Wednesday afternoon I had a follow-up appointment with my has OBGYN.
The appointment has been sitting heavily in the back of my mind and in my heart for about 2 weeks. The purpose was to make all sure I was healing up, but also the time when we would get all the results from the skew of tests they did on me and the baby.
Driving up to the medical park was so much than I realized it would be. In fact, it was horrible. Just seeing the building looming over the horizon made me fall into a silent grief. It was a terrible reminder of loss and hopelessness.
Sitting in the waiting room was hard. Looking at the table where all the kids sat, waiting for grandparents and friends to pick them up while I was admitted to the hospital was stifling. As we sat among women who were rubbing their swollen bellies, I fought the tears. I kept reminding myself that at one point, I didn’t want to be pregnant…I didn’t need another baby to try and figure out how to raise on my own…or another baby to try and raise with someone else. I tried coming up with some sort of positive mantra to keep the panic attack at bay and the tears corralled.
And it kinda worked.
The moment they called me and brought me into the examination room, my breathing became heavy. I realized I didn’t want to know what happened to the baby and I didn’t want to know what what wrong with me. The feeling of guilt and inadequacy was suffocating.
The moment my OB walked in, the tears spilled out.
I didn’t want to see her either. I didn’t want to see this young, kind, compassionate woman who went above and beyond in helping me and the baby when I was in the hospital.
It was just too much.
And she sat there with me and said, “you know, if you can’t cry now and you can’t cry on my shoulder, there really is never going to be a time in your life when you can cry.”
So, I cried.
And after a bit and a series of questions and tests, she ordered another ultra sound for me. Even though my tests came back relatively well, some residual pain in places there shouldn’t be residual pain and bleeding where there shouldn’t be bleeding put her in a bit of an alert.
And then we got the news about pathology, genetic testing and autopsy.
The results were not conclusive…but, they left clues.
I had a virus in my system. A virus that might have been what kept me out of work for weeks in November…or perhaps didn’t give me any clues. The virus itself could have been fatal for the fetus.
However, autopsy revealed he had no traces of the virus in his system.
Another clue was a tightly wound umbilical cord. But, as the OB said, it was tight, but just tight in a normal realm of umbilical cords…not tight enough to be fatal.
So, two clues and no closure.
There is also a condition that refers to extreme swelling in unborn babies…which our little man had the symptoms to, but didn’t test positively for.
I guess it was meant to be a mystery.
She said, the results were positive…’hard to listen to, but positive’ — I guess the good news is that there was no genetic issue and she said we can be confident now that there isn’t anything anyone could have ‘done’ to change the outcome. She said there was nothing I could have done differently, and there was not anything modern medicine could have done to prevent it. She said that is positive because it means we can confidently make the decision to have another baby…if we got to that point.
And I guess, I guess in some perspectives, that is good.
But, quite frankly, I haven’t quite moved past the phase of still wanting this baby…I’m not interested in another one.
And honestly, I am not sure I ever want to be pregnant again. Bad things happen in my life when I’m pregnant…and I am tired of bad things happening.
I want simple. Non-complicated.
Pregnancy always tears open the bottle of extreme drama, exhaustion and complications.
And that was Wednesday.
I left the medical center and stopped and bought wine.
And tried to kill conscious thought with a bit of alcohol…enough to give me a headache to complain about and stop thinking about anything else.
In some ways it worked.
In others it just perpetuated the blocking of thoughts that eventually I have to have.
But, as I was sitting there thinking about what I shouldn’t be thinking about, I realized, that they never asked.
I have NEVER left the OB with a big discussion about birth control.
During previous pregnancies, it was “What are your plans for after this birth” —
Between pregnancies it was a dance between pills and shots and various IUDs.
It culminated in a discussion of just getting surgically ‘sterilized’ since anything with hormones causes really horrible reactions and anything with copper creates an allergic reaction.
And I bought into that for awhile….
Until I realized it would wreak havoc on my hormones…an issue every MD and OBGYN has had to deal with and work around for most of my life.
but, this time….
No handful of condoms.
And for some reason that haunts me.
I think partially because it leaves a door open to having to go through all of this again.
And after an early term miscarriage and a late pregnancy loss…all bundled into one year, I’m not sure I want that.
After nearly 6 months of chaos and stress, pain and anxiety at home…I’m not sure potentially bringing another little person in the mix is comforting.
For YEARS…since the birth of my first daughter, the conversation has ALWAYS been about birth control.
And I can’t figure out why, when it will be baby #4 for me…baby #5 if you add in my boyfriend’s daughter, there wasn’t talk about how to NOT have more babies….
but, only the support for when we are ready to have another one.
I am not sure why that is so disconcerting to me.
But, it is.
And perhaps that is what the heaviest layer of fog is that covered me when I left the clinic. I’ve had time to roll around in the loss of our little boy. I’ve replayed the scenarios of “what if” and “if only” and have carried around a box of guilt and a suitcase of grief. I guess his loss has become part of me in many ways already. It is becoming a comfortable discomfort.
But, they didn’t ask.
And the words unspoken are gripping.