Friday, February 15, 2013

Lost Baby.

   Most people don't like to talk about losing a baby. It is raw and fierce. And most people don't understand. Then there are all types of lost babies (like categorizing them means anything to a mom who has lost a baby). There are babies who are born and die before a year. Ones who are stillborn. Late term losses. Early losses. Miscarriages. Mine was an ectopic pregnancy. 8 weeks.

It was a total surprise that I had gotten pregnant. I was not trying. My relationship was not serious. But I knew right away that I wanted the baby. I was 4 weeks when I found out. The day I missed my period. The week the heart is forming. By 5 weeks the heart has started beating. There was new life. My baby. By the 6th week I knew something was wrong. One side of my abdomen was bigger. It was puffed out. It was supposed to be in the middle but it was to one side. I went to the doctor and they drew blood. The hormone count was right but they sent me in for a vaginal ultrasound. They were a little worried too. The ultrasound showed nothing. I mean, nothing. There was nothing in my uterus and they couldn't see anything in my tubes. They said that it was hard to see it that soon and that if it was in my tubes that it would be too small to see, etc. Looking back this makes me mad. They sent me back for 3 more of those intrusive painful intra vaginal ultrasounds. Each one, they said the same thing. They didn't offer any kind of treatment, just to wait and see.

I was 8 weeks along. Trying to sleep. 3 am. I am woken up out of my half sleep by incredible pain. My whole belly was on fire. I tried waking up my then boyfriend. I told him something was wrong. That I hurt. He told me I was imagining it and to go back to sleep. I was crying but he rolled over and went back to sleep. I stumbled downstairs to the bathroom. Crying. I made it to the bathroom before I started violently vomiting. I was half passing out from the pain and half violently retching. I was crying and moaning. It was blindingly painful. My room mate heard me and came to see what was wrong. I told her that I needed her to watch my 3 yr old and I was going to go to the hospital.

I picked myself up. Put on my shoes. Grabbed my keys and got into my little 5 speed 2 door. And then I drove myself 30 miles to the nearest hospital. To the astonishment of the hospital staff. They admitted me instantly. They did a quick look but I don't remember if it was an ultrasound or what. The one thing I remember is that they said they had to do emergency surgery, my ectopic pregnancy had burst, and then I told them to call my mom. The next thing I remember is waking up in a recovery room. All the meds they gave me, I still remembered what had happened and that there was no more baby. All my housemates and family came to see me, even my then boyfriend. But everything was hollow. I tried making jokes about the meds making me trip, but all I could think about was how hollow and empty I felt. The nurse came in and asked me some questions. She was flabbergasted that I had drove myself, 30 miles, shifting a manual. She said 5 more minutes and I would have been dead. DEAD.

I quit thinking about the baby after that. Or so I told myself. I stayed in bed recovering for a couple of weeks and then went on with my life. I waited 7 more years to try again. I found a nice man and settled down. I started thinking about how I wanted another baby. My son was 10 and I might not have another chance to have one more. I only had one fallopian tube left and I wasn't sure how hard it would be to get pregnant. When I finally did get pregnant I was scared that it might be ectopic again. I wasn't afraid because I might die. I was afraid because I might lose another baby. Then it hit me how much it had affected me. How much it still hurt. How mad I was that I couldn't have that baby. I went on to have 2 more after that. 4 children in total.

And every single one of them reminds me of the one I should have had. At 8 weeks, he or she, would have had a heartbeat. A brain forming, circulatory system started. Every successful pregnancy, I would read along to those "where are you now" pregnancy things. Imagining. Missing. Begging the Universe to give that baby back to me. Knowing that isn't how it works. Birthing, nursing, watching baby grow. I would sit and think about my missing baby. Trying to imagine what he would look like, act like, sound like, smell like. Sometimes I would cry.

I recently decided to get my remaining tube tied. Actually, I decided to get it cut off and thrown away like the other side. It feels right. The 2 sides match now. It makes it feel a little more normal even though I am the only one who knows and nobody can see it. I had 4 lovely kids plus a bonus step daughter that I get to be a full time mom too. I have enough kids. I cant keep having babies trying to fill that hole left behind. I am disabled. I just cant take care of anymore. It was the right decision. Today was my last post op check. Checked out fine. I told the doctor that I should have asked to keep it, to see it. She said they take pictures for documentation but that it was left in my hospital file. I always regretted not being able to keep my baby, to bury. The hospital doesn't think of it as a baby at 8 weeks. They "disposed" of it probably. I wasn't in any frame of mind to ask for it or even think about it.

It is only now that I regret not having been able to keep it and bury it. I realize that it wouldn't have looked like a baby and I might not have wanted to see it. But I do wonder sometimes if it would have felt better being able to bury it. On my way home from the appointment I wondered if they had taken a pic of the baby. Would it have been in my file? Then I get a clear vision in my mind of what it would look like. Or what I think it would have looked like. It is so clear though. I start crying. I am thankful my 2 kids with me are sleeping. I silently weep all the way home. Missing my baby again.

He would be 13. I say he because I have a strong feeling it would have been. I don't know for sure. They were never any tests done because it was clear what happened. There is a gap in my kids where he should be. There should be my 17.5 yr old and then a 13 year old. They should have grown up together. They should have had each other. It has been 14 years and I still cry about it like it was yesterday.

I hold my only other living son. My 7 mo old. And I wonder. Is reincarnation real? Could the baby have come back to me? Ever? In any of these children? Would I ever know? Why does it hurt so bad?

I don't talk about it much. When I have, I usually hear stuff along the lines of being glad it was so early, or it was too early to be a baby. I hate hearing how it is easier than losing a born baby or late term baby. It doesn't feel easier. It was the only baby I ever lost. I have nothing to compare it too. I have lost family members, grandparents, a best friend, but only one child. The only thing I can compare it to is the actual having of my live children. My loss is real.