I can’t sleep, and for some reason, feel an urge to write although I have nothing to say. I’m nervous about tomorrow. Don’t know why – logically, I know that the procedure is common and minor in the big scheme of things. I’m not that worried about the physical aspect… I think it’s just more of a mental thing. Knowing that I will no longer be pregnant… it doesn’t really make sense, even to me. I guess I feel like the D&C will make it “official,” even though I know that my pregnancy is already over.
So difficult to comprehend that there was a heartbeat, a tiny, steady pumping of two tiny heart chambers, and now there’s nothing. It really WAS there. I have it on videotape… I have proof. And now it’s gone? Does a heartbeat constitute a person? Medically speaking, an embryo becomes a fetus during week 8, when the liver, brain, kidneys, and lungs begin functioning. So our little one make it to fetal status right before his/her demise. But when does the soul come into play? If the heart was beating, was it a purely biological happening, or was it an indication of a life and all that implies? Wikipedia defines the “soul” as:
“the self-awareness, or consciousness, unique to a particular living being, defined as being distinct from the body and survives the death of the body.”
So, based on this definition, that tiny heartbeat did NOT represent a soul because there was no self-awareness or consciousness. There were only biological occurrences with no awareness or consciousness involved.
But I don’t like that conclusion. Those babies – the first and the second – may have not been bigger than a bean, but they were real to me… real people with real needs and a real place in our lives. I want to believe that they’re in heaven with Mama now, getting to know their Grandmama in a way that our living babies won’t. The skeptical part of me says that I’m telling myself that as a shallow, trite platitude, to comfort myself. But if you believe in an afterlife, in a heaven (which I do), then doesn’t it make sense that a baby-to-be, who was already loved dearly, would be there?
It’s such a mystery to me. How that little heart was created and began beating. And then it stopped beating and “uncreated” itself. Why? How? Dr Jerry asked me if I recognized God’s role in creating life. I said “yes.” And then he asked me if I was angry at God for his role in this latest happening. I said “no.” I’m not angry. I’m tired and saddened and completely uncertain about where we’re going from here, but I’m not angry. Not this time.
I keep forgetting, then the realization comes crashing back in. No baby. No finding out if it’s a boy or girl in October. No painting the walls pink or blue, or discussing toile versus gingham crib bedding. No starting the third trimester on Christmas Day. No deciding if a bassinet is really necessary. No Easter arrival on or around April 9th, 2009. When we saw that positive pregnancy test, an adjustment began immediately… understanding, comprehending that our lives were changing permanently. And even though it was only 8 weeks, 4 days, backtracking to the old way to thinking is difficult. Really, really difficult. The next time, will we be able to get excited? Will Bobby even involve himself at all? Or will we be guarded and detached?
Several years ago, I worked with a man whose wife had had several miscarriages. When she got pregnant again, they requested that no one acknowledge it at all. No showers, no decorating the nursery, no nothing. They sat in a state of suspended anxiety for 9 months – they didn’t find out the gender, and did nothing to prepare their home for a baby. When she delivered a perfectly healthy baby boy, she and her husband were completely overjoyed… and the “inconvenience” of last-minute shopping for their little one was barely a blip on the radar. When I heard this story, I didn’t get it. I still thought that when Bobby and I decided that it was time to have kids, we’d just go off birth control and *POOF!*…. a baby 9 months later. Now, I think I’m beginning to understand. More than I want to, actually.