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.