Before I knew you, I was losing you.
For three weeks, I watched you leave. Circling the drain in the tub, washed away by the water. For three weeks, a constant reminder that you were there once but you were leaving now.
A long goodbye.
I refuse to pretend this never happened. I refuse to let my pregnancy loss be a taboo topic that needs to be kept a secret. Why do we do this? Why can’t we talk about it? If I pretend it never happened, it’s like pretending YOU never happened. It’d be a disservice to pretend your little life never existed, even if only for a moment.
I never heard your heartbeat, never saw you on a grainy screen. You had no fingers or toes yet that should have one day grasped my hand. Maybe some people would say you were nobody, you were nothing, because you were just the size of a speck. But I know you weren’t nobody. You were somebody to me, somebody to us.
You were mine. You were Jerry’s. You were Caleb’s. You were his brother. You were his sister. Now, we will never know.
Who would you have been? Would you have been stubborn like your brother and me? Would you have been sensitive like your dad? Would you have had a huge head of hair like Caleb, and a love for dancing like he does? Would you have been a reader like me, or a gamer like your father? Maybe you would have been none of those things at all, but we would have loved you just the same.
Who you could have been.
I will spend the rest of my days remembering you and dreaming about who you may have grown up to be. I will sit quietly in the fall, when you should have been here, and miss you, though I never got to know you.
I didn’t know you existed until you were already leaving. Isn’t that weird? But once I knew of you, I wanted desperately to keep you. It’s the strangest sensation to hear the best news and the worst news, practically in one breath.
Last Tuesday. Weeks of irregular bleeding found me at my OB’s office, just to see what was going on. I sat in the tiny room, staring ahead as I waited for him to enter. He came bustling in, like he always does. But this time was different. This time, the very first words out of his mouth, without even so much as a hello, or his customary humor, meant serious business: “so your pregnancy test is positive. This obviously complicates things.” Even though I knew it was bad, that it couldn’t end well, I could feel the corners of my lips curve ever so slightly up. “Really?” I asked tentatively. “But with this much bleeding, and for this long, is there any chance the baby could… you know… make it?”
I knew before I officially knew: no.
Three different rounds of blood tests, all done two days apart to confirm things. For a week, we lived in limbo, wondering what would become of you as we waited for the results each time. HCG levels were increasing but at an abnormal rate. There really was no hope… but still, there was hope. There’s always hope, you know?
There’s always hope until there is no more.
Yesterday, I spent the entire day at the hospital getting a D&C procedure done, anesthesia and all. What the operation uncovered was that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I’m glad I followed my gut and went to the doctor when I did because they can be fatal. I’m confused and scared because why was my first pregnancy fine and this one wasn’t? I don’t suffer from any of the risk factors linked to ectopic pregnancies. We keep asking ourselves, “why us?” And now we wait again, to see if the Methotrexate treatment I received after the D&C will rid my body of the ectopic pregnancy like it’s supposed to.
It’s all just a little surreal.
A week before my initial appointment, I caught myself buying chocolate milk and banana nut granola at the store, two things I hadn’t bought since my first pregnancy with Caleb when I lived off of them for breakfast. Out of nowhere, I snatched them off the shelves and put them in my cart. Why? I thought. What in the world possessed me to buy them again? To crave them again? A tiny suspicion arose in me, but I brushed it aside. I couldn’t be pregnant… could I? It didn’t seem possible if my tracking had been correct.
Just a few days later, I got my answer in that tiny room… but not in the way we wanted. We didn’t want it followed with “but something isn’t right.”
And now our world will forever seem a little “not right.” You should have been here with us when the leaves started to fall. We should have been bringing you home in the crisp autumn air. Your first Christmas will go by and you won’t be here.
You left before I knew you, but not before my heart did.