriage isn’t like a late period. They forget to tell you that your body will start to feel like a punching bag and you will feel more tired than you can ever remember feeling before. They gloss over the steps to take when your body forgets what to do.
They forget to tell you that a 12wk fetus looks like a little wee person, your baby-that-wasn’t.
When I said I was hoping to catch my baby being born, this wasn’t what I had in mind.
This weekend, Easter weekend, one month after hearing that little heart beating for the only time, I went in for a D&C.
I fasted for 22 hours before my surgery was bumped and rebooked for the next morning. If I thought last Easter was as bad as it could get, I was wrong. This was the weekend I had been hoping to share our news, and yet again it was a weekend of saying goodbyes and feeling beaten down.
This month has left me emotionally shattered.
Can the heart build callouses from getting hurt over and over in the same way? I keep wondering if the next time I will feel less, if I will be numbed to the experience. So far it hasn’t worked that way. I’m getting better at rationalizing it all each time, but it doesn’t make me less sad. It erodes my trust in my body. I feel old and tired.
Sometimes it is really hard to find that bit of hope to hold on to.
Yet, amazingly, there is still a flicker of something in me that isn’t ready to give in to the depression lurking behind the shadows. Am I building resilience? There is something still there reflecting a bit of light. I can only think it is hope.
Hope came through this for me in friends checking in to see how I was doing, often on a daily basis. It shone through in a wonderful surprise drop and dash that left me in tears from someone who had no idea what was going on, through dear friends treating me to a night out at a concert. It came through in all my guys here gathering around and taking care of me.
I think that goodness is always there, even when it can be hard to see.
That I can still see it means that I am not going to let depression get a foothold. It will take time to dull the sadness. In the meantime, I’m self-prescribing iron supplements and lots of steak to deal with the anemia, many walks in the fresh air to clear my head of cobwebs, and time with my boys — all of them — to heal my heart.