The Unopened Gift

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Trigger warning:  This post is about pregnancy loss

Last Tuesday we went to what was supposed to be our “graduation day” from our fertility center.  It was our 10 week ultrasound, one day early.  I brought a gift for my doctor.  I had framed the photo for him from  “One Little White Light”  as it was such a symbol of hope for all of us in the room.  With high anticipation and holding our breath, we looked for the baby.  But to our complete shock, there was no heartbeat.  Again, our happiness crashing down around us in an instant.  Darkness invading my mind.  My heart breaking into a million pieces.  Tears streaming.  Shock.  It’s not possible.  This can’t be happening. I can’t do this again.  I can’t do this again.  I can’t do this again.

I was two days away from celebrating my last intra-muscular injection.  I was in so much pain from those injections and was so close to this milestone.  I had been counting down the days for the past two weeks, willing myself to get through each one, knowing it was best for the pregnancy.  And then suddenly there was nothing to celebrate.  Coming home from the doctor appointment, I had the gift bag in my hand and there is no one to give it to and there is no longer a reason to open it.  What do I do with it?

And so it begins… the un-doing of a pregnancy and the dreams that came with it.  I have to tell my friends and family that know I’m pregnant.  Canceling doctor appointments, figuring out how to write the email to my work to let them know I won’t be back for awhile.  Phone calls with my OB, a grueling confirmatory ultrasound, and calls with the hospital to schedule and prep for another D&C.  Fighting the agony that comes from every image and thought that I’ve had in my head over the past 6 weeks since we got the positive pregnancy test.  Realizing my morning sickness is quickly disappearing and fully aware that the hormonal changes coming my way are going to feel like crap.  Watching my husband grieve but I can’t help him because I’m in too much pain and I can’t stop crying for hours and hours and hours.  Letting go of how happy I felt every day waking up pregnant.  Now faced with the fear of waking up in the night forced to realize that my baby is gone.

I had become so attached to an online support group for women who had become pregnant after their long time struggles with infertility.  In the six weeks I was with the group, I had seen several babies born and several more were very close to coming into this world.  There was a list of due dates going into December.  There must have been at least 30 of us, with mine listed as November 16.   November 16.  Another date to add to my list of haunting dates.  I had become attached to their stories, their daily posts about food cravings and appreciated discomforts, and birthing plans, and what to put on a registry, and photos of nurseries, and photos of newborns and simply the unwritten word that we all just understood each other…And I had to say goodbye.

In the doctor’s office after getting the news, my husband and I were left alone for awhile to deal with our new reality.  I kept telling him, “I don’t want to go back, I don’t want to go back to the way it was before.”  I had crossed the line from infertility and TTC to Babyland.  I loved it here in Babyland.  I did not want to go back to the stories of struggles and pain and suffering and what if’s and waiting and loss and heartbreak.  I didn’t want to go back.  Please don’t make me go back.

The framed photo I brought for my doctor was now an image that tore through my heart like the most cruel joke that could be played on me.  I had wanted to hang that photo in our nursery.  That day on the beach…it was our beautiful gift.  Now, never to be opened.

 

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23 thoughts on “The Unopened Gift

  1. I’m so sorry. I have my own version: A pregnancy notebook which I never wrote in because I never felt sure enough. Ultrasounds tucked in. Baby milestone cards. 9 positive pregnancy tests, because I could never really believe I was pregnant. A belly band when my jeans were getting too tight which I never opened – I’m sure it’s lying about my house somewhere.

    Undoing the pregnancy stuff is the worst. Deleting the app (mine is still on my phone, hopefully, but I turned off all the notifications and due dates). Sending back the maternity exemption card. Cancelling doctors’ appointments.

    I know what you mean about wanting to stay in Babyland. I wanted to be there too, and it feels so bad when you’re unceremoniously dumped back into Infertility Town. It sucks. It’s unfair! I wanted to rail at the world and the worst thing is, life goes on and nobody talks about it.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Sending you hugs. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you for sharing your list too…yes, the apps had to be turned off and then there are always things that just show up in the mail that you have no control over. I have things I boxed up from my first pregnancy loss that I almost opened before I got the bad news. I haven’t decided yet what to do with my current ultrasound photos, etc. It’s so damn hard.

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  2. I am heartbroken for you and your husband, this brings tears to my eyes. What an awful experience to re-live. Pregnancy loss is brutal, no matter where you were in your journey and you are in my thoughts. Sending lots of love and hugs as you navigate this difficult road.

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  3. I know we don’t know each other but this brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully written, I just wish you didn’t have to write it. It’s so human and so raw. ((hugs)) I’m so sorry. Those words seem so trite, but I am. I’ll be sending you thoughts and prayers.

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  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post made me cry so hard because I feel your pain. I too just had my 2nd miscarriage at 14 weeks, last Monday. Know that you’re not alone, and this post will resonate with so many other women, myself included, that need to know we’re not alone either. Many grieve in silence, so thank you for being strong enough to share your story.

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    • Oh my goodness, I’m so terribly sorry you are going through this too. My first loss was at 15 weeks and was so traumatic. My heart goes out to you as well. Sending you healing thoughts. Thank you for responding to my post.

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  5. I am so sorry, so so sorry. Undoing the pregnancy and having to tell those who know and going back to the other side, just sucks. There’s just no better way to put it. Sending you so much love and huge hugs during this extremely difficult time.

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  6. I am so sorry for your losses. Tears streaming down my face as I read of your losses. Scott and I send our love. We are so sorry this has happened to you.

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  7. I often read your posts but never say anything. In early April, I suffered a miscarriage at 9 weeks after our second embryo transfer. Your words make me tear up as I remember that day and how hopeless I felt leaving the doctor’s office – my heart smashed into a million pieces. My husband and I wanted so badly to continue to be on the other side, in Babyland. Knowing we were being knocked back to the side that we fought so hard to leave was probably the hardest realization of all. I didn’t want to go back to life before pregnancy.

    I’m so so sorry for all the losses you have been through. I hope you find the strength to continue the fight and I hope that soon you will be back on the other side – the side we all want to be on so badly. Life can be so unfair sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this comment from the bottom of my heart. I’m terribly sorry you’ve recently been through this too. Sending good thoughts your way as well.

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  8. I’m so sorry for your loss! I lost one of my twins between 8 and 10 weeks which was my second miscarriage. I think the hardest part for me was people acting like my baby wasn’t even a person, couldn’t have possibly already been loved. I was lucky I got to continue living in baby land but losing the baby you wanted, loved, planned for and prayed for is never, ever easy. I wish you the very best.

    Liked by 1 person

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