Written yesterday, 2/26/15:
Other things are happening in the world right now, but I don’t care.
I held it together in the exam room. Told the doctor I’d rather just discuss what I needed to know; I didn’t need to have my hand held.
I’m sure it’s not easy to be the doctor in that position – giving a patient the bad news – I certainly didn’t need to make her job any harder by acting a blubbering fool. My sad time would come later. Now was not the time.
Before she left the room, she handed me some tissues. Said I might need them after she’d gone. I’m sure she saw in my eyes what I was trying to conceal in my voice. I forced a smile. “I’m fine. Really.”
And I was. Sort of. I just had to get through that moment and on to the next, and then the next, and the moment after that, until I was finally somewhere I could let it all sink in and be sad for myself.
She left and I bent down to pick up the sloppily folded clothes I’d placed on the floor back when when I thought I was still pregnant with a living baby.
Now I have to tell people, I guess.
I thought of KP. There in that moment. Sitting at work. Having no idea. I didn’t want to tell him.
I had to tell him. I texted:
That was it. What else was I supposed to say? That was all that mattered.
I got dressed. Packed up my toddler who’d been in the corner the whole time time, strapped into his stroller and playing happily with the Kindle. I heard the dings as texts from KP came back, but I didn’t care to read them. Nothing he said would change the outcome.
I left the room, walked down the hall, made a followup appointment, left the office, bucked my toddler into the car, paid for parking, and drove to my daughter’s preschool for pickup.
I cried some on the way, but mostly I was numb. I mean, that’s what you do, right? You just go on?
I told my daughter right away, as soon as we were driving home. Why wait, I figured. Better to pull the bandaid off quickly than slowly, right?. She’d known about and been excited about the baby in my belly. I didn’t want to sit on this impending discussion or make too big a deal of it; I wanted it over so I didn’t have to think about it anymore.
“Hey C – I have some sad news. Remember how there was a baby in my belly? Well, sometimes, when babies are very small in our belly, they stop growing. And the baby in my belly stopped growing and so there’s not going to be a baby anymore.”
Even while speaking, my inner voice was yelling at me – ‘do you even know what you’re talking about? You didn’t even google the best way to explain this to a kid. You’re going off the seat of your pants; do you really know what you’re saying?‘
But I didn’t care. I just said whatever I felt like saying.
“Does that make sense?” I asked, not sure what her response would be.
“Ok Mom. Can I open up this candy I got from Tyler’s birthday bag now?” Clearly I’d get no sympathy from her. I felt stupid that I’d somehow expected her concern.
Oh well. Whatever. It didn’t bother me. Nothing did.
Truthfully, I’d been anxious about this pregnancy. Anxious about having a 3rd child. Anxious about fitting a newborn into my already scatterbrained life. Anxious about squeezing another person into our small home.
There’d been some early spotting, and tests that seemed to get lighter, then a first ultrasound with no heartbeat, then a second ultrasound with a heartbeat and possibly two gestational sacs, and then today’s third ultrasound with only one sac and zero heartbeats.
I suppose, if anything, that I was thankful for the finality. Of knowing something one way or another. I’d much rather have had the finality of a healthy baby at the end, but at least there was some small relief in knowing that it was the end either way.
At least now I can have a 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee in a day and make myself a cocktail tonight, I told myself. Right? Small consolations, but I tried to find a faint silver lining.
I’d seen the heartbeat only a week ago. We’d begun to tell people the news. I hinted about it on this blog and I was planning to make a blog announcement soon.
But now it was gone. All that thought and daydreaming about this child had been pointless.
There was life there, briefly. I saw it. The video is still on my phone. I can watch the heartbeat. It was real.
And now it’s not.
I feel like I’ve let life down. That heartbeat was potential new life inside me, just as my own two awesome kids now once were. This was almost another adorable child who would’ve been part of our family and that I would have loved deeply.
And yet, here I mourn, because life was in me and now it is gone. I know there are many who would have considered this as a non-life, and that thought bewilders me. Does life only exist when it’s desired? Or is life life regardless of its convenience?
To be honest, this pregnancy was not terribly convenient for my life, not gonna lie. But I still embraced the pregnancy and as the weeks passed, I grew more and more excited about having another child.
And now it’s gone.
I’d still like another child. I don’t think our family is yet complete. I’m hopeful that they’ll be another new addition whenever the time is right. But for now, I’m just going to appreciate what I have today.
I have more to write and process about this. There may be a Part 2.