Friday, November 14, 2008


It's a bit unsettling, walking out of your doctors office after your last prenatal appointment. Knowing it was the last. I'm sure for them it's normal, "OK, see ya, good luck!" but not for me. It's the realization that you're on your own. They've done what they can now it's up to me and this baby to get through the next few days and show up at the hospital where my doctor will, hopefully, deliver a healthy baby into my arms.
Similar words were shared as I left the stress testing office. "Promise to bring the baby by after, o.k.?" they asked, while I thought in my head, "...if...". Out loud, "Sure thing." One of the most bold faced lies a db mom can make, right? "Sure thing." There's no such thing.

Even with all of the uncertainty, I still find myself feeling melancholy about nearing the end here. Before I entered this club being pregnant was one of the best times of my life. I've always had easy pregnancy's and I loved the transformation of my body and the feeling of a life stirring inside me. Amazing how carrying your dead child inside you and then delivering him can change that. The anxiety has taken much of that away, replacing it with anxiety over whether the kick I just felt would be the last or if I am feeling nothing at all spending anxious minutes or more desperate to provoke some movement to reassure me that there is still life within me. Now though, I am spending as much time as I can just sitting and watching my belly move. Feeling this life inside me, trying to burn the memory of it into my brain. Knowing I will never again feel anything like this. Knowing this is truly the end of my life as a pregnant woman. In the back of my mind I mull over the idea of it not being over. If I was younger, if...and then I realize, I will never feel like I have finished because I will always be one child short of where I should be. One child will always be missing and so this journey will never feel complete. Not even if I had 10 more kids. There is no way to fill the void left by a child's death. Anyone who ever says to a parent who has lost a child that by having another child you are somehow moving on and letting go has never held their dead baby or child in their arms, has never experienced the penetrating grief of burying a baby, has never had to live the life after, and will never understand that a life, any life, but especially a baby's life is not replaceable or interchangeable. The impact of a child's life is not measured in the length of days it lives and to believe otherwise shows only ignorance and callousness.
So here I sit, marveling in this little one as he or she moves inside me, seemingly unaware of all that has surrounded it's journey. I try to picture who it is that has occupied my body all these days, given me what would be considered an easy pregnancy by anyone who hasn't been where I've been. And yet it's been the hardest pregnancy I've ever had. I hope, along with all of the other things I hope for, that when this baby comes out, if everything goes right, I will be able to untangle this baby from all the strings and ties that are wrapped around it's very existence. But I wonder, will I ever really see this child and not think about Caleb.

It's a hefty burden from all sides. One I hope I am strong enough to carry for both of us. Which makes me realize, again, how grateful I am for all of the support I have received here. From those who have been here with me literally since my first post to those who we met along the way. We have all worked, worked like hell, to figure this all out. We get up and we go on and we fight on and sometimes we get knocked back down and still we keep fighting. Together. It is a woman's work, the fight to go on. And you all have shown me how to do it. Even when we don't know how, we at least have been able to look around and know that we are not fighting alone. Strength in numbers. Never has that made more sense to me than it has here. For all of you who have shown me the grace and fortitude of the will and strength of women, this one below, is for you.


Michele said...

You are so right. Unless you have felt the gravity of a loss so great that there arent words, you cant have any idea. I'm so tired of hearing "Oh you're pregnant again! You'll be okay now." I'll never be okay again. Two children will always be empty from family photos. They will always be relegated to a beautiful marble box. They will never marry, never go to college, never play outside with their children. I will never get to kiss their sweet faces or hold them in my arms and feel them wiggle away so that they can go play with friends. Life stopped and it never picks up as it was. Why don't people get that?

I was in the docs office a few weeks ago and a new mom came in to show off her little one and have her check up. She complained the entire time. All I could think of was "at least you have your baby- be grateful you are here and he is with you." It hurts to feel so much anger at someone you dont even know for doing something so careless that they didnt even consider it.

Aunt Becky said...


I'm thinking of you all.

Cindy said...

Wow. I never really grasped why three years after giving birth to my (live) son, I am still having a hard time dealing with the fact that I will never be pregnant again. But reading your post crystallized it for me - it's because I had one pregnancy that was unfinished...unfulfilled. I don't think my body and my mind will ever grasp or get over that. There was one that didn't end the way it was supposed to and me & my body don't have the opportunity to go back and make that one right. That's a hard one to wrap my mind around.

But, to me, being pregnant is amazing. I always say I was blessed to be pregnant three times, even though I only have two live children to show for it. I hope you can somehow enjoy these next few days. You and the leprechaun deserve it! I will be thinking of you and your lovely family in the coming days.

Which Box said...

Our posts are so different, and so linked, today.

I feel like I don't do a good job of explaining why I feel two things at once - like you, but also not like you. All i can chalk it up to is that I sincerely do think a first trimester loss is - absolutely 100% horrible - and yet not the same as delivering, holding, burying a dead baby. Each are awful, but in very different ways. Thinking of you during this countdown - good luck!

Tash said...

I find this sad because I clearly missed an opportunity: toward the end of Maddy's pregnancy I said all that stuff too, "This is it, no more, last time," but I was happy about it. Relieved. I never wanted to do it again. I took no pleasure in feeling that way.

Now of course it's all rather ironic, or discombobulating, or something.

Thinking of you. I think a heart grows to encompass all that it's given, no matter the eventual outcome. There will be enough love, but it will be specific and different. And there will still be love for Caleb, always.

janis said...

I don't know what to say, k@lakly, just tears and nodding, a swelling warmth in my heart from hope for you and your little one.
My fingers are crossed, crossed, crossed. xoxo

Ya Chun said...

Good luck.

'life is not replaceable or interchangeable. The impact of a child's life is not measured in the length of days it lives'

I think you understand your situation and your emotions, and that this new little one will grow up just fine, no strings attached (so to say).

And it does sound like you enjoyed your pregnancy, the beginning of your time with this new family member. The anxieties definitely made it harder, but you still have taken time to appreciate it and to love the wee one.


c. said...

Lovely K. Just lovely.

XO. I can't wait for Monday to come. Surely, it will not come quickly enough...

Amy said...

You are an amazing woman. This is a beautiful post and I want you to know that as sad as I am to have met you here, I am grateful, forever grateful.

Thinking only good, happy, overly positive thoughts for you and little one!

Much love and peace to you my friend.

CLC said...

I love that song. Great post! You hit the nail on the head. And can you post from the operating room on Monday? JK but I am so anxious for you I need to know right away!!!!!

Ange said...

You go gal. Yet again a beautiful post. You will find tons of love for this new little one..and of course there is always room to love Caleb. Can Monday come any quicker..Cannot WAIT to hear. Much love.