Friday, 1 February 2008

Looking back to the past

This week marks the first anniversary of what would have been my due date.

I have thought a great deal about how to phrase that sentence, but however I try to express it, it sounds awkward. There is no cultural ritual that would enable me to mark an event that never took place. There is no commonly held discourse through which I might explore my feelings about that not-yet-baby who never fully formed either in my body or in my mind.

When I think back to my pregnancy, I cannot think beyond seven weeks. My imagination does not carry me on into the second trimester, to seeing my belly visibly swell, to feeling the baby move for the first time. I cannot imagine myself preparing for the birth, or bringing a baby home from the hospital. I cannot picture myself as mother to a one-year-old child, making plans for a birthday party.

Instead, I am precipitated back to that hot, airless weekend in June when I miscarried. I remember the cramps that first alerted me to the fact that something was desperately wrong. I remember how, after the bleeding started in earnest, I lay in a small patch of sun at the end of the bed, knowing that my body was ridding itself of the baby I had so desperately longed for, and that there was nothing I or anyone else could do to halt the process. I remember being faintly surprised that losing a baby was such a slow and insidious process - my sense of what it might be to miscarry had up to that point been largely gleaned from television dramas, in which actresses collapse suddenly and dramatically, clutching their stomachs.

Everyone, even Dr Abrupt, tells me that the fact that we did once conceive spontaneously is cause for optimism. But I am haunted by the possibility that that could have been my only experience of pregnancy. What if that was my one chance? Would all the subsequent BFNs be easier to handle if I had not had that one positive?


Pamela Jeanne said...

I'm sorry for your loss. This must be an incredibly hard week. I know how many hopes and dreams you had associated with your lost pregnancy. You're in my thoughts...

luna said...

my thoughts are with you this week. these anniversaries are so hard, thinking about what could/should have been. I could also not escape the thought that I should be planning a first birthday party in stead of home crying... hope you do something nice for yourself.

and as for that elusive bfp without assistance, I know it's supposed to be cause for optimism but it doesn't really make it much easier when it's been so hard to duplicate, even with help.

Katarina Jelly Beana said...

I'm so sorry. These things from so long ago must seem really fresh.

It seems to me that nothing is easier than anything else. It's all impossible to get through, yet somehow we all do.

Dreamer4agift said...

I can not even begin to imagine the pain you are feeling right now.

I am keeping you in my thoughts and sending a hug your way. (((hug)))

the Babychaser: said...

Sometimes it's hard to believe how much an early miscarriage can haunt you. I, too, was able to conceive naturally (the doctors refer to it as "spontaneously", BTW, which I find hilarious, considering the charting, timing, deliberation, etc.). I lost that baby at 6 weeks. A the time, we were actually fairly upbeat about it. "At least we can get pregnant," we kept telling each other. "The next one will stick."

But as the months dragged on, and the IUIs failed, the enormity of what we had lost became clearer and clearer. The week I got my BFN from my third IUI was the week my first baby was due (and the week of Christmas, to boot). It was never far from my mind, or my husband's.

So yeah, anniversaries are brutal. Even the second anniversary was difficult--a reminder of how far "behind" we are.

I've been commenting too long, but I wanted to add that I was impressed with your post about finding your "childfree voice." I'm definitely one of those infertiles that can't bear to even talk about such a thing, but I hadn't realized how closed-minded that was until I read your post. Very thought-provoking.