What to Expect When You're No Longer "Expecting"
What the books don't tell you, the bastards, is what you're supposed to do when you've lost the baby that you've convinced yourself over the last 60 or so days you were going to have. You've picked out names, you've imagined laughing together, and you've even planned where you want the first family pictures to be taken. All of these things have been completed in your mind---only to be torn away by a picture on a monitor that doesn't show a heartbeat. Clichéd thoughts of life is fragile---life is uncertain--all of this **** falls on deaf ears, b/c frankly despite the fact that up until 10 minutes before this moment, you were a completely competent, college graduate that had been with their partner for almost 10 years, and bought your first house when you were 22 b/c someone told you that it wasn't possible at your age---all of which indicates that you're not only a focused, goal oriented person, but that once you've made your mind up about something there is no going back---written in stone with Moses own blessing; none of these traits matter now.
All of those things that made you (or what you thought about yourself) this rock solid person--with convictions, compassion, and love for just how damn beautifully blue the sky can be in April in the south--that all goes away. You're sitting, staring at a stranger, a woman with hair the color and texture of wheat, vulnerably naked from the waist down, and she's saying "Oh honey, this doesn't look good." They say there are several stages of accepting death---either knowing one's own is immanent or that of a loved one. Denial is the one I'm best at. "No, she must be kidding. Nothing is wrong with my baby. The machine is broke, that's someone else's picture, no no no no no no no no no no NO NO NO NO NO NO." And then you realize that the room looks too real to be a dream, and that this person who was going to love you without prejudice, that would be the only person to ever truly be yours, no longer exists.
The emotions - LOSS, TERROR, HYSTERIA, PANIC, HELPLESS, HOPELESS, DENIAL, FURY, RAGE, SUICIDAL---this one really for lack of any eloquent way of putting it--tripped me out. I never wanted to die--not even in high school when it was appropriate to be filled with angst and hate life, oh but I did. I thought maybe if we could just switch places, and he or she could be alive and I could be gone--I've lived a wonderful life, albeit short (27)--and it would have been worth it to me right then.
Truthfully--the emotion that scared me the most was relief. I was relieved that I could get pregnant, and I was relieved that we at least made it to 8 weeks, and god help me I was relieved when other women said they'd been through the same thing. And I remember being so disgusted with myself for being happy that I wasn't alone---when I wanted nothing but to be alone because it hurts as much today, 5 months later, as it did when I came home from the hospital. And when I talk about it with my friends I try so hard to be strong and sound insightful--like oh wow guys---I've learned so much about myself and life and I'm so different, but the truth is that I learned just how goddamn broken my heart can be and just how goddamn hurt I can be--and I've learned that try as I might, I carry it with me every day. And every time I see something horrible in the news about what parents do to their children, I try to stop myself but am still unable to not say "oh well, it makes perfect sense that they should have a child."
There are days when I feel so lost, I wonder if I'll ever find myself again. I find myself begging a god I don't believe in nor expect anything from to please help me find away out of this hole that I seem to fall in every 5 days or so.
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