Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fond Memories of an All Too Temporary Joy

Three years ago, I was pregnant with our second child. I got a positive pregnancy test on September 1st, after four months of actively trying to conceive and a while before that of very sadly avoiding pregnancy due my husband's underemployment. The pregnancy was very desired, the baby was so very loved, and we were so, so excited. Miscarriage never even crossed my mind, but I would miscarry our baby at home on the night of October 10th after only a minor warning that something might be wrong. (You can read my detailed miscarriage story here.)

I'm crying as I write this post, not thinking about the miscarriage but thinking about the incredible joy, hope, and expectation of those six short weeks that we had with our baby. They were so happy. I still possessed a slice of innocence that I'll never recover. And I'll never quite know that kind of hidden delight during a pregnancy again. I haven't though about it in a long time, but I can still remember exactly what it felt like, having the secret of a new life inside you, imagining the future with that little one laid out before you, the anticipation of bringing a new person into this world, picturing little toes and a tiny button nose. The term "expecting" has always been one that has appealed to me so much more than "pregnant" because it captures a bit of those fluttery feelings of excitement and anticipation and joy. The last few pregnancies though, I've expected a miscarriage, not a baby and there is nothing but dread in that. Even though my pregnancy with Davey was healthy and without any major complications, I was convinced my baby would not live until the moment David placed him on my chest on that cold evening in the passenger's seat of our car. Seeing his face for the first time was honestly a bit of a shock because despite being 41 weeks pregnant I was not expecting a living, breathing child.

So much more than a baby is lost during a miscarriage. It's the loss of hopes and dreams, innocence, joy. I'm glad I got those weeks of happiness with that baby and I mourn the fact that the three subsequent babies I lost didn't get a moment of joy or expectation from me. Davey didn't either until his birth (but he's gotten so much since, just the joy he brought me just today has more than made up for it, I think).

I recently came across this picture of the pregnancy test I took on 9/1/13, confirming the much anticipated conception of our second child. I took this picture on 11/10/13 when I finally decided to throw the pregnancy test away as it continued to sit on our bathroom counter a month after our loss. Funny how a dried up stick of pee could mean so much, huh?

4 comments:

  1. This is so touching. I miss my babies, but next to that I miss being naive enough to feel safe during pregnancy. Similar to you, I don't think I'll ever believe we get to take a baby home until we actually do (hopefully).

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  2. I kept my positive pregnancy test from my first miscarriage in my makeup bag. Every morning when I went to put my make up on, there it would be, reminding me of the future I'd been stripped of. Finally one day, when my husband was taking our trash to the dump (we lived in a small village at the time and there was no garbage service) I told him I needed to throw it away, but couldn't bear to do it... He encouraged me and together we threw it away. Doing the throwing away was really (really) hard, but everyday after was so much better without having to see it in black & white, so to speak.

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  3. You're so right about all the missed hopes and dreams for a baby who died before birth. I remember crying because I didn't have a picture. I didn't have any momentos to hold after losing our little ones. Not only did I not have a future with the baby, I didn't really have a past to look back on either.

    Thank you for your honesty in sharing!

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  4. It is possible to recover some of that joy of expectation. During the pregnancy with my living son (after the loss of two children due to miscarriage and suspected chemical pregnancy) I also expected only death, which, I think, was a defence mechanism. The subsequent pregnancy had so much more of that joy I thought was lost forever. I knew my daughter could die and still can, but I felt 'normal' again, aware of the risks, but very hopeful and 'expecting'. I actually believed that she could be born alive.
    -
    Marta

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