Most of us have by our thirties, lost someone that we love. Before I hit my twenties, I had buried my maternal grandfather and grandmother. I never knew my paternal grandfather. In my high school class, I think 4 to 5 five fellow students died due to car accidents and illness. Countless friends of the family had died. My mother worked in long term care and I had often heard about those patients who had died.
H lost his dad while we were in college and just recently his mother.
While all of those deaths have touched me very deeply, the lose I still feel the most some days is for the baby I never knew. Three years ago this week, I had a miscarriage at about 10 weeks. It was a shock. We had been very excited about giving L a brother or a sister, and unlike L, it took us no time at all to get pregnant.
With L, everything was a little overwhelming and extremely exciting. We had no idea what to expect and all the changes that my body went thru were a wild ride. With the second baby, I was more prepared for the changes and was so looking forward to another baby. I was more relaxed about it. I was however - pretty sick this time. Morning sickness all day was my reality, from the second that sperm found the egg - I was a regular in puke city. Everything made me sick. Smells, colors - you name it. (In retrospect, that should have been(maybe?) my first clue.)
But I kept on keeping on and continued to work and did not let on that I was pregnant. We told some friends, but for the most part we kept our joy (and sickness) to ourselves.
This time around I also broke my own rule and one day, while out at lunch time, bought the cutest white sweater knit sleeper. This baby would be coming in the fall and I thought that sweater would be perfect. Normally, I am not a terribly superstitious person, but where babies are concerned, I like to wait until the ultrasound to let the reality of it all sink in. But this time I bought the sweater. I just could not help myself.
I will forever remember the day I went to my first prenatal appointment with #2, all the paperwork and questions and everyone is so happy. H could not get away from work, so I went by myself. It was fine really, I had been thru this before and that early, the ultrasound looks like a peanut. I was sure everything was going to be ok.
Until there was nothing on the ultrasound. Nothing. I knew right away. The doctor knew right away too, even though she tried to be reassuring and kept trying to find the baby from a different angle. There was no heart beat and no little peanut. I was losing the baby or had already lost the baby and my body just had not caught on just yet.
As I drove to get L from daycare, I tried not to cry. I felt so lost. Now I just had to wait. I tried to hold out hope, that the ultrasound was wrong, that it was just too early to tell. But in a few day, I did miscarry. It was not pleasant and I have never felt so empty.
After carrying a baby for 9 months, you are ready to get the baby out. Enough is enough already, but this time, I just felt tired, empty, angry and sad. I wanted to get to know that little one. I wanted to dress him or her in that sweater and take them for a walk. I wanted to love the child that H and I had created from our love for one another.
In retrospect, I should have stayed home from work, to mourn a bit and to rest, but no one at my job knew I was pregnant, so how does one tell them that you now need time to stay home and mourn the dream you have lost. Not to mention, my colleague was away on vacation and I felt I did not want to let them down.
Some days I think I still mourn for this child a bit. H says that this child's soul was recycled and that is how we got E. In fact we got E, our little gift, when we were actively trying to prevent conception. I just could not face it again, but God stepped in and now we have E. I am not sure if Baby #2's soul is here with us in E or not, but I know that I was given a gift in E and I am forever grateful that I did not close my heart completely from trying again. That I did not let my fear rule me.
That said, St. Patrick's will never again be a party time for me. It is the day I was forced to say good bye to someone I never got know. Someone very special and a dream that will forever be a part of me. I still have the sweater tucked away, but I think I am going to give it to our dear friends, who are expecting their first little one. I am ready to part with that part of my dream.