And just like that, it's happened again.
Our baby is gone.
Yes, we were expecting.
It was an utter surprise.
And a miracle.
This time, we decided we'd share the news. We made phone calls and announcements. You all know me, it hit Instagram and Facebook and it was good. We figured we couldn't jinx ourselves any worse than my already existing blood disorder and hostile lady bits. We asked for prayers and good juju.
We got much, much more.
Y'all we had thousands of prayers, wishes and thoughts put out into the Universe, a convent of nuns, a bunch of Native Americans dancing around fires, lots of chanting to Mother Earth, and so much love and "Congratulations!" my smile was rarely gone.
There was an abundance of puking and exhaustion and hormones. I had so many cravings my husband learned to just go with it.
I loved every.single.second.
I know that sounds ridiculous but its true. Puking and hormonal roller-coaster riding meant our Sea Monkey was still thankfully intact.
About 6 weeks before we found out my uterus was occupied, I had started to eat oranges. Not just one here and there but 3 or 4 a day. And orange juice was what was always in my cup. It struck me as odd because I'm not the biggest fan of oranges but I wrote it off as a calcium deficiency. The night before we left for one of our many Arizona trips I was pulling our bedroom window blinds down and they fell. They fell and landed on some flowers my Loverface gave me on my birthday and crushed them. I lost it. I mean full blown, all out, bawling, hyperventilating, hysterically crying. I fell to my knees sobbing and couldn't even look him in the eyes because I was so upset at crushing the flowers he gave me.
Good Lordy my emotional swinging range was wider than anything else and it swung so fast that it would switch hit 3 times before I could even grasp the first one. After telling Loverface I was pregnant one of the first things he said was, "Now the flowers make sense."
This time felt so different than all the others and it wildly gave me hope. I had symptoms. Not just puking and exhaustion and constantly feeling as if my lower back had been run into with a semi-truck but I had actual outward signs. My belly muscles were sore and taut and it was growing. It was changing and getting big so fast that even over a night's time you could see that our baby was growing.
Maybe that's what did it. The bump was the precursor that made my defenses crumble.I could see it so it felt tangible and as if it couldn't turn into the grief we've felt with our last 3 babies.We told people we would let ourselves hope and be excited if I made it to 20 weeks. If we got half-way through the second trimester, we'd buy baby stuff and start on the nursery. If I made it far enough.... Even with us trying to stave off the excitement and planning of the future, it crept in.
Two days ago that "if" was snuffed out.
It was just a normal day for us. Besides it being a Monday and us not having our normal Monday obligations, things all seemed up to par with what was usual. Mr. Superman awoke around 8:30 and I stumbled out of bed 15 minutes later.
He looked up quizzically and said,
"What are you doing up? You should go back to sleep."
"I will but I have to eat. My tummy is just too hungry to be able to get back in bed."
I ate and he got ready to go grocery shopping.
"I can come with you."
"No, you'd be wiped out after 10 minutes."
Smiling because we both knew it was true I said,
He left and after two waffles, a bagel, and 6 bite-size cookies later (my appetite was out of control), I crawled back under my covers. I drifted on and off for 2 hours before finally seceding that deep sleep was not going to come. I got up and did some laundry and cleaning. We decided we'd treat ourselves to a movie so I got ready. Now I know I said the day was normal. It was as far as the general nature of it but I felt odd. The whole day I just felt... off.
I was exhausted like every other day.
I threw up like every other day.
My body was sore like every other day.
It seemed as though it was just like every other day except for the feeling that something was amiss. I couldn't pinpoint it but I felt it.
Within 5 minutes of us leaving for the theater I was suddenly hit with a wave of nausea and broke out into a sweat. It was so peculiar because it wasn't the normal "morning sickness" nausea but more in line with the flu. I told Mr. Superman that I was feeling really sick and thought I should go lie down. Immediately, I felt guilty because it had been my idea for a movie and I had insisted that he purchase tickets online. Purchasing them through this website made them non-refundable. I changed my mind and told him I'd be okay. After sitting in the movie for 15 minutes the icky feeling I had was gone. We enjoyed the movie and stopped off at my in-laws house to see our puppy before going back to our apartment. I was feeling a little crampy but otherwise okay. It didn't last long. As soon as we pulled into our parking lot I knew something was terribly wrong.
