Thursday, April 29, 2010

the i-would-nevers

I am feeling really exhausted by people lately. Maybe it is hormonal or something, but I am in an angry, bitter, frustrated state with the population at large.

There are so many people around me that are newly pregnant. Two of them just within my small-ish group of coworkers. One of them is sixteen weeks, and has brought up genetic testing with me on two different occasions now--not exactly my favorite topic of conversation at 5AM (or ever). Since I have recently been through one and a half pregnancies, I have become the resident expert on "what to expect." So naturally, I guess, she was wondering about this blood work they were sending her for. When I told her it was probably for the quad screen, she went on about how she would be declining genetic testing because...

"I would never terminate a child."

If you are one of the unlucky members of our club, you know how that statement cuts right into your heart. I have seen it written online a million times, but I have never had someone say it to my face. I felt like I had been punched. Even worse was today, she explained that she did end up getting the blood work, but she "wouldn't get rid of it" either way.

Her tone was totally casual, not accusatory or even necessarily judgmental, but I am still somewhat dumbfounded. To her credit, she does not know all the details of my loss, and I'm not really offering them, either. I know that she really has no idea how many things could go wrong, or what she would do if something really did. I know that you cannot possibly appreciate the gravity of the situation until you have been there. You can't fathom the heartache and the agony and the guilt.

I have been struggling with the guilt lately. I tend to get caught up on the negative perceptions of termination and then torture myself with them. In my heart, I know I spared my daughter from suffering, but her defects are still the fault of my body. I am the one who allowed the induction of contractions that would ultimately end her life.

I am still trying to forgive myself.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's been awhile. Not because I have not had anything to say, much to the contrary, but these days my time with two hands is rare and usually occupied by more important tasks. Orrin is beautiful and healthy and thriving, almost 4 months old. I still find myself taken aback at times, asking myself if this is really my life, do I really have a baby?

I think back to last year, when I was so desperately clinging to reminders of my motherhood, and now, when I am literally covered in reminders on a daily basis. Even at work, when I manage to escape the spit up and pee, I leak milk. Such a difference from the aching emptiness that followed your arrival. And still, sometimes, I don't quite believe it.

Today has been hard. I can't really figure out why I am in such a terrible mood, but terrible moods inevitably lead to reflection of terrible moments and that led me here. I find myself missing being pregnant sometimes, but I think it is more that I miss that short space of time I carried you. I miss that little sliver in my life that was so blissfully, obliviously happy.

I find myself wondering what you would have been like. What your laugh would have sounded like. What color your eyes would have been, or if you would have been born with as much hair as your brother. Sometimes, when he is sleeping, I catch a glimpse of him that looks like you.

I have two babies.

Everyone forgets.