TagGrief & Loss

We Walk A Lonely Road

It’s a strange and anxiety-filled place to be. Pregnant after a loss.

I don’t feel like I fit in most of the typical “PALS” (Pregnancy After Loss Support) groups. So many of those ladies had late-pregnancy losses. They know the gender of the baby that died. Their baby WAS a baby, not just a grain of rice that was there one day and then gone. I feel silly about how fearful I am, when I didn’t have to endure giving birth to an infant that didn’t live, like so many of them, I just honestly think it´s better to watch milf porno instead of getting pregnant with a total stranger.

But I am fearful.

In fact neither Aiden or I can muster the courage to be happy or excited. I took a pregnancy test a week ago. And then I took another. There was no cute “You’re going to be a dad” or a surprise announcement set up when he got home from work. I just told him, and he said “Oh” and I said “Yeah”. Neither of us knew the right thing to do, so we effectively did nothing. I’m afraid to let myself get attached to the idea. I’m afraid to let myself be hopeful that this won’t end in another rush of blood all over my mothers bathroom, and sobbing in her arms until I could barely breath. I’ve avoided going to the doctor because I don’t want to be sent for tests and subsequently get phone calls from concerned nurses that my hCG isn’t what it should be. I don’t want to watch another ultrasound technician squinting her eyes to see something, anything, where something should be. I don’t want to wait in that dimly lit room while she rounds up a doctor to come in and confirm what we already know.

I’m going to a doctor I don’t know on Wednesday. We moved away from the best doctor I have ever had, and it’s too far and impractical for me to drive back to see her.

I’m filled with anxiety and dread, but I am mustering up all of my courage so that I can get through this. I just feel so alone, and that’s probably the hardest part. Aiden, for his own reasons, just can’t seem to be emotionally available right now. He’s working through his own feelings I am sure, but it’s shitty when I feel like I can’t even lean on my husband (yeah the wedding happened, it was lovely, more on that later). I didn’t tell very many people about the loss, and I am even more reluctant to tell people I am pregnant this early on. It just feels like a very solitary pathway, particularly because I don’t feel like I have a place in the communities that were supposed to be designed for people like me.

My loss doesn’t seem tragic enough.

Don’t Be Afraid Of My Scars

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin.

-Excerpt From: Mouthful Of Forevers by Clementine von Radics

I have to admit, this is the third or fourth attempt I’ve made at “planning” this upcoming wedding. Truth be told, I’m not wild about the idea of getting remarried. It’s a scary place to navigate, knowing so intimately the destruction and devastation of separation and divorce. I tread timidly, only to be startled into sprinting the other direction.

It’s not that I don’t want to be with Aiden. I do. I don’t think that a split, even when unmarried, is easier or less complicated. Our finances are already tangled, which as it turns out is the least of the difficulties (Jack and I sorted the money and debt between us in less than a day or two of negotiating). It’s like I have a mental block. Every time we move towards the proverbial alter, it’s as if the flaws in our relationship become magnified and insurmountable. And there are flaws. We’ve been going to couples therapy (again) since August.  Not because we are at the end of our rope, but because we wanted to improve our communication and uncover any residual difficulties before they got out of hand.  It’s been a really positive experience for us, and while the miscarriage was one of the most difficult things we’ve gone through, we turned towards each other in our grief, not away.  It cemented us together, and things have been actually quite peaceful ever since.

The tragedy of it all actually brought out a part of Aiden that I’d never witnessed before, and melted away many of the doubts that I had.  He stayed by my side for hours while I suffered and labored and nearly had to be rushed to the hospital for loss of blood.  He was so gentle and careful, making certain I had water, pain killers, a heating pad, and whatever else I needed.  He held me while I cried and cried, soothing me quietly, promising me it would be ok, even though neither of us could really know that for sure.  We were at my mothers when it happened, and since then even she has been different towards him.  She remarked to another family member (who related it to me) that she hadn’t expected it from him, and that she could see how deeply he wanted that baby, but how selflessly he sheltered me, in spite of his own very visible anguish.  He was my champion, and it did not go unnoticed.

So it was, in the throes of our mourning, that I suggested we should get married this summer.  I needed something to look forward to.  Something else to focus on, to drown myself in.  My mother, at one time our biggest detractor (she knows all about the poly, the open marriage, the full-meal-deal regarding how Aiden came to be in my life) is now our greatest cheerleader.  She’s been absolutely amazing when it comes to wedding planning, throwing herself into helping me with an enthusiasm I never could have imagined.  It’s likely the main reason I haven’t spooked this time.

I haven’t quite put my finger on what scares me so much.  All the divorcees that I know just nod knowingly when I express being a reluctant second-time bride.  It’s difficult to put into words, and yet it seems to be a universal truth among us.  Maybe it’s a fear of failure, or of being judged for not being able to hold it together.  Nobody wants to get divorced once, let alone a second time.  I’m mystified by people who seem to think nothing of walking down the isle a third or fourth time, I don’t think I could do it.

Marriage is important to Aiden, and I can’t fault him for that.  Despite my scars, he remains adamant about pledging his heart to me for the rest of our lives.  Fear isn’t a good enough reason for me to refuse, it’s simply an obstacle that I will overcome.

There Aren’t Any T-Swift Songs For This

I would have been 23 weeks pregnant today.

Instead, I’m struggling to lose the weight I gained during my two months of depression, grief, and emotional eating. I’ve had a “normal” cycle since the emergency D&C, but we aren’t ready to try again. I’m not. I’m afraid. When the miscarriage initially happened I wanted to try again right away. Anything to distract myself from the agony of loss. Now, I just have residual fear and reluctance. With the wedding looming, I’m using that as an excuse to postpone, even though my 35th birthday is just around the corner.

Aiden is working away, and I’m ovulating today, and I’m almost relieved that I don’t have to worry about how good his pull out game is. Maybe dropping an egg is why I feel so emotional, not to mention sexually frustrated.

I do want to try again. I’m just afraid. The miscarriage was traumatizing, basically every single bad thing that could have happened in that event, did. I never want to go through that again, but I realize every pregnancy is rolling the dice, with an ever-increasing chance of failure.

Also, I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about my grief. Aiden and I have been so content lately, which I just really need right now. I don’t want to keep bringing it up. My closest friends have their own struggles with infertility (not uncommon in a group of ladies our age) and it feels unfair to be sad when I already have two children. Also the D&C was over a month ago, I don’t feel like I get to keep being upset. Truthfully, I don’t think about it most days, but sometimes I do, and I feel very alone in those moments.

Thankfully, I always have this little piece of anonymity that I can dust off when I need it.

© 2017 Shasta Gibson

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