Imagine for a moment that you are walking with a dearly, dearly beloved person by the edge of a cliff. Now imagine that beloved person being pushed off the cliff in front of your eyes and you can only stand by helplessly and watch it happen. And now imagine that, every month, you are forced to go back and stand at that cliff's edge, and remember how it felt to watch that person fall.
That's what it's like when I get my period every month since I lost my baby.
I remember distinctly the drive to the hospital that day, sitting in the back seat of my sister-in-laws van, my mother in law squeezing my hand. I remember the waves of intense cramps in my lower abdomen, and the feeling of panic and disbelief, mixed with the fading hope that the doctor would look and tell me everything is OK.
What I remember most, though, was lying somewhat upright in a chair with my feet up in straps and a friendly female doctor who smelled like she had just finished a sandwhich searching in every direction inside of me, both of us staring at the monitor by my head, waiting for that tiny beating heart to show up. I remember when she looked to the left, where I knew my baby had been nestled, my heart pounding fast when I saw emptiness. Eventually she said, "No, I'm sorry, I don't see anything at all."
It was a small, dark room, and my husband was sitting at the other end of it, just out of sight. There was a curtained-off area where I pulled back on my clothes, sobbing quietly, still in shock, not wanting to cry in front of the doctor, but not able to control my tears. I remember how quiet it was in that room, even though there were three of us in it. Ramon sat with the doctor waiting for me to finish dressing, and the only sound was of my crying.
When I sat down with them, she asked me if I had an ultrasound photo of my baby. I nodded and pulled it out of my bag. She looked at it and I'll never forget how she looked at it and said, "Eindeutig." She had printed out the picture of my empty womb, and seeing the two pictures next to each other was heartwrenching.
She typed out a description of what had happened while Ramon and I sat, stunned, still not fully believing what was going on. I don't remember exactly what she said to me while the diagnosis was being printed ("Abortus Completus"), something about it happening to many women and not to give up hope, and not to use a tampon for the bleeding. She supplied me with two large packages of enormous maxi pads and gave me my two ultrasound photos and the printed diagnosis.
I don't know exactly why I am sharing all of this now...it's been over a year since we lost our baby. A part of me worries that I'm writing things no one wants to read, something so personal and sad that it should be kept to myself. On the other hand, there's this urge to get it out, to tell that story. It haunts me again and again. Those moments that run like a movie in my head, especially at the beginning of the time of month where I feel that familiar cramping, and am reminded that I still don't have a baby, my womb is still empty.
Last night, when my husband and the dogs were already deep asleep and snoring, I listened to melting snow drip on the windowsil and cried, wondering if my baby knows how much I miss him, how much I love him. I know he is free, flying with the angels. But does he know that my heart is broken? That I think of him every day? That I wish I could be cuddling him to my breast, smelling his soft head, feeling his hand gripping my finger?
This is such a lonely place.