Wednesday night, I went to bed thinking that about the different details I’d include in my “bumpdate” at 11 weeks along. I wanted to tell you about how I can’t stand the sight of soda (Coke Zero) but that I’m drinking lemonade all day. And that I’ve had an intense craving for those gross little microwavable personal pizzas. After the last seventy-two hours though, it seems a bit silly that anyone would care about what I am or am not eating.
But now, I have to tell you about how I’ve replayed every agonizing second of our ultrasound appointment over and over again in my mind. Silence hangs and I stiffly nod and I’m screaming inside. As my doctor informed us that our baby stopped growing at 9 weeks and 4 days, I tried to think back to what I was doing the day he left this earth. But as some sort of self-preservation, my brain kindly won’t let me. I left Andrew to call our parents as I retreated inside myself and willed my worst nightmare to end me with it. The rest of the day crawled by and we spent it lying next to each other stuck between wanting to run away and not being able to move. When we laugh it is too loud and too much, like sunlight through curtains. I thought relief would come with nightfall; instead I searched for signs of my body betraying me for a second time and forcing me to naturally miscarry before our D&C the next morning. To my undying thankfulness, it did not.
When I awoke from the anesthesia, I looked around for my bearings (clock, IV, unknown beeping) and sank back down with the thought, “He’s gone.” Unable to speak, I simply grabbed the hand of my doctor and squeezed my thanks. He reassured me he’d see us at the midwifery soon. And when he turned to walk away I wondered how many women he’s seen crumble. The nurse compliments the green-eyed cow on my shoulder and asks me advice about his camera and I smile a bit, knowing that the bones of who I am are still there under this hospital gown.
Now back at home, I’m struggling with my identity. We have to hesitate before speaking lest we need to correct ourselves. Andrew and I slowly realize how many words we say and plans we make that are oriented around me being pregnant. Which I’m not anymore. I am not pregnant – I am a broken shell, fragile and jagged. An egg cracked open with the contents spilled out. Comfort pours in from loved ones and I use these words as a wall to steady myself against during the day and again at night as a blanket pulled up to my chin.
I thought these words would come easily once I sat down to share them. I’ve written them in my mind a hundred times over the past few days. But now I am stuck and they are awkward and inadequate.
I miss him. I miss his presence in my body and I miss the potential of the person he was going to be. He is gone too soon.