Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speaking out, but not ready to talk

We found out that I was pregnant in mid-October, less than a week after Lunchboy accepted the new job that would allow him to work from home most of the time. It was a surprise--we weren't trying and we hadn't planned to think seriously about having kids for another 6 months or so. I still think Scully knew before we did. A normally reserved and independent cat, she suddenly started curling up in my lap, pressing herself as tightly as she could against my body. Then I went to see my acupuncturist, who gave me a slightly alarmed look after taking my pulse and said, "Is there any way you could be pregnant?" The next night we did 5 tests and all of them were positive.

Lunchboy was immediately thrilled and excited. I was shaken and scared. Would I be a good mom? Was I ready? Were WE ready--I mean, we'd been married less than a year. Was it too soon? As if we could press the pause button or something. This made us the third couple in our group of Somerville friends who were going to be parents unexpectedly. It was real. It was happening. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.

The morning sickness and exhaustion hit almost immediately. I was nauseous all day every day, and the short list of things that I could or wanted to eat was constantly changing. I fell asleep on the couch right after getting home from work. It was a major adjustment in every way. It felt strange, knowing my body wasn't my own anymore and it took me about 8 weeks to get used to that fact.

I wrote a lot of posts about how weird the whole experience was and how I was searching to find a place where I was at peace with this new development, where I could start to be happy and excited instead of feeling like I'd be put in the first car of a gigantic, scary rollercoaster over which I had no control. About a week ago I found that place and felt really good about what was happening. It had taken a little time but here we were and I was excited to be doing this. I wanted to be a mom. I was ready.

On Monday, we went to the monthly open house that the midwives at Mt. Auburn hold. I'd been feeling a little crampy on the way home from work, something that I hadn't felt before and was a little worried about but racked it up to some of the lovely digestive changes that accompany early pregnancy. But the cramps persisted and at the end of the open house I took the midwife on call aside and asked her what to do. She did a quick exam, got another midwife and they did an ultrasound, the first one we'd had. They were really quiet and told us that they wanted us to come back in the morning for another ultrasound--either they had the conception date off or there was a problem because things were smaller than they should have been at 10 weeks.

We didn't sleep much and went back in the morning. The sonographer was friendly and professional, but again very quiet as she did her work. "I'm very sorry," she said after a few minutes of scanning, "But I'm not finding a heartbeat. It should be there but it's not." Sudden. Final. That was that.

The next three days were a blur and I prefer not to think about them too closely. I have more friends who have miscarried with first pregnancies than friends who haven't, but you never think it's going to happen to you. We didn't realize how much we'd been hoping for the future until it suddenly went dark on the screen in front of us. It hits you a lot harder than you might think.

It's been so long since I've posted that I doubt anyone checks this and I am actually relieved about that because as much as I needed to write about this, it's an extremely private experience that doesn't really lend itself to conversation. I wanted to share what happened but not in a sympathy-grubbing way. We'll grieve and move on and be ok. We are already a lot more ok than we were. But it's why I've been silent for the past few months. The pregnancy permeated everything and since I didn't want to write about it until we'd hit the 13-week mark or so, I couldn't say anything because I didn't know how to talk around it. So that's the story.

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