Loss. It has taken on a dimension of meaning I had never fathomed prior to battling infertility. I relish the English language and I habitually choose my words carefully in order to convey my thoughts. When I had my miscarriage, the word “loss” offended me. It didn’t seem an accurate descriptive of the excruciatingly painful and devastating experience of my offspring being expelled from my womb in a grotesque waterfall of blood and tissue.
Almost a year from when my infant should have been placed in my arms, I have come to appreciate that loss is a description of the experience, not the event. The event has come and gone. The experience will forever be woven into the fabric of my psyche. Perhaps one day that fabric will be so threadbare that I will hardly recall all of the pieces that contributed to the final product. Perhaps. It is still too soon.
There are two dates are like either side of a dam. April 24, 2017 is when my baby passed through my legs into the toilet, as if he were waste. No pomp only sad circumstance. I was alone. I generally prefer being alone. Yet, in that moment, I wished there had been a witness to the events. Someone else who could testify that the baby had been a real thing, a person, he existed. Even if only briefly.
The 18th of November was to be his born date. He unfortunately would not get to share that day with me. Where he is, I hope he knows how much I love him. How much I long to hold him. I am prayerful that there is a heaven and that he and I shall meet there someday.
Trauma. That is what I am experiencing. My head and my heart are unable to reconcile what has happened.
Four days after my loss, I was with friends, celebrating a birthday. They were drinking and I was not. Still feeling very much pregnant. Heavy abdomen, full breasts, loose ligaments and slight nausea were my constant companions. That night, I sat on the floor of my friend’s apartment and drew a butterfly and colored it in using colored pencils. I colored for hours. I prayed to God for peace and apologized to God for only calling on him when I needed him. I joked that I knew he needed to help a lot of people, so no need in my clogging up the prayer lines with all my good fortune.
God did not laugh. He also did not judge. He was there, as if I had never left. Perhaps I hadn’t, not really. As we got reacquainted, as old friends do, I regained my sense of comfort with Him. I had a few questions for Him. I asked Him, “Why?” Why did this happen? Why did he allow this to happen to ME? He stood silent. Then I heard my sister’s voice. She was telling me a story of when she felt sorry for herself and left a Sunday service, asking God why? Why had this horrible thing have happened to her? God did not answer then either. However, as if prompted, a fellow churchgoer stepped in my sister’s path and pointedly asked, “why not you??” She then had her answer and this memory of her telling me this story, certainly gave me mine.
Why not me? What made me so special, so magical and so amazing that I could escape basic human tragedy? If 1 in 4 women will suffer a miscarriage in their lifetime, surely I couldn’t be exempt. Why NOT me?
The pregnancy, while unplanned, forever altered my being. It also altered the path of my future. I was called to try again and have done so in earnest for nearly a year. I’m doing it alone. Alone is my favorite state of being, afterall. Mercifully people have rallied because I honestly had no idea what a steep hill I was setting out to climb. Even with all the statistics, I didn’t think it would take me this long to become pregnant. Sure the odds weren’t great, but not insurmountable. I’ve beaten the odds most of my life. From a data set perspective there is always an outlier, there is always an exception that proves the rule. How is that for ego and entitlement? God has the last say. Even I prep to conceive my rainbow baby via the most invasive assisted reproductive technology, I still understand that divinity must be involved. Infertility is the great equalizer, it doesn’t care how much money a longing heart has or doesn’t have for that matter.
I have stopped wondering what the end looks like, for my own sanity. I have far too vivid an imagination and more anxiety than my 50mg of Zoloft can manage to let my mind run with that question The inner Dorothy in me has surrendered. I try my best to take everything one moment at a time as it relates to my fertility. I was in such a rush before and it wasn’t healthy. I pray to God that His will be done.
I also pray that I, like Dorothy, I just have to believe.