I've debated on sharing this... because my gut reaction when I'm hurting is to isolate. But I know I owe it to this soul project, and to the women who will be touched by it, to be truthful. You know, to embody the "true" in True Co. And surely, this topic will drum up a collective voice - or in this case a collective hurt. It may draw women together, and that's my hope in writing this. In the past few weeks, I've joined a club I never wanted to be apart of: the almost mommas.
Just over a month ago my husband and I got the shock of a lifetime: we were pregnant. After trying 9 months and deciding to take a break, it was exciting and scary to find out we were pregnant our first month of "not trying."
Over the next few weeks, shock turned into acceptance, and then excitement. Although sometimes my body felt terrible, the more I felt life grow inside me, the more excited I became. We told family privately. We picked out names. We had a wild and scary meeting with our financial advisor (can I pause to say OMG child care costs are overwhelming?). We looked at cribs and rearranged our home renovation schedule so that our house would be baby ready by March.
Two weeks ago, I had my first appointment with the OB. We both took off work and got my favorite (half-caf) coffee on the way in. While we merged on the highway, Kyle asked, "are you nervous?" I said "no, I have to reason to be. Are you?"
Everything went normal until the sonogram started. No heartbeat. The doctor wasn't sure if I was early, so off I went to bigger, better sonograms. Again, no heartbeat. Then to a transvaginal sonogram, still no heartbeat. Measurements and blood work were done, and I was told this is routine and that I'm probably much earlier than I calculated.
I did the math. I knew that if our baby didn't have a heartbeat that day or at least in the following few days, that something was wrong. A week later, we had a follow up with the private practice I went to until we moved to the city - we trusted them and the care was better. Again, no heartbeat and this time, proof that our baby wasn't growing. Somewhere short of 6 weeks, things simply stopped. I had a feeling... my symptoms abruptly ended and the morning of my follow-up, I started spotting.
Teary eyed, my husband and I sat in the office while our options were laid out. We wanted to do it natural. This past weekend, I did just that. It hurt... it hurt like hell. How can a baby so little hurt so badly, emotionally and physically? I wish I could tell you I am a warrior, but instead I cry out and ask why me? Why us? Why do my husband and I have to endure this pain with no reward? I shouldn't have to feel to pain of contractions with no baby to have and hold as reward.
I'm usually logical and can compartmentalize my intense emotions... but this battle has been different. I can't soothe myself with the thought that maybe - just maybe - the baby's heart never formed or had a first beat. I can't because my heart of hearts knows that there was life inside me. A life that, had it continued, would be held in my arms in a few shorts months. A life that would have first steps and big beautiful eyes that would look up at Kyle and I. A life that would show us a love we've yet to experience and a life that would experience a love of its own.
Today, I hear the swirling discussions about choice and life. And while I've always had an opinion formed in my mind... now I have an opinion I believe with my head and heart. Of the many things that were hard to accept... one was that as I sat in a doctor's office begging the heavens that my child would live, another girl was sitting in another office probably in the same city as me, making a decision to end her child's life.
Do I have room in my heart to be hateful of that? No. But, it leaves me feeling even more helpless and is a huge reminder that this world isn't fair. How can God hear my cries for life to continue, and put my gift into the hands of someone who doesn't even want it? I already know all the churchy answers to these questions and feelings, and no, they don't help right now.
I wish I could tell you I have already found strength from my faith and that my understanding of God's glory brings me peace. I know those are the answers, however, I am simply not there yet. I know God's purpose for me is to grow strong and vulnerable... to understand God's people who aren't eloquent in their pain and don't say the right things. Knowing my purpose doesn't make the battles in which I'm gifted palatable. Truth be told, I don't want to be strong like this. I don't want God to refine me like this.
A miscarriage, especially one early like ours, is deemed "normal." That means in a room full of women, there's bound to be a few who have hurt like me. If you have, I'm sending you love - from one hurt heart to another. I understand you now, I understand the hurt of seeing pregnancy announcements and the weird, dirty feeling of jealousy as you see healthy pregnancy and babies around you. I understand it now. Almost momma, my heart is with you.
For now, my joy has been snuffed. My hard-won optimistic outlook is sinking. But, at the same time, I know who I am and who I draw my strength from. Although I'm angry, heartbroken, and hurt, I will find a drop of hope in this ocean of grief. And it will be okay.
Almost momma, we will never be the same. But with a little faith and luck, we will lose the "almost" and gain a child to have here in Earth.