I thought she was my alive in my heart. But she is inside my brain. Literally.
Two weekends ago, my husband and I participated in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.
As soon as I heard about the walk, I knew I wanted to participate. It was important to me to raise money and also raise awareness.
I didn't realize it would be hard.
Most babies affected by preeclampsia don't die. It's hard for me to think about. It takes me to some very dark places. So I've trained myself to keep those thoughts from my mind, in an effort to keep some semblance of sanity.
But at the Walk, it was impossible to keep those thoughts away. We were surrounded by living babies, babies who were affected by preeclampsia but are alive.
And it broke my heart.
I am happy for those families who have their babies. But it's hard to walk beside all the strollers, when we have nothing.
I'm still glad that we went, glad that we could raise money to help other families. But oh, how I wish that she had been there with us.
Does it mean that you've reached bottom when you're finding words of widsom on a paper towel? Or does it mean that you can find signs of hope anywhere?
This quote was printed on a paper towel:
I've never been a gardener. I don't know how to make things grow and tend to forget to water the things that I do plant. But in the past few weeks, I've been inspired to plant. I've wanted our yard to be beautiful and green. So perhaps the paper towel wisdom spoke to me because I want so desperately to believe in hope, to believe in tomorrow.
The soil in our yard is terrible. But I planted some seeds around the front walkway. And a few of them have sprouted. Tiny little green seedlings, popping out to become flowers. Hopefully. For tomorrow, and the next tomorrow, and the one after that.
I'm not afraid of giving blood any more.
When I think about all the ways my life has changed in the past year, I always think about the big, obvious ways. And then I find out I have to have more blood tests and think 'Weird. A year and a half ago, I would have been filled with dread.' Everything changed, I guess, big and small.
Will I ever overcome my fear of dentists? No, I will not, so let's not even bother talking about that.
More tests. That's the first thing that came out of meeting with the RE. Some of these tests I think have already been run, but he wants to run them himself. Fine. Who cares. I've met with five doctors in the past year, all of whom have run their own tests and send them around to each other. So more tests, you say? OK, I'm in. Do what you gotta do.
He's trying to figure out if something's wrong with me. Low level weirdness on autoimmune tests that have been done. Low level weirdness on thyroid tests that have been done. He suspects that my body is attacking any babies that grow in me, but that whatever I have is some weird combo of things that don't readily show itself in testing.
I think I stopped listening after he talked about my body possibly rejecting the baby. That thought makes me sick. I do not have a poker face. Twice in the meeting, the doctor stopped and asked me if I'm okay.
I did not say I'm okay. "It's fine," I said. "I can handle it. Let's keep going."
And so he told us more. An hour and a half worth of more. I don't remember most of it. My husband was there with me, he can fill me in on anything else that was said that's important. My husband will also be reading the documents in the emails the doctor sent as a follow up - Documents with titles like "Why Your Eggs Are Too Old to Have a Healthy Baby", "Why Your Body Hates You and Your Babies", "Have You Considered That You're Kidding Yourself and This Will Never Happen?"
OK,those are actually my mind's interpretation of the titles of the documents. But why bother reading things that will just stress me out more?
So we're here, doing this, hoping for the best.
"I think he can help us get pregnant. He has a plan and this is the start of the plan," my husband said as we left the appointment.
I smiled and agreed. A plan. It's nice to have a plan.
But what I kept to myself is this: So he can help me get pregnant. What then? How do we know that baby won't die too? Getting pregnant would be wonderful, but it's only the beginning. It's probably the least stressful part.
I smiled and agreed to the plan.
And then I cried in my car all the way back to work.
We're going to the fertility doctor tomorrow.
Making the appointment made my husband feel better about things. It makes him feel like we're moving one step closer to our dream.
It made me feel worse. It's not that I have anything against fertility treatments. Anything to get us there. It's more a part of a feeling that hits me sometimes - "How the f*** did I end up here? How is this my life?" I thought it would be easy. Instead we're the people who are dealing with "unexplained" secondary infertility. Instead I held my dead baby in arms.
What the F?!
So here I sit. With a cupcake. Yum, cupcake.
Yesterday was International Bereaved Mother's Day. A day set aside to remember women who have lost their children.
Or, as I like to call it, every single day of my life!
I think about my own baby every day. And every day I think about the other women, the women just like me, who have also lost their children. There are so many times that I've felt so disconnected from people in the real world. My reality changed, and it's become harder for me to relate to "normal" people. I won't bother to define normal. If you're here, then you pretty much know.
But those times when I feel lost and alone, I know that I can go online and find support. I hate that there are so many women who have been through this loss. But I don't know if I could have gotten through this without every single one of them. Of YOU!
You have remembered my daughter, my lovely Margaret, with me. Halfway across the world, you have lit candles in her memory. You have asked her name and sent her love.
You have shared the names of your children with me, your sons and your daughters, gone too soon. And by doing that, you have made me feel like my daughter, too, is not alone. My heart finds comfort in the idea that just as we have found each other, they have found each other too.
I almost wrote, "It isn't much, but it helps."
And then I realized that it is a lot. And it means everything. Thank you.
The book "No Death No Fear" by Thich Nhat Hanh was recently recommended to me.
It's on my reading list, which is long. I've been reading a lot of light and fluffy YA lately. Helps keep mind distracted.
But I like this, apparently a quote:
When we lose someone we love, we should remember that the person has not become nothing. 'Something' cannot become 'nothing' and 'nothing' cannot become 'something'.... matter cannot be destroyed. In the same way, our beloved was not destroyed; she has just taken on another form. That form may be a cloud, a child or the breeze. We can see our loved one in everything. And smiling, we can say, "Dear one, I know you are there very close to me. I know that your nature is the nature of no birth and no death. I know that I have not lost you; you are always with me."
Indeed. She is always with me.