Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tread Softly, For You Tread on My Dreams

I have been pregnant thirteen times.

No, I don’t have thirteen children.

Seven of my pregnancies ended way before they were supposed to. Before my belly got large; before I really could feel them moving inside of me; before other people knew.

Nobody else saw my babies, but they saw my tears. They didn’t understand. They told me it was better I wasn’t further along. I was told that my babies weren’t really babies – just a blob of tissue and stuff. They said just get pregnant again. They didn’t see my heart was aching – they held it in their hands and squeezed it tighter – closed their fists around it and squeezed so hard it ran through their fingers and didn’t realize it. They told me at least I already had a child.

When I kept having miscarriages they said why don’t you just stop? Why don’t you just count your blessings? Maybe this is God’s way of telling you that you weren’t meant to have more children. Then they said I must be really strong - because this was happening to me, or because they thought I needed to buck it up, I often wondered.

My tears made them uncomfortable. They didn’t know what to say – so they avoided me; ignored me. Some from wishing to spare me further pain – some from their own discomfort.

The pregnant ladies at church sat far away from me – they whispered, they stared. I felt like a contagion – an infectious disease. Someone might catch what I had – recurrent pregnancy loss. Some questioned if I had even been pregnant at all. I became the sad, pathetic person to be pitied. The one they were so glad not to be.

I wanted to show them all the pictures – the u/s pictures of the baby I lost at 10 weeks. You could see her hands, the shape of her head, tiny legs that I had seen kick and the dark black hole that was her heart – no longer beating. It had been a tiny flickering thing just weeks before – fluttering away on the screen, now it was still. I was still losing my breakfast every morning. My heart an empty black hole – my chest an aching chasm. My womb contracting – bleeding what was left of life.

I wanted to show them the baby I held in the palm of my hand one night. Alone and spent, I saw her – I held her. I delivered her and brought her up out of the water. Then I put her in a Ziploc and carried her to the doctor’s office the next day in my purse. She was real – she was a baby! The tiniest, smallest baby I had ever seen. I was in awe of her and devastated by her at the same time.

I wanted to show them the bruises from the drugs I injected to conceive them. The scars from the surgeries I had to have when things went wrong. I wished sometimes they could feel the pain of overstimulated ovaries, the heaviness. The agony of a rupturing fallopian tube. All the blood. If anything – the medical bills. For “nothing” they sure did cost much.

I wanted to tell them of my dreams – the dreams I spun each time. Blond hair, brown hair? Curly? Straight? Blue eyes or my brown eyes? Long fingers and long toes like their daddy? Would they be musical and creative like me? Logical and mathematical like daddy? Tall and slender? I would read them books, sing them lullabies, rock them, hold them. I would hear them play, pick up their messes, clean them, feed them, love them.

They would call me mommy.


MrsSpock said...

I don't know what to say other than loss is loss no matter how early. I'm sorry you've had so many.

Mrs. Spit said...

I tell myself, that I will see 2 children in heaven, irregardless of how many I have on earth. They will be waiting for me.

Before I ever knew them, God did.

And I'm sorry. My words are of little comfort. But this was beautiful writing. Honest and heartbreaking and true.

loribeth said...

"They would call me mommy." Somewhere, I'll bet they do. Even if you can't hear them right now.(((hugs)))

Lollipop Goldstein said...

That last line broke my heart.

Especially this week as you remember Carena.

SAHW said...

Yes, they do...if though you may not be able to hear them now.
I wish people didn't have to pretend like things like this hadn't happened - it's so much harder when others can't accept your grief as real.
Beautifully written.

Cibele said...

I am holding back my tears because I am at work... I did not have as many losses as you did, but one was enough to break my heart and I could not have said better how I felt. I am so sorry.

Julia said...

I am sorry you were treated so badly by those so close to you.

I know this is a tough week. I hope you find some peace in it. Please be gentle with yourself.

CLC said...

I am so sorry. I wish I could have sat with you at church during those times pregnant women avoided you. Wishing you peace, and thinking of all of your children.

Searching said...

Thinking of the sweet, wonderful person and mommy that you are and all your 13 children. Sending you lots of hugs.

Mandy said...

I'd like to believe the babies we lose do still call us mommy, though it breaks my heart into a million pieces it's a mommy we never get to hear.

I'm sorry you've been through so much and sorry those close to you don't get it.

Huge hugs, sweetie.

Annie said...

Oh, oh, oh, I don't even know what to say. I have had three miscarriages and everything you said here resonated with me. The comments, the stares, the avoidance, the pity.

I think they do call us mommy, and someday we will get to hold them. That is little consolation for us now though when our arms are empty (even if our arms hold other children, we still know someone, or several someones, are missing).

Michelle said...

I just wanted to tell you how much this touched my heart. I haven't had as many losses as you but I know this pain all to well. I know that I will see them in heaven. I will have 4 babies waiting for me. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, true, and heatbreaking words. You said it beautifully.

Another Dreamer said...

I'm so sorry for all your losses.

Your post here, beautiful. It made me cry. It made me think of my early pregnancy loss, my only pregnancy. How people were so callous, so uncaring, people who tell me I can have more (And I can't. And even if I could, children are not replaceable.)

Your post made my heart ache in a familiar way.