So, yeah, I was pregnant for a while there in August. I found out at the end of July, the day before we were supposed to fly back to New York. When I took that pregnancy test, my hands shook and shook and I was so scared. Everything was about to change, and was I ready? I’m not ready. I’m not ready, I said, in my head.
And I heard my mother, in the bathroom stall at Walgreens where I peed on that stick (just like high school, man!); I heard her say the most “her” thing she would say:
“Well, you’d better get ready.”
My mother was always saying, “You’d better this,” “You’d better that”, and I HATED it. And now, I was hearing her, clear as day, and you know? She was right. She was there, and she was right.
Once it wasn’t this weird, secret thing, and we starting telling a few people, I began to adjust to the idea. I bought a whole bunch of onesies. I made a new pregnancy journal. I started taking special vitamins. I ate a lot of yogurt.
And then, I started spotting.
We went to the ER, did the waiting thing. And we had an ultrasound, and it was good! We saw the heartbeat, flickering on the screen like crazy, growing inside me. We took home shiny print-out pictures. But I still didn’t believe it was really okay.
And then I started really bleeding. I made an appointment for another ultrasound. And at this one, there was no heartbeat. Our baby was dead, and still inside me. And then, after a few more days, it wasn’t.
It really sucked. But I learned that David is amazing, an amazing dad already, and a wonderful, perfect partner for me. And I learned that I really was ready, that I wanted that baby.
So now we grieve, and we try to come around to where we are ready again. For David, it is more of a tangible loss, we lost a baby. But I had a harder time getting attached, because I’ve had so much loss in my life. And it feels so different from that other loss, from when my mother and father died, from losing friends or partners, from the impending loss of my grandparents.
For me, the baby was the light at the end of the tunnel. It was that immense joy that would coexist with the immense sorrow that is taking care of my grandparents as they grow old and die. It was a connection to continuing life, a reason to get through these tough months, a Good Thing inside me as things go downhill, as I put the wheelchair in the car, as I buckle Papa into the car seat, as I bring Nana to her oncologist. It was a reason for them to stay a little bit longer, even though it doesn’t work like that.
And now…well, maybe it’s best not to have to do this sort of stuff when I’m pregnant. Maybe it’s best to be able to focus on what I need to do, to gather all my strength where I need it most. Maybe the prenatal visits will be better timed, and we won’t have to drive on wintry roads as much if we have an autumn baby instead. Maybe this is somehow, in some way, for the best.
But it is still not what anyone wanted. We try to make sense, we try to move on. We love each other and spend a lot of time outdoors. We explore new trails, we make new things, we cook together, we eat together, we hold each other, and breathe.