If you've experienced a first trimester miscarriage you know what I mean. I felt the unmistakable wetness. I knew that as soon as I pulled my pants down it would be there.
I rushed into the bathroom and with shaking hands I unbuttoned my jeans. The edges of my mind blurred but the images are clear enough that I know what happened. I pulled my jeans down and with a sickening jolt in my stomach I knew. It was too late. There was too much tissue for it to be just bleeding. That was our baby. My head was spinning and my skin felt on fire. I stifled a sob as I frantically tried to get air. I couldn't breathe and the world felt like it was tilting over. I ripped my jeans and underwear the rest of the way off and balled them up. Kneeling on the bathroom floor I wrapped my sweater around my bottom half and turned the doorknob. With the door opened I called for my husband. My voice wasn't right and I knew he could tell. He came in and the look in his eyes is something I can't forget. Confused and worried he asked,
"What? What is it?"
Choking out the words that were muddled by my sobs,
"I'm sorry! I'm so, so sorry!"
"What is it? What happened? What's wrong?!"
"It's gone! Our baby is gone! I'm sorry!"
The cries ripping through my throat and wracking my chest were too much. He was there on the floor next to me, legs sprawled and as he tugged at me, trying to pull me close to him I was pushing away.
Timidly he asked,
"How do you know?"
"Because I know what it looks like! It's gone!
No more words.
Each of us at a loss.
The only thing louder than his stunned silence was the noise coming from me.
It was alien.
Two things that should not be able to inhabit the same place at the same time.
There was more blood. I could feel it and I knew my sweater wouldn't keep it hidden for long.
"Get me grocery bags and Clorox wipes!"
A minute later he was back and he set them on the ground. I grabbed them and pushed away.
"You don't need to see this. Go."
As I closed the door I tried to go numb. If I couldn't feel it then maybe it wouldn't seem as bad as it was. The sobs that had been tearing through me, that I had so futilely tried to stifle were slowing. First, I took the wad of my jeans and tied them in a bag. I then put them in another and then another. I cleaned the toilet and then seeing that my socks were now bloody put them in another sack. I cleaned up the rest of me and the floor, tying everything up in a bag that was inside 6 more. With trembling hands I reached up and opened the door. There he was. Legs still splayed wide with his head tilted far back against the wall. I thrust the bag not containing my jeans at him.
"Take it. Get it out. I can't have in in here! Get rid of it!"
He stood and a few moments later I heard our front door open and then close. I stood and rushed to grab clean clothes before ducking into our other bathroom. After closing the door I climbed into the shower.
Freezing water pelted me and then gradually getting warmer before finally settling on nearly scalding. I began to scrub my body so vigorously and harshly it hurt. The pain was a sharp relief. Like feeling the biting stabs of invisible needles that occur when your limbs begin to awaken after having the blood flow cut off. After rinsing and drying myself off, I pulled on the clothes I had grabbed and stepped out into the hallway. I could see him on our bed, head downcast and eyes unfocused. Climbing up next to him I buried my face in his chest.
"I'm so sorry."
"It's not your fault."
"I'm the one who's broken. It's me. I'm sorry."
"Stop, it's not your fault."
His head was still steadfastly looking down.
"Then why won't you look at me?"
Placing my hands on either side of his face I tilted his head up and forced him to look at me.
"Okay. Please, tell me how you are."
Dejectedly he said,
"I've been better."
"Yeah? Me too."
"You know what? We've also been much, much worse."
Warily he asks,
"Yes, we have. We're going to be okay."
In his eyes I see doubt and they are brimming full of too much shininess. Even though I know he isn't blaming me or accusing me, I internally recoil from the inane sense of guilt.
I had told him I was okay.
I told him the baby was okay and they were growing.
I had begun to talk about the future.
I took so many pictures and constantly shared the progress and news with our friends and family. My walls that I'd built up over the last 6 years had come down and I had told him it was okay. I had insisted he ease his worry.
In that moment with his eyes trained on mine, I saw that even though he hadn't shared the news online like I had and despite all the times he said he'd be less worried and more hopeful if I made it far enough along, he had, in fact, allowed himself to kindle the spark of excitement and belief deep within himself that had come to be.
Here I was making promises I could't guarantee.
Here we are sitting amid the ashes of our dream.
Our wish isn't coming true.
October 15th is now going to just be October 15th.
Here we are faced with the task of coping with something that is impossible to cope with.
Here we are again.