Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice,
then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I have been thinking a lot about what exactly to say. There is so much I want to say, but only so many words that might possibly express what's in my heart.
My joy has turned to sorrow, and my good news to bitter tidings.
We found out on July 7, 2012 that I was pregnant. We were ecstatic, and completely over the moon, and most of all, shocked. I had been pretty certain that I was not pregnant. We have been doing our best to overcome fertility issues the last two years, and this last cycle gave me no reason to think anything special would happen.
Then, I started noticing little things. I was so, so tired all the time. I needed to take a nap each evening. And, I suddenly lost all tolerance for spicy foods. All I wanted to eat was healthy-ish stuff. I got urges to cook things like cabbage, brussel sprouts, peppers and onions, etc. And I couldn't take the smell or taste of cinnamon. These little things added up, and I finally gave in to my curiosity and took a pregnancy test. It was POSITIVE! And then I took another, and another, and finally accepted the idea that I was really pregnant!
I took the first test on a Saturday, and went in to see the doctor on Monday. They did another urine test, and got another positive result. We did blood work, and got even more confirmation. We announced our pregnancy at church and in our church small groups, and did a whole lot of celebrating.
We went down to visit David's parents to tell them the news. They were so, so excited that David's dad went to the store early the next morning and bought gifts for the baby. The started referring to themselves as Grandpa and Nana. We all went shopping together at a baby boutique in their little town's town square. That morning I had woken up with some light cramping and a little brown spotting, but I read in my pregnancy book that this was most likely normal, so we didn't worry about it. I was having a lot of gas pain and bloating, but I took this as a good sign because they say the sicker you are, the better news it is for the pregnancy.
The following Wednesday, we went for our first sonogram. My mom came with us. This was her seventh grandchild, and the first time she would get to see an ultrasound of a grandchild in person. She was giddy, and so were we. We went in to the little room, I got ready, and then the doctor finally came in. They took a look inside, and got quiet. He told us that he couldn't see anything yet, so come back in a week and maybe we would be able to see something then. He and the nurse went back and forth about how far along I was, and whether there was any possibility that the baby might not be as old as they thought. I felt a little worried, but I figured that it would all be okay. I was still spotting a little, but that was normal, right? The doctor said that in the meantime we could do some more bloodwork. We went down to the lab, I gave some blood, and we were on our way.
That night the gas pain and pressure was terrible. I felt like my abdomen was going to explode. All I could do was lay in bed to get a little relief. I was way more worried and sorry for myself than I was for the baby. I had moments where I saw it as this little devil inside me, blowing up balloons in my gut then tying it in knots so none of the air could get out. Then kicking it. I was hurting pretty bad.
Early the next morning I received a call from one of the nurses at the doctor's office. They said that the results were back on the blood test, and they weren't good. It wasn't a good pregnancy. The baby was not developing, and I was going to miscarry. At first I felt relieved because I was so tired of the pain. Then I felt numb. I told David. He looked shocked and pale. Then he went to take a shower and I heard him sob a couple times. At that point it hit me: I lost my baby. I would never get to hold him, comfort him, feed him, or count his little fingers and toes. I would not be able to remark about how much he looked like his daddy. I would not get to see his wispy blonde hair flutter as I push him on a swing in the park. I would not get to fret over baby gas and midnight feedings. I was carrying him in my body still, but this was all the time I would get with him. God took him from me.
I have been in to see the doctor every business day since then. That first day I cried off and on all day. Each day has gotten a little better since then. Today I went in to see the doctor again, and scheduled a D&C for tomorrow. I thought that I wanted to just let the pregnancy pass naturally, but I was calling to myself a world of pain that I haven't got the ability to handle. The bleeding started last night, and the cramping is terrible. They said that the pain, cramping, and miscarriage process could last up to 6 weeks. I read an account online of a woman who took 6 months to finish expelling everything. I grieve with each cramp, and am dreading seeing any part of the pregnancy come out. So, I gladly accepted an appointment for a D&C when it came up today, and I will be relieved to have it over in one fell swoop. Then I can recover, and maybe eventually we will get another chance.
Each day the pain gets a little less, but I will never forget. I will never forget my precious little one, waiting for me in Heaven. He is with God, and is now like an angel. I know he is praying for me, and enjoying Jesus until I can be there to hold him myself.
His name is Tristan. The name came to me on the way to the hospital on Thursday, as I was contemplating his death. I couldn't share my name suggestion until later that night, because of the eminent threat of hysterics lurking at the edge of my control. I have a fear of beginning to cry when I am feeling sorrow or pain. I have a hidden terror that it will take me over, and I will never be able to stop. That I will die under the weight of it.
After discussing it with David later that day, we decided that Tristan was a wonderful name. His middle name is Honor. Tristan means "sounds of battle; clash of swords". It fits him because as soon as I heard the news I knew he was in Heaven, fighting for God as a mighty warrior- the first of his daddy's arrows against the powers of darkness (Psalm 127). He is my little champion, and it is an honor to carry him.
Now, I hold the pain in my heart, as well as in my body at this point. It is my evidence, and validation. I have a child. He exists. He has a name, and he had a body. I only got to have a small taste of motherhood, but it was real. He is an intimate stranger, my little one. I never got to know his thoughts and feelings about anything, and yet he knew me from the inside out.
I said this to a dear friend earlier, and it's too good not to record here:
Sometimes I see a woman trudging along with an obvious bump, holding her precious cargo, her gift and blessing. I wonder if she knows how blessed she is. I feel my loss, and I wonder if she knows how much people like me would love to trade places with her. How much some of us wish we could have felt the aches and pains of our baby stretching, growing, and moving inside of us. How some of us don't get to be miserable the way she is because God takes our babies and gives us a different pain, a pain that will never, never go away. It may diminish and fade, but it will always be there in some part, to some extent.
My firstborn will not walk with me, because he is already walking with God.