Sunday, 23 August 2009

What to expect.... when you weren't expecting

Dear Child,
Not the one who gives me huge sloppy kisses, but the other one inside my tummy.

We've had a pretty odd beginning. Other women will tell you that it was their tingling breasts, missed period or some odd intuition that they 'just knew' they were pregnant. For me not taking a dump in four days that was a sign that something was up. One bulk pregnancy test purchase later, I got a sign I didn't need. Two lines, mocking me inside the toilets of McDonalds.

Some women cry for different reasons over home pregnancy tests; anguish over yet another negative result or perhaps joy after months or even years of trying. I'm not sure why I cried but a few days later, there were a few more sobs at the doctors office with the official news that I was up the duff. Your father's response wasn't quite what I expected either. I thought a normal reaction to this sort of news would have been a 'fuck' or maybe even a 'are you sure?' but the announcement of your existence was met with a 'I TOLD YOU I HAD SUPER SPERM' followed by 'I should text my best mate, at least he got six months of trying before his wife fell pregnant.' After I let Daddy marvel at his strength of his semen, we had to decide what to do with you, the unexpected womb visitor.

The rational part of my brain was ticking over all the reasons why we needed to say goodbye but then by golly those hormones got to me and all I could think was 'Babies, babies, babies, NOW!' Everywhere I looked there were pregnant women and babies. 'Don't they look so sweet and cute?' I'd think to myself, 'I could totally do the whole motherhood thing, hell I already have a part-time kid care of your father.' I would like to say it was the experience of seeing your bean-like outline on the screen but honestly the only thing on my mind was willing the moment the radiologist would stop pushing that metal wand thingy into my full bladder and let me go pee.

I've been trying to get used to the feeling that my body isn't entirely my own anymore. Tired doesn't even begin to explain the constant overwhelming exhaustion I've had these past few months. I wake up tired, I get tireder throughout the day before I can go home and take a nap before pulling myself off the sofa to go bed for the night. Not to mention the constant nausea, regular vomiting oh and my little b-cup breasts exploded seemingly overnight into giant D cups a few weeks into this journey. Your Dad asked me what it's like being pregnant and the only description I give was that pregnancy is like having permanent hangover after not sleeping for a week.

That feeling of being stuck with hangover has meant I chowed my way through many servings of my favourite hangover food, whopper meals, way more than either of us would have liked. I know I should, but I really don't care what all that processed food has done to your brain development much less my figure. The fastfood gave me a few hours respite from the feeling that I'm about to projectile vomit should I open my mouth for too long. While we're on the topic of 'bad food' I apologize for putting you in mortal peril during my period of indecisiveness by eating my way through the following banned for pregnant women foods: brie, sushi, sashimi, smoked salmon, raw cookie dough, ham, homemade ice-cream and tiramsu. But hey at least I've stayed away from caffeine and booze so I'm not really that bad a hostess right?

But as it turned out, I was a bad hostess.

Just as getting used to the concept of being pregnant and excited about being your mother, week 13 hit. For most women week 13 is the time they get to relax as the 'danger time' for miscarriage has passed. My week 13 involved getting a bad sign in the middle of nowheresville Australia and bouncing from one hospital to the next trying to find someone who could give me a good sign. But instead the doctor confirmed what I already feared was going on, my pregnancy hormone levels had already plummeted which meant you weren't alive anymore.

It's odd that I should feel that my heart is broken into a million tiny pieces over your short existence. At first all I could think about was how all the drama in my life, lack of space and astronomical lawyers bills made plan A, abortion, the only real option. But when the time came to start making the arrangements, I couldn't go through with Plan A. Why you might wonder? I suppose it was because even though you were a huge surprise and your timing was really crappy, on some level you were wanted.

That moment of knowing was much like your existence, so brief I'm pretty sure we almost missed it. But one day your daddy rubbed my tummy and asked 'how's my baby?' with his cheeky grin that is usually reserved for when his bowels omit a gas so foul that it really should be bottled and sold on the black market as a weapon of mass destruction. I think that's the point when we both decided that no matter how bad the timing, plan A had just be torn to shreds.

But now it's me that feels like I'm being pulled to shreds. I'm sitting in a foreign land with a dead fetus in my belly, feeling so alone. All I want is a giant hug from your Dad, but he's back in New Zealand. I know that I'll be back there tomorrow but right now it feels like forever. I also know that even though this pregnancy ended in disaster, at least I have no trouble with the getting pregnant part of the procreation process. Someday hopefully not long from now, I'll be holding a new child in my arms and the pieces of my heart will be put back together again. Except for that one piece you'll always have.

Love from,



Cat said...

That's really beautifully written. I hope your homecoming brings you strength.

Amnion said...

*hug* Thankyou (sniff)

Deborah said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry. Are you anywhere near me? I could come and get you and look after you for the night before you head home tomorrow.

Lots and lots of tears running down my face...

harvestbird said...

I'm really sorry for your loss.

I miscarried at ten weeks about a month ago, and your last paragraph in particular resonated very much with my experience:

I also know that even though this pregnancy ended in disaster, at least I have no trouble with the getting pregnant part of the procreation process. Someday hopefully not long from now, I'll be holding a new child in my arms and the pieces of my heart will be put back together again. Except for that one piece you'll always have.

Not a baby, but this baby; and then not this baby. We are the haves and have-nots, all in one. Take care.

Azlemed said...

I dont know what to say... you wrote this so beautifully and my thoughts are with you so much at the moment, losing a baby no matter whether wanted or not is horrid and especially hard to deal with. If you need anything just give us a yell... We had a loss earlier this year and it was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with.

love D

Phil said...

That's the sweetest and saddest thing I've ever read on a blog.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences.
Take care, ex-expat.

homepaddock said...

Some people say it's "only" a miscarriage. But there's nothing "only" about the pain of losing a baby and the hopes and dreams you had for her/his future - even though you might not have been aware of them until you lost them.

May you and the baby's father have the love which will heal the grief.

hungrymama said...

Sending *hugs* and healing thoughts your way.

Julie said...

Thanks so much for sharing this t e-e. I hope your story has the happy ending mine had. Best wishes for getting those hugs soonest.

stargazer said...

i'm so sorry for your loss and hoping good things happen for you soon (including the comfort of being with your loved ones). i know what it's like to cry with news of pregnancy, not happy tears either. but to then move on to the experience you've had must be especially difficult. take care.

octopusgrrl said...

Thank you for sharing your story, especially when it must be hurting so much for you at the moment. I hope you get home soon and can find some comfort - take care of yourself *hugs*

Nikki said...

Ah shit. I don't DO crying. Expaaaaaaat!

Sorry. Insensitive. This is about you, not me.

Mucho love to ya xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Boganette said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Alison said...

I'm so sorry to read this, but very thankful you shared it with us - so eloquent. I hope there's a lot of comfort for you on your return to NZ.

Anji said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute, though. *hugs*

Danielle said...

I know how you feel, and I know how much it sucks. I'm really sorry.

Lita said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, that letter is so beautiful and sad. I admire your strength at taking on the placard guy, and saying what had to be said.

Hope you get well soon, thinking of you, kia kaha.