There is this feeling you get when you become pregnant. It’s a warm feeling. It’s a feeling only a woman can experience. It’s life within you. There is a life within your womb that has been created and can only be sustained and nourished by your body. It brings a feeling of joy and love. You become connected to your soul in ways you never have been even if you have been pregnant before.
You also connect to another soul inside your body. Sometimes, you can feel their presence. Other times, their presence is silent but you know they are still there. Then there is this baby, who I had no idea left. Their soul disappeared leaving the shell of their body within me. I knew when Ruby left. I knew the exact moment but this baby…this one left so quietly I didn’t even suspect.
Right now, I am struggling deeply. My body is returning to having an empty womb but desperately wants that warm feeling and all that surrounds it from that new life. Even my children and husband treat me differently. Having been pregnant four times now, I realize it’s not about feeling “special.” Sure, I felt special during each pregnancy. I am doted on a bit more, given a bit more slack on household duties and forgetfulness but it’s deeper then that.
It’s a spiritual connection with this new life which surrounds everyone in the house. An aura that moves from room to room, lighting the way as you go, filling every crack and hole within your being with light and love. But all of that is gone now. All the dark parts are returning and it hurts. It’s nauseating at times. My body is fighting the un-pregnant state.
On the outside, it looks like I had a much better day today, but I didn’t. I woke up at 4am and could not go back to sleep. I tried for an hour and decided it wasn’t going to happen. I spent the rest of the morning on the couch watching TV. I was able to see my son that morning before he went off to school, something I haven’t done in almost a year now that he is in middle school.
My husband had the day off and he cancelled his evening job to stay with me. That in and of itself, helped keep my thoughts from drifting to all I have lost. There were still moments where it came up. The thought of moving is a big deal right now. That’s been our focus for the last month or so and now that we will not be needing the extra room we are working through the pro’s and con’s of moving.
Then there are the baby items; should we donate/sell them or keep them. Then comes the not so easy to see reminders such as, I would have been entering the second trimester on our big summer trip. I cried several times thinking about this baby that I will never get to hold.
The funeral home called this morning to tell me that they had not heard from the surgery center yet on when they could pick up the baby’s remains. I had to make a few calls today inquiring about the baby and when the baby would be released. I didn’t care how awkward the conversation was for all those involved at the call center. That’s Kaiser’s fault for having such a complex system. It was heartwarming to talk with the OBGYN clinic because they were so empathic. It seems they have some training in pregnancy loss, beyond any of the other clinics I have been too, especially our first one where we lost Ruby.
By the end of the day, we learned the baby’s remains were ready for release and the Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary would pick up the baby on Monday. The funeral would be at the end of the month. The mortuary is creating a fetal death certificate and wanted the name of the baby. We still haven’t named this baby because we are waiting on the genetic testing. I don’t think we will know for at least another week but we did learn all the testing would be covered so that was a relief.
I don’t want night to come. Night seems scary to me. That must be why I have gotten less and less sleep the last few nights. When night comes, it’s just a reminder. I know that one more day has passed since the baby was living inside me. It’s another day moving forward. It’s another day without that special feeling.
My Facebook news feed is full of pregnancy announcements, birth announcements and pictures of new babies. When a mother posts her struggle with her new baby, I remind myself of how lucky I am that I won’t have to go through that. I won’t have to experience engorgement, baby blues, postpartum depression, sleep deprivation, constant nursing, worrying about co-sleeping or transitioning to crib, sleep regression or any of the other hard moments of raising a baby but I realize that this is all just my way of rationalizing and justifying my loss. It’s my way of saying, “See, you didn’t really want that anyway.” It’s my body’s attempt at trying to make myself feel better.
Instead though, I will continue to feel that hole in my heart and soul. I will continue to long for the child that was once within my womb. I will continue to look at other children and do the math in my head, “That’s how old Ruby would be.” I will forever tell people I have four children, two which are living. I will continue to feel like less of a mother because I couldn’t bring two of my children home with me. What is a person like me called?