I Held You Every Second Of Your Life

I loved the months that I spent anticipating motherhood.  Knowing that a beautiful and profound change in my life was on its way floored me and flushed me with joy.  When you are expecting, every second of that time (waking and sleeping) is consumed with physical and emotional reminders.  Our baby was due this week.

On Friday morning, May 18, I would post up the following:

“She drove to work with a tired and tenacious energy that was echoed by the shirtless meatheads wandering the freeway to detect the source of the traffic back-up. The orange sun rose hot in the sky, the particulate matter that hung around the big city reflecting the harsh, yet glorious glare of entropy. She took a deep sniff of the coppery exhaust of mankind and smiled to herself, grateful for another day to dance in the acidic rain of life.”

It was a day just like any other day and I was feeling exhausted but full of a life force to create and to make new beginnings.  At 3:00 pm that same day, I found out I was pregnant.  That rain of life would mist a precious new head.  Entropy suited me perfectly.  I vacillated between crying happy tears and frightened, shocked tears.

On May 31, I would write in a journal intended for my child some day:

“I have only known about your existence for a couple weeks now and I already love you with every fiber of my being.  I want you to have the best life and I want to be the best mother I can be.  I don’t know if or when the circumstances are that you will ever receive this journal, but I know you are part of every breath I take and every moment of my future for the rest of my life and so my thoughts are shared with you.  The few seconds between the pregnancy test and the positive reading were the ones in which I drew the last complacent breath of my life.”

On 06 June a portion of another entry to my baby goes as follows:

“So now I have been able to adjust to the idea of you.  I cry all the time, overwhelmed by the anticipation of how my heart will burst wide open when you are handed to me.  My body is devoted to you these next seven months and I will do everything in my power to transport you safely to this world.  I have not yet heard your heart beat but I will get a chance in just over a week!”

14 June:

“Your father and I just got back from your ultrasound, only to discover that you are simply too beautiful for Earth.  Your precious heart had stopped beating.  I am crushed and lost. I was ready for you.  I was ready to sacrifice everything for you and ready to love someone else as much as I love your father.  Thank you for expanding my heart and my soul.  Rest in peace, my angel baby.”

There is so much joy in pregnancy, so many congratulations and anticipation.  There is none of that with a miscarriage.  And for some reason, it’s talked about hushed, almost like it’s a failure or something to be swept under the rug and never discussed.  I simply wanted to share this post with the world to help others understand what a woman or couple might be going through.

The pregnancy is lost before it truly begins, but that doesn’t mean the joy, the fear, the excitement, or the emotions are any different during those first few months than that of a pregnancy that comes to fruition.   I had already imagined his or her toes, name, smell and talents.

My pregnancy ended in surgery and emptiness.  There was physical pain and recovery and the emotional aftershocks still bring on bouts of tears and feelings of hollowness and loss.  Parental purgatory is a confusing and lonely place.  Today I send my love to everyone who feels my pain in any way.  My heart goes out to any of you that have experienced loss, unrealized hopes, trauma, scares, or infertility.  I thank all of you who consoled me and shared in my sorrow.  I try to remember the following quote from Dr. Seuss:

Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.

 

7 Comments

  1. Myc Narwall January 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm · Reply

    Thank you for sharing such an intimate experience, Em. Smiling with and for you :O)

    • Emily January 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm · Reply

      Thank you so much, Myc. I truly appreciate your continued support.

  2. Brandon January 12, 2013 at 1:45 am · Reply

    Your words are comforting, Emily. Thank you for sharing with all of us and with Dom and I during our difficult time. It’s been a really tough time here but we are trying to be resilient and accept things as they are. Some of my favorite words of Suzuki Roshi.

    With much love, B.

    • Emily January 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm · Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Brandon. I felt your pain acutely when I heard about your and Dom’s loss. They are very wise words you write above. You and Dom are resilient people with shining souls and I know you will help each other through this hard time. My thoughts are with you two. With much love in return, Em.

  3. Maureen January 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm · Reply

    Emily,
    I could have written this about 35 years ago after losing a baby to miscarriage at 10 weeks. Within months after this emotional event I found myself pregnant with you. Your dad and I could not imagine a world without you in it. Blessings come in strange ways and in their own time.
    I love you,
    Mom

    • Emily January 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm · Reply

      Mom – your comment brought tears to my eyes. You are right in that the universe works in mysterious ways and I know blessings will find us at the perfect time. Your story about losing your baby to miscarriage was a source of strength as we dealt with this. I also recognized the importance of allowing oneself to grieve after hearing about some of the ways in which your mother having a stillborn little boy and not being able to appropriately grieve the loss affected her life in profound ways. Thank you for your continued support and love during the best moments in life and those that are more difficult. I love you, Em

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