Sometimes pregnancy doesn’t end in a living baby. And sometimes there is simply no way to know that there is any danger until after your baby has already died.
Memories of my pregnancy with Adrian
I’ve learned more about stillbirth and prenatal care in the years since then. I’ve learned enough to be angry, both at the things they said and the things they missed. They presented themselves as trustworthy and they weren’t. They presented themselves as comprehensive, and they missed things.
I was only 35 and I was sucked in by wanting everything to be natural, and you made me feel like I could trust you. You failed me, though. You allowed my child to die.
I wrote about this not that long ago. Memories are funny, and a particular memory I had been holding onto turned out to be different than what I remembered. How do we reconcile these things? For me, I think sometimes this is why I write.
I remember what I wore to his funeral, primarily because I was only 11 days postpartum. Instead of wearing maternity clothing like I had planned in those early days, I had to go shopping and find something that didn’t make me look pregnant; that didn’t emphasize the curves of my body; the swelling that remained. A genuinely surreal experience.
I came across this pregnancy test, and I looked at it again. And I realized, despite so many VIVID memories, the line on the test was PINK, and not blue. What else am I misremembering? What else is lost to the imperfection of the human mind?
What do you do when you disagree with someone about a subject that’s important to you? It’s important to me that parents have all information to make informed decisions in their pregnancy. People deserve information, and once they have it, their decisions should be respected.
I realize, when I look back at these moments with pain, that the thing I wanted least to know, was the true value behind the relationships that seemed valuable to me. Because it wasn’t what I thought it to be. And that kind of knowledge is quite hard. The death of my son taught me who people in my life really were, and that is knowledge I would rather not know.
Pregnancy after loss is a complicated journey. These are 10 things I learned about hope, grief, fear, & love, and how my two children can coexist. (Guest post at Pursue Today.)
June is an intense month for me, because each June, I remember what it’s like to go in for a routine examination and be told my child has no heartbeat. My greatest wish for the world today is to understand the power of GENUINELY informed consent.
What I found most interesting in my interactions with all of them, was the amount of commonality in our experiences. In how much I could identify with experiences I had previously thought were just mine.
I think people are conditioned to tell bereaved parents it isn’t their fault because they are worried. If parents blame themselves, what might they then do?
When I pictured this moment during our pregnancy, I had all the typical first birthday dreams. I thought about outfits, and cute party hats, and an elephant cake you would smash more than eat. I thought about family, and packed photo books, and maybe a few presents. But mostly just love.
12 months ago, I was in labor. 12 months ago, you were preparing to be born. And this moment will always live in my memories.
I think one of the strangest things I’ve learned about grief is that it’s expressed in the most unusual ways. Beyond the big moments, easily understood, I’m finding it lives in the details.
I turned down some “really good acid” today. I never thought I’d find myself in that situation. I never thought I’d find myself in a lot of places.
This time last year, I was still pregnant. This time last year, I was probably settling down on the couch with Netflix and thinking about you. I was always thinking about you.
It hits me sometimes — this time last year I was still pregnant. What happened to my life? What happened to yours?
I keep waiting for sunshine, for something to tell me life isn’t always blue. I live in shades of blue.
This is the day I found out I was having you. This is the day you became real. Everything feels like another lifetime. I love you.
I ordered flower seeds for the backyard. I ordered bluebonnets, though I heard they may not grow here. You should be sitting in bluebonnets, learning to grasp things; starting to smile and hearing me read. I should be reading to you.
I remember that last visit to the midwife. You were 39 weeks and 6 days. I sat on the table, holding my enormous belly, and I told her I was ready, that everything was ready for you to come, but I was content to wait.
When I think of thankfulness, all I can think of is the time I had with you. The whispered conversations. The whoosh of your first movements. The tactile knowledge of your hands, and your face, and your very active feet.
These tools were available to me and I chose not to use them. I didn’t choose for you to die, but my choices did not save you. I wish that I had saved you.
I read these stupid memes and I want to say, “well of course my attitude must be influencing me,” but I know that can’t be true. Because there was never a moment when I didn’t feel full of love and want and excitement for you.
I loved you from the moment I saw that second blue line. I loved you from my first dream of you. I loved you for so much longer than you were actually alive–Before, and After, and all the spaces in between.
Last Thanksgiving my morning sickness was so bad I couldn’t stand the smell of any food, let alone meat. I don’t know if you would have been a vegan, but you sure started out that way. Happy tofurkey day.
In one of my earliest conversations, my friend said something along the lines of, “Of course–there’s something so special about children; if you want to be a mother, then go forth and do.”
I remember the day I found out you were real. The breathless wait, that faint second line, the way my heart jumped into my throat and I gave a little scream. I was scared to believe you were true.