As I sit in my nest wet with tears, I am moved to attempt to express my profound sense of loss. I am grieving, sorrowing, mourning. This envelopes me and I must allow it to, so as not to become calloused, brittle, hard, or cold.
For the last two months a flickering flame of hope, a joy grew deep within me. Life in my womb again suffused me, and by extension Adam and Marshall with such happiness. Each night we snuggled together, dreaming family dreams.
I have been nauseated, overly-sensitive to odors, tired to the very bone. I have avoided most foods that I typically find joy in; cooking is unbearable. But, it was all in the course of something beautiful and exciting. Knowing that these symptoms would pass as my belly swelled comforted me through even the worst wretching. As these symptoms persist but the flame is extinguished, it is a cruel mockery.
I have not ever known loss like this. It is so very different than the death of a friend or an older loved one. Memories keep them very much alive in my mind and heart. But, this little one was so new that I can grieve only the future. The potential. It is a very solitary sadness. Even my Lover can only marginally sympathize as this had been something so very much between me and our unborn child.
The medical community calls this a missed miscarriage. We went in on Tuesday for a “dating ultrasound” to measure the baby and confirm the estimated due date of January 4, 2011. We were excited with expectation of seeing the little heart beat.
Adam and Marshall stood by holding my hand as the radiology tech glided the tool over my already expanding belly. She took measurements of our little baby but did not say much. She switched over to a internal tool, and I knew that there was something wrong. Then, she called in the radiologist who repeated all that she had done. They asked me to redress and told me that they would be right back to discuss the results.
I hid for a moment in the sanctuary of the bathroom. Then, removed the hospital gown and pulled on my maternity jeans. They already seemed inappropriate. I knew what I had seen; uterine sac, a sweet little fetus. A lack of movement.
The uterine sac looked sound and healthy blood flow, the fetus measured 2.5 cm, so the dating was as expected; 9 weeks. But, no heartbeat was detected. Whatever had occurred was very recent; within a day or so. The radiologist was gentle and professional. He assured me that this was not due to something that I had done. That he was so sorry.
I needed to get out of that small, dark, tomb-like exam room. Into the light. I needed to breathe fresh air and kiss my Marshall’s soft blond hair. To feel Adam’s warmth. I needed to be reminded of what was real and good. My ears buzzed with “chromosomal abnormality”.
My options were laid out to me by my gentle and sympathetic PCP and then again by my kind midwife. I choose to wait. To allow my body to recognize the loss. I trust the wisdom of my body. Meanwhile, I hold my still, unborn child within me for just a little while longer.
3 replies on “Mourning”
Oh charlotte, i am so sorry. there is nothing to say beyond that if you need anything, you know where we are.
i feel your pain. my due date was january 17th, 2011. i went in for an 11 week appt and they could not find the heartbeat. the dr. told me not to worry, that it was still early and that we’d hear something next time. next time was today. i went in this morning for a checkup, still no heartbeat. i started crying immediately and the dr sent me to the hospital to have an u/s. the u/s tech was silent through the whole thing (exterior and vaginal) and when done said “i’ll be right back, i’m going to call your dr.” …. of course, i knew exactly what that meant. sure enough, my dr gets there and apparently my little bean stopped growing around 6 weeks. i was 15 weeks as of yesterday. no signs of a miscarriage – no cramping, bleeding, nothing. i’ve done nothing but cry all day. it’s a sadness i never hoped to experience…..
by the way, january 4 is my birthday =(
that was supposed to say jan 17th, 2012…. oops