A Birthday & A Decision
Last year I turned 30. Such a momentous occasion warranted a notable celebration, so I got together with one of my best friends and we went to the mall and got my ears pierced–something I’d wanted to do since I was 18. Then we took Little Miss and Miss Bennett with us to get Blizzards at Dairy Queen and enjoyed the ice cream at a local park before playing on the playground. The next evening some other wonderful friends hosted a party for me–my first (and so far only) Dinner in the Dark party. We blindfolded ourselves and ate our meal without being able to see. We played dinner party games and laughed. A lot.
This year was different.
My family sang to me and gave me a container of one of my favourite sweets: candy corn. We skipped church in favor of a family bike ride in the local beach town on Lake Michigan. We played on a playground and then, because it was much colder than we’d hoped, we ate our intended picnic inside while drinking the best hot chocolate in the state, made from warm, melted dark chocolate and milk.
But despite the beautiful sound of the waves on the lake, the gorgeous blue sky and fluffy white clouds, the fresh air and exercise we desperately needed…between every moment of enjoyment was a gaping hole of fear. Would the bike ride initiate the miscarriage process? Would we have to rush home with me sitting on a towel in the car until I could get to the safety and security of our bathroom at home? Would our children be terrified by my cries of pain? What would the “tissue” look like? Would it look like a baby? Could I actually bring myself to flush it down the toilet?
Questions with absolutely no answers. Fear with absolutely no relief.
During all of this I had absolutely no time to feel grief. I didn’t feel the need to cry. I was completely disconnected from the fact that I had, in fact, lost a child. My brain told me it was “tissue” like the doctor said. A “product of conception.” Her technical jargon actually helped me maintain the numbness and focus on the terror I had of the event itself.
I somehow made it through the day, almost forgetting it was supposed to be a special day. I don’t even remember what we did in the afternoon. We put the girls to bed, watched some episodes of BBC’s “Robin Hood” on Netflix, and then went to the bathroom to get ready for bed.
I was brushing my teeth when it happened. I barely spit the toothpaste out in time before I collapsed against the sink, sobbing. It came completely out of nowhere–I felt absolutely nothing until that precise moment and it all came bubbling up in a split-second.
Husband was there next to me in an instant, and we stood together in the middle of our ocean-themed bathroom while I cried. After a few minutes when I’d calmed a little, he took my hand and led me from the bathroom into Little Miss’s room. We brushed the hair out of her face and kissed her cheek and watched her as she rolled over and mumbled into the covers. Silently, we left her room and went to Miss Bennett’s. It was like she was waiting for us because she immediately stood up and reached for us. We held her and kissed her before putting her back to bed, wrapped in a snuggly pink blanket.
We have two beautiful, sweet, healthy girls. Every day we love them and we hold them and we kiss them. Every night we pray that we’ll sleep well and be safe and healthy and happy. And we are. We are happy.
I went to bed that night and dropped a few more tears on my pillow. The next night Husband and I had a heart-to-heart in the dark and decided that a D&C was the way to go for us. On Monday morning I called my doctor.