Friday, February 7, 2014

Can We Talk?

Sometimes anonymity is a good thing. Sometimes things happen and you really need to tell somebody. But it's hard to talk about. Like when you miraculously get pregnant after months of trying and suddenly things go wrong.

Other than being much harder to conceive, this pregnancy seemed just like all the others at 5 weeks. We had done this a few times. We were planning out fun ways to tell the other kids. Then one morning I had a distressing dream. I found a tiny preterm baby, my baby, drowning in my toilet. Immediately I pulled him out, cleared his airway, and held him. I dreamed it 3 times in a row and I pulled him out every time. But I felt like a horrible, neglectful, selfish parent as I lied in bed trying to wake up. I got up and went to the bathroom reliving the dream over and over. I kept seeing that tiny thing struggling, gasping, and coughing. I told myself not to worry, the baby was still safe inside me. But then I stood up and saw it. The toilet was full of bright red blood and tissue.

The bleeding went on for 3 weeks. The ultrasound said there was no heart beat. I've never had a miscarriage. How do you talk about it? When your friend at church is going on about her late period and negative pregnancy test, how do you tell her "I'm having a miscarriage right NOW and I'm in pain"? When you run into the Primary President and the Relief Society President and all they want to do is make small talk and send you on your way, how do you say "No, I have something to say. I really need you to listen"? They were the only women I came in contact with that day and I felt like reaching out and holding on to them.

Doctors always say it not your fault, it must have been a genetic error incompatible with life. But I still can't help wondering, what could I have done differently? I could have made my appointment earlier. I could have listened when the nurse put me on "pelvic rest" as a precaution. But we cheated a little. Did I kill my baby? I will never know the answer.

Either way I need to be careful how I judge others. I know women who chose to kill their babies, either by claiming they knew better than doctors, or having an abortion, or whatever. Maybe we're not so different. Maybe I can have a little more compassion.

It's been a long process but I'm finally feeling this today. It sort of feels like when you break up with a boyfriend and lay in bed all day watching TLC. I saw a commercial for chili cheese pretzel dogs at Sonic. If I muster up some motivation I might go get one. It's okay though. I'm giving myself a day off from chores and errands and diets. It's really okay.

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