This morning, the anger has subsided somewhat and I’m left with a list (of course, what else would I have?) of thoughts.
1. My baby WAS A BABY. Someone pointed out that it may or may not have had a heartbeat yet, implying that it’s status as a baby was somehow in question. This is bullshit, and I’m going to deck the next person who says such an insensitive, asinine thing to me. All stupid, tactless people, consider yourselves warned.
2. What if. On Tues, Jun 24th when I woke up, things were fine. I had a few goals for that day and it was a Tues as usual. What if it hadn’t occurred to me that my period was late? I wouldn’t have taken five pregnancy tests, and “my period” would have started this weekend. And although I would have noticed that there was something up with the texture, the clumps of tissue, there would have been no heartbreak involved. What if.
3. Telling the world. In the past, and as recently as last week, I’ve scoffed at the thought of the 12-week secrecy rule. Although it makes logical sense, Bobby and I didn’t even try to contain our excitement about our news. Instead, we broadcasted it to the world – We’re GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!! Now, we find ourselves a regrettable example of why you don’t tell. Losing a ball of blood and tissue that would have been your baby is traumatic enough without having to issue a retraction to all the distant relatives and college friends that you looked up just to share your glorious news. Most are sorry with you. But there are a few who gently, chidingly say “Now, you see? This is why you shouldn’t tell until after 12 weeks.” And even though they’re right, I still want to kick them in their know-it-all faces. Telling everyone was so exhilarating. Untelling everyone has been a bitch. I feel stupid – like I should have known better than to be so impulsive and excited.
4. Perception. When I woke up Wed morning, things were fine. There was Tuesday’s disappointment of the negative preggo test, but nothing was overly right or wrong. Bobby was asleep and I was running down the street to get Maggie and there was nothing wrong with our lives. We were fine. Now, five days later, we are not fine. The same exact elements are in place – Bobby, me, the Chins, the house, and what was enough last Wednesday isn’t enough today. There’s a gaping hole. There’s a lack of baby. There’s an emptiness where Tadpole was. No, now, it’s even a little bit fine.
5. Good things. Tadpole, during his very minuscule snippet of life, brought about some huge changes. He made me realize how much, how very much, I want a family. He allowed Bobby to realize that he IS READY to be a father – ready and completely thrilled. I realized that Bobby’s ready – I wasn’t aware of that until now. Tadpole’s tiny blip of a life gave us the impetus that we’ve been desperately needing. The momentum to plan, to think beyond our little comfortable lives. Bobby looked at me and said “We’re going to make this work.” There was no doubt in his voice – only confidence and excitement and absolute assuredness. And I believed him. Our marriage gained more strength in those four short days, than it has in the last two years.
6. Next time. With my loss of my tiny Tadpole, I also lost trust and gained a healthy dose of reality and jadedness. Like I needed any more of that. The next time we get that magic word, “Pregnant” on a little digital read-out, my excitement will be tempered with fear. Fear of loss. Fear of the next four days, and whether my body will once again turn on me and abort my tiny baby. Fear of all the bad things that can happen when you love someone other than yourself, more than yourself. Miscarriage, SIDS, birth defects, stillbirth, botched delivery, some horrible maiming disease that’s lurking in my traitor body that I don’t even know about yet. It’s so much easier, safer to just care about yourself, about what you can control.
7. My relationship with God and Mama. Since Mama’s death, I have not spoken to God. Not even once. I’ve thought about all the things that I would say to him if I were speaking to him, all of which were very angry and hateful and not the kinda things you would, generally speaking, say to God. During the last 9 months Mama left, I’ve asked her to give God messages. I’ve talked to her, asked her for help occasionally and used her as a sounding board for topics ranging from paint colors to the merits of the Episcopalian faith. She has nothing to say back to me, and I rarely feel that she’s actually listening, but gradually I’ve gotten used to it. I figure that she’ll tune in if it’s something important.
But Tadpole’s life and death has changed all that. I asked Mama specifically, I trusted her, to protect her tiny, helpless grandbaby. I truly believed that there was a divine significance in the timing – my pregnancy discovery on June 25th, Mama & Daddy’s 32nd wedding anniversary. For some reason, in a world that has never given me any indication that things are fair or logical or balanced, I thought that losing my mother 9 months ago had somehow earned me a “Get Out of Miscarriage Free” card.
I was wrong. Turns out, the roll of the dice isn’t weighted. No matter how many times you’ve lost or won before, you have equal chance of losing or winning again during the next roll. And more than anything, I’m disillusioned with Mama’s role in this. I think that I had empowered her with more influence, more pull than she actually has. And I’m left with these thoughts. She either:
A) doesn’t have any more impact on the dice roll than I do; or
B) she does carry some weight, but she just didn’t deem my baby worthy of her influence.
Question: So where does that leave us?
Answer: More motherless than ever before.