The Day With No Cake.


It's messy and exhausting. It's undeniably scary and painful and absolutely inevitable. There's something in knowing the hideous inevitability of life that makes us want to stand up, heads held high, with our heels dug in while at the same time, running to duck for cover with our eyes wide shut. Most of the time, we're okay with all of the shitty sides of life because often, it's all counterbalanced by beauty and love and exhilarating opportunities. Often, but not always

God! Us humans are such fickle, selfish, and yes, vulnerable, ignorant creatures. Always wanting to be given more for doing less. It's easier to make brash assumptions about random strangers instead of taking a few minutes out of our lives to get to know someone new. Putting out negativity seems to come more naturally than spreading positivity. We are all so stubbornly hellbent when it comes to our hopes and dreams and what we view as the only path that leads to success. We plan and we plan and no matter how many times our plans fail, we never learn. In our minds, no one knows better than us who swim in our own preconceived notions of what our lives are supposed to be like. 

I'm 27 years old. I've lived in 4 states and 11 residences since 2007. I've lost 4 jobs  and undergone over half a dozen surgeries. I've had 3 organs removed and 5 tumors discovered. I received treatment for those tumors and though it was a success, I now only have about 50% functionality in both of my kidneys combined. I've been brutally raped and nearly killed. I have had to witness my attacker being fully acquitted and all records expunged not once, but twice. I've had my marriage tested so thoroughly that I didn't see how we could possibly make it out with our love intact. We have encountered infertility and also lost 5 babies. 


I've been contemplating talking about this almost since Day 1 but I never could quite get myself to follow through. Following through meant cutting already open wounds even further, pouring in salt, and then scrubbing them with steel wool. It meant thinking and feeling and acknowledging excruciating pain. The closer today got, March 26th, the more I felt the need to let it all spill out and the less I was able to shroud and drown everything that's lived inside of me since last September. 

In July when I first began feeling the aches and pains, it was a teensy thought at the back of the furthest reaches of my mind. The longer it went on, the more that teensy thought grew. I only had my husband pick up the tests as a throw away solution that would get those voices and thoughts to shut up. When I sat down to pee on that stick, it never once crossed my mind it would be anything but negative. Before I could rip the toilet paper off of the roll and not even 10 seconds later, there was a bright pink and undeniably present line. 


Throat closed up, mouth went dry, eyes welled, head spun. 

The first three words out of my mouth were not something endearingly sweet that I'd share with my children when they were grown. They were sharp, shocked, only 4 letters long and completely unladylike. I shakily called Mr. Superman's name and when he rounded the corner, I immediately choked out a sob. 

Him: Are you serious?
Me: (Arms outstretched and stumbling my way to him.) I can't do this again! I can't! 

Within a week, I'd already had my first ER visit that resulted in us finally seeing a tiny little sack inside of me. Over the next few weeks, I got sicker and things got scarier. I threw up blood and passed out daily. I drove up to the University hospital every morning where I got hooked up to the machines and received 2 liters of fluid. We held hands so tightly every time they checked for our baby on the ultrasound screen. The love of my life cried when we first saw the heartbeat racing in that babes chest. We soon found ourselves living quite comfortably in our new reality and were excitedly preparing for the baby we'd been dying to have for the last 7 years. I grew plumper and loved to look at my belly in the mirror. Every single second of pain and sickness made me happy. It all meant that a miracle was still living inside of me. 

One day in September, I woke up feeling a palpable, heavy presence that I could not shake. I told Mr. Superman I had a bad feeling. I couldn't put my finger on it but something was wrong with that day. He kept telling me to stay positive and have nothing but good juju flowing through me. "The baby will come out with a bad attitude if you don't", he joked. A couple of hours later, I passed out and hit my belly on the corner of our ottoman on my way down. The pain that followed was pretty intense which meant driving back up to the hospital to get checked out. 

NINE HOURS LATER, we were being told that there was no more movement coming from our baby. She wasn't kicking or dancing like she usually did. There was no heartbeat drumming away in her tiny chest. We were left in the room so we could have some privacy and also to discuss how I wanted to 'evacuate the fetus'. Evacuate. Like a damn firedrill. 

TWENTY FOUR HOURS LATER, I was being awoken from surgery and soon thereafter, wheeled out to my car and sent home. 


It wasn't long after losing her that results came back showing she had been Trisomy 21. Downs Syndrome. Ironically (and I wholeheartedly believe divinely), the middle name we had planned on giving her was Kay. She was going to be named after my Aunt Kay who had been a beautiful, loving Downs Syndrome individual. 

Hours turned to days turned to weeks and I had been in a constant downward spiral heading into the deepest, darkest, and heaviest of abysses. I wanted to die. I had been so thoroughly broken it's hard to see how my heart kept working. It seems impossible and yet, here I still am. 

In December, I was rushed to the hospital where upon arrival, no vitals could be found. I had been hemorrhaging off and on since our baby girl had been taken from my body and in the last week, I had lost 5 units of blood. I received a transfusion and spent a week in the hospital where I had surgery to clamp off the two main arteries inside of my uterus that were freely bleeding. We were told it was likely this bleed is what had actually caused the death of our baby girl, not the fact that she was Trisomy 21. 

Anger, sadness, confusion... 

Why? I mean seriously, why?! I don't care if she had been low functioning, all I wanted was her. I'd give anything, do anything if I could just have her back. 

The thing about life is that it's not fair. It's wholly unpredictable and uncontrollable. No matter how many times this truth gets slammed in our faces, we never learn. 

Because we're stupid humans. 

I had a plan. It was to get married, go to school, have babies, be happy. Never in a million years did it cross my mind I wouldn't get exactly that. Nobody ever thinks they are going to struggle with infertility let alone lose FIVE babies. It's unimaginable. Unconscionable. 

Another thing we humans do is put a label on everything. Every single thing life dishes out is sorted and crammed into cubbies that make everything look prettier and feel cleaner. The damaging thing about this way of thinking is that it separates and alienates us from one another. Those who are going through hell and struggling with life's most recent derailment find themselves feeling heartbreakingly alone and misunderstood. 

Miscarriage is one of those things that doesn't fit into a cubby hole. For those who never experience it, it's impossible to understand the grief and pain behind it. Things are said thoughtlessly, carelessly, and ignorantly. Being brushed under the rug is par for the course because who the hell wants to talk about dead babies? Trust me, we get it. We're living it. 

March 26th, 2015. The birthday she will never have.  

The hardest thing about being someone who loves easily and fiercely and unabashedly is being someone who loves easily and fiercely and unabashedly. The best part? Precisely the same thing. Even though somewhere deep inside I know this is true, right now it's all I can do to not shatter into a million little pieces.

I guess instead, I'll just hit the 'Publish' button. 

1 comment:

Amanda said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you are able to feel at peace and happy someday.