Momlogic's Talitha: I complained about being pregnant, from not being able to drink to my mom's unsolicited advice about what I should or should not be doing, eating or drinking. I complained about the fact that, at three months, the buttons on my jeans were tight and my ass was growing faster than my belly...
I complained about fatigue, lack of sleep and not going to the bathroom--and I was picky about food. I had a list: "10 things I hate about being pregnant" and as a writer, displayed it proudly for everyone to see. It was funny then. I complained about having to step on the scale every single time at the doctor and was happy when I only gained one pound. I worried about what would happen after the baby, I worried about my body and my sex life and if we would be able to handle the financial pressure and all the changes that would occur come January 13, our due date. I worried about who would watch the baby if I had to go back to work, finding daycare, and not having time to run out and do things for myself. I worried about the toll it would take on our relationship to have a third person present. Of course, what I had inside me was a TRUE miracle, but that word didn't mean much until the day I lost the baby.
I realized how miraculous pregnancy was the day my daughter was taken out of my body and everything abruptly changed.
I will never ever forget my going in for a routine visit--I told my boyfriend he didn't need to come because I was just having some four month blood tests. Having gained no weight since the last time they saw me, the doctor decided to measure the baby, and putting her fingers on my belly, she frowned. "What?" I said. "I don't even feel anything in here." "What do you mean, what does that mean?" I started getting nervous. She reached over and grabbed the Doppler and rolled it over my belly. NO heartbeat. She ran next door to the ultrasound room and got it ready, and as I stared at that little monkey inside of me praying for a heartbeat as if the screen would magically change by me looking at it, she said "I'm sorry honey. I am afraid I have some bad news."
It's not any worse to lose a baby earlier on in a pregnancy, but at almost four and a half months, a doctor's visit isn't as scary, and you don't expect to miscarry. You expect to get bigger and you expect to buy maternity clothes. You start to plan the baby shower, and you've announced to the whole world--even to people you don't know, in a restaurant or at the gym--"I'm pregnant!" And though you do a lot of the above complaining, the majority of what you feel is pride. I am making a baby. We made a baby. I wonder what she'll look like, be like. I wonder how I'll grow. I wonder when I wake up tomorrow if my belly will be bigger. I wonder if she'll be stubborn like me but super sensitive. I am pregnant. I had to tell everyone.
I went to have the final procedure, which physically wasn't nearly as bad as emotionally. The only way to explain it is that it's as if you had your best friend in the world--that you made--living inside you and your sole purpose was to take care of this person one minute, and the next they are gone. It's an emptiness that's indescribable--part grief, part guilt, part shock: all heartbreak. In death, at least we have little moments of remembering a person, moments that make you laugh and help you move forward. When losing your baby, you have no memories yet. I only have the memories I created myself which was the complaining about being pregnant in the first place that I feel so incredibly guilty for now.
I wish I could have all of it back, the nagging, the nausea, the bigger jeans. I wish I could just go back two days. I wish I could still be a mommy.
People say "you will have another baby," but it doesn't help. I was a mom to THIS baby and this was the baby I loved. Who knows when or how difficult or how long it will be until we are ready to try again? This was a surprise baby that turned our life upside down at first, then brought us so close together--now she has left such a hole in my heart.
Where is she and what happened?
This mom will not be a mom for a while. I was a mom for four months, and now I know what I can do better the next time. And I guess that is what motherhood is about. I guess that is what life is about, the unexpected. One just NEVER, NEVER knows how fragile it is. We always hear it, but until you truly experience it for yourself, the words are just that. We don't know what will happen from one day to the next, so why complain, why suffer? It's this way of thinking I will change the next time. I will wear my fat jeans with pride. I will take the advice with pride. I will do it all different. I will do it all knowing I never want to take it for granted again, and though we can't control God, I pray we will never have to go through this ever again.
My life has to go back to "normal," whatever that is. I have to get up in the morning and go to work, and this time I can eat what I want and drink what I want and sit in the second-hand smoke and have a large cup of coffee and go out for happy hour. I can be by myself and I don't have to worry about how I'm going to balance having a baby with my workout schedule. I don't have to worry about the sex life with my boyfriend. I will slowly start to lose these boobs and the bit of belly still left, and I will begin to pull on my size 2 jeans again. And who cares? Who cares? All of those things just seem ridiculous now. I'd take it all back in a heartbeat...a heartbeat...that word that changed my life.