Okay, wonderful you-people. Here is the final long post about the pregnancy I lost before Christmas. It has drug on only because I haven't had the desired time to blog. But I am not continually sad about this, as you might think by me writing on and on! There have just been too many thoughts. Sure, there are reminders that make a small, sad lurching in my stomach - today I met a woman whose baby is due 10 days after mine would've been - but I am very well.
And hey, I so appreciate your comments and emails. This ongoing conversation has been a source of mutual healing. Here are some after-thoughts, and then I'll post another email with a few happy memories of that pregnancy.
Having Zoralee has been, in soooo many ways, my main comfort. I know that my body can make a baby! She is living proof of it. She also brings me/us so much impossible-to-ignore joy. Caring for her daily needs and being fascinated by her growth certainly balance out the time I'd otherwise be able to spend grieving. (I must say though, if I miscarry again before birthing another child, my grief and anxiety will probably grow exponentially.)
Getting pregnant a second time was as miraculous to me as the first. It was amazing.
Remember how in mid-November, when I would've been considered eleven or twelve weeks along, we posted the picture of Zoralee with the kumquat sign? By then, the heart of our little womb-dweller had already ceased its beating. It never reached kumquat size at all. Thinking of this specific sibling and Zoralee not getting to know each other is probably my saddest thought. I love my siblings. During childhood, I thought a lot about the other siblings I'd never know, the five my mom lost before, between, and after the four of us kids. Oddly, I remember the miscarriages, the later ones anyway, more than her successful pregnancies.
When I was 13 or 14 weeks pregnant with Zoralee, we had our first meeting with Marcy the Midwife. I told her that I would probably miscarry this baby, but that I was just so glad I could get pregnant and was glad to be in baby realm and midwife-meeting mode. I still remember her stare of confusion. She said, "WHY ON EARTH are you assuming you'll miscarry this baby?" Her look, and her explanation that it would be rare to miscarry as far along as I was, together jolted me toward reality, although I wasn't buying it 100%. Actually, until I had a baby in my arms, I assumed something would go wrong. Call me a loony toon or a pessimist; more realistically, call me somebody who has a hard time believing I could have something as cool as a baby human.
Last sad thought: wow, there were myriad mental adjustments to make, one by one, day by day. No early summer baby for us. I won't be carrying my naked little one in a sling as I do summer chores. No tandem nursing of this little one and Zoralee together. No baby cousin to match Rachel and Cam's Poppy. Booo!
Most unexpected thoughts
Several times I have started to lift something heavy and then paused out of habit. My thought process is 1. Careful, don't endanger the baby! 2. Oh....there is no baby. 3. Well, then who cares if I hurt myself? When I'm walking on ice, I'll rightly reason that slipping and hitting my bum isn't such a worry anymore. But then I go further to wonder who cares if I even survive the fall. I will occasionally even feel like my family might disown me because my productivity is slipping. Isn't this strange? I mean, being pregnant was fulfilling, but for Pete's sake, I've never considered Pregnant Lady to be a noticeable slice of my identity! I've only been pregnant for 13 months over 34 years of time. So where are these thoughts coming from about my self-worth being tied to pregnancy? Jimminies.
(Other than the next post, which'll tell my happy memories)