Friday, May 19, 2006

Remembrance

Two years ago today, I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I were in the process of moving. The movers were coming the next morning, and there I was with the positive pregnancy test--so I didn't tell him. The only person I told was my then 19 month old son. I knew he wouldn't tell anyone.

According to my mother-in-law, there is a Chinese superstition that pregnant women shouldn't be around construction or be allowed to help with moving because it will harm the baby. And there I was two years ago, moving into a newly constructed house. So I kept my secret.

We had to move into an extended-stay hotel for about 5 weeks before our house was completed. During that time, I scheduled an appointment with my OB for early June. The doctor was excited because it was the first time he had written the due date with the year 2005 in it. The baby was estimated to be born around January 19, 2005. Then he did the vaginal ultrasound, and the visions of my baby-to-be began to evaporate.

The ultrasounds revealed no semblance of an embryo. No heartbeat. Recheck dates—maybe it is too early. Draw blood. Wait a very long weekend to draw blood again. Hcg levels have dropped. Morning sickness has mysteriously disappeared. Tell my husband that I was pregnant and now I am not. Tell my 19 month old why mommy is crying all afternoon. Call the doctor to arrange a D&E because we are moving into our house, and I cannot wait for the blood to start. A quick outpatient procedure and I (literally) move on with my life with little time left to grieve. Time passed very quickly that summer.

The irony of it all is the reason I did not grieve last year—I was pregnant with my last baby. Eight and a half months pregnant, full of life and hope. Yet in my mind, that missing ghost baby persists. Some days I don’t think of him/her, but my life has been shaped from that experience. However, if I would have known that baby, I would not know the 10 month old that is in my house today. I was already four months pregnant with him when that January due date came around. Yet I am still haunted, and I wonder.

I think that I grieve the date I found out I was pregnant (rather than the due date or the date I went to the hospital for surgery) because it was a day that I was full of hope and innocence, full of joy and promise.

When I was pregnant with my last baby, I kept it a secret for quite a while, fearful of loss. When my friend announced she was pregnant with her first baby due this fall, I held my breath. It is so common to have a miscarriage, yet good news does deserve to be told. How much I have changed since I announced my first pregnancy!

So this day carries with it promise and disappointment, joy and grief, innocence and experience. Sounds a lot like what life is all about.

2 comments:

A. Lin said...

I comment on my own entry. As I reflected more on this today, I remember the end of C.S. Lewis' book The Magician's Nephew, which tells of the creation of Narnia. Digory's mother is dying in our real world, and Aslan tells him that there are only two present in that new world of Narnia that know the depths of grief: Digory and Aslan. And then Aslan says, "Let us be good to one another."

When I cope with my grief, I try to remember to be good to others because they certainly have their own griefs, too.

hipastorzwife2B said...

My greiving day is July 5.