Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year, New Post: My First Broken Heart

So I haven't done much writing in the last two years. It was too painful and tumultuous. I didn't want pity and I didn't want to talk. But I feel like it is time to write about it, and who knows, maybe it will give comfort to someone who is going what I went through, so here it goes:

In May of 2012, I had what doctor's refer to as a missed miscarriage.

I was thirteen weeks pregnant when my baby's heart quit beating.

It was the most gut wrenching, life tearing, heart wrecking thing that has ever happened to me. I went in for a regular ob/gyn appointment alone, and they couldn't find the heartbeat. I told myself it was ok, it had happened before but they eventually found it. But I saw the nurses face and in my heart of hearts I knew something was wrong. When they called in the doctor and the doctor turned to me I could hear a strange buzzing in my ears. When she told me my baby's heart had stopped I teared up. She asked if there was anyone they could call to come get me, I said no, I would call someone. She told me it wasn't my fault, that this happens sometimes when something isn't correct or viable. They gave me some time in the room alone and I called my husband. As I heard him moan,"nooo", I knew that I would never forget that sound. He said he would come to get me. In the meantime I had to call my work, because they expected me to show up after the appointment. So I had to make two calls and tell an intimate partner and a colleague that my baby, my precious baby, was dead. After the phone calls, the nurses ushered me to a lady who is responsible for scheduling patients for surgery. I was still in shock, my ears were still ringing, my heart was still breaking, and my eyes were still burning. I just kept waiting to wake up. Praying to wake up. Wishing I'd wake up. But I was awake.

As they scheduled me for surgery with the cold precision that only an intake specialist can provide, I was told I would have to go to surgery tomorrow. I could carry my dead baby until then. They talked to me about payments and all the other things that intake specialists really care about. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to wake up.

As I sat in my car in the parking lot, waiting on my husband to come get me, I cried, and I wailed, and I beat myself up, and I chastised myself for not remembering to take my prenatal vitamin four tuesdays ago, and having that coca cola because I really wanted it. I chastised myself regardless of what the doctor said, because deep down, I KNEW IT WAS MY FAULT.

I don't remember much of the rest of that day. I remember my husband's mom coming over and crying and needing to be comforted, just another reminder of my failure. I killed my baby, I broke my husband's heart, and my mother in laws'. I remember laying in my bed and wishing it would swallow me. I remember having to explain to my daughter that she wouldn't be getting her little brother or sister as soon as she had hoped. I told her that this baby had to go live with grandpa in heaven. I had to be brave for her and not cry. I called someone to watch her for a few days.

The next day I went for surgery. My husband looked haggard, old, and worn out from tears. I probably looked like the death machine I was. I don't remember much of the surgery other than having to wait in the intake lounge for hours and think about the fact that my little bump on my tummy was dead. All my dreams of baby shampoo smells, all my hopes of tiny giggles shared with my daughter and me, all of it was gone. Gone in a day. I remember coming out of surgery. My lips were cracked, I was very pale, and I couldn't stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time. I remember going home and wishing the bed would swallow me again. This awful person.

The next few days were a blur, and I think if I hadn't had my daughter I might not be typing this now. But she returned home and my love for her forced me to take care of the things that needed taking care of. My husband became quieter after that. I received a call from work, asking when I'd be back. I told them I needed a week. I had to go to the ob/gyn for a visit following surgery, and it was explained to me that I had a clotting disorder, that was probably the cause, and I needed to take aspirin for the rest of my life. I did as she asked but didn't really understand or care.

Most of the time, I just lived on guilt. I had complained a lot during my pregnancy because I had been really sick and had awful pains the whole time. So I would look back on it, and think, "it is my fault. I wasn't grateful enough. It is karma. I should not have complained. I should have been joyful." I would think about every bad thing I had ever done in my life and feel like I deserved what happened.

But as life does, it moves on, and I did to. I will never stop thinking about my angel baby. The one I didn't get to keep. When I became pregnant with my son, I was terrified to tell anyone. I didn't want to have to call anyone ever again and tell them my baby died. So I thought I would keep it to myself. I called one friend and asked them what to do. So I went through the first three and a half months of my pregnancy with only my husband and my best friend. I eventually worked up the nerve to tell his mom, and then his mom spread the news to close relatives. Casual friends, work friends, and facebook friends didn't find out until I'd made it to five months. In June of 2013 I had my son via c-section, prematurely. He survived and is a healthy 17 lbs. He is wonderful, and I love him. I love both of my children. But I love my angel baby too.

Some people believe that there is no life after death. Maybe there isn't. I believe there is. Maybe I believe because I have to. Maybe I believe because I want so badly, to see my baby someday. I couldn't tell you. I think we all have to believe what is right for us, as individuals, and that is what is right for me.

As this has been a highly emotional post for me, I am going to get off now and go dry my tears. But for anyone that has ever experienced this loss and is dealing with all of the meaningless platitudes people will give you about how "it was all for the best" and "better now than later" I will say this. They are well meaning and stupid. It hurts and no amount of words are going to make it okay. I understand that and so do you. Let it hurt, and be with people who understand that it has to hurt right now.

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