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Archive for March, 2014

March 8

March 8 sucks for me, so I’m attempting to alleviate the pain a bit by writing about it. In general, the months of February and March have too many sad anniversaries to be any sort of cheerful, with the exception of my middle son’s birthday in March. February marks the anniversaries of two grandparents passing away and March 22 is the day that my father died. Add to that the bleak winter weather and I’m ready for spring right after Epiphany.

March 8, however, holds a special, darker, place for me, one that I try to avoid thinking about but never can. On March 8, 2002 I found out that I lost a baby.

This baby had been, at best, unexpected. Marty had been laid off in January 2001 and we had decided to send him back to school while I worked two jobs. September 11 happened and everyone was just trying to feel normal. When we found out that I was pregnant in December 2001, we were shocked. I had been on the pill faithfully because we knew that we definitely could not afford another child, Nevertheless, one was coming, due on September 11, 2002. We had been worried because of some heavy bleeding and I’ll never forget the heartless, callous, words that the female doctor told me. “This baby was not expected, right? Then a miscarriage isn’t so bad.” Never, ever say that to someone who could be having a miscarriage. It’s vicious and it’s uncalled for.

I went through several blood tests to determine how far along I was and if the baby was growing normally. All tests came back fine and we started to figure out what to do when the baby came.

Halfway through January, though, something didn’t feel right. I went to the doctor, who said that my blood work was good and unless I was cramping or bleeding, not to worry and wait for my ultrasound on March 8. I could call in the meantime and try to get it moved up, but there were never any openings. Still, I felt like something was wrong. When I was pregnant before, I could feel my boys spiritually before I could feel them physically; that’s the best way I can describe it. After January, I couldn’t feel that connection any more and it made me anxious. March 8 couldn’t come soon enough.

On that day, I got up early and we went to our appointment. There, my worst fears were confirmed. While before, our ultrasound tech had always made comments about how big the baby was and how she could see fingers or toes, this time all she did was click the mouse. When we asked questions, she told us that we had to go straight from there to my doctor’s office. I was beginning to feel as if we were in a surreal dream as we listened to him tell us that the baby was no more, that what I had was a blighted ovum, which is when a baby begins to grow, but then doesn’t. I had to get a D&C to finish what nature hadn’t started. I won’t go into that, except that the last thing I remember before going under was my doctor telling me that it was going to be okay, that I would be able to have more babies.

I grieved. A lot. I went to a conference that I had been planning to go to for several months and drank and smoked cigarettes, a habit that I had given up in 2001. I railed against God. I was angry. My baby was gone. Notice I don’t use the word “fetus” or “embryo” or any term that makes my child anything less. She or he, although I feel that she was a she, was baby, my well-loved child, as unexpected as she was.

I still love that child and I still grieve. I mark this anniversary every year because I know that she means something to me. I know other women who have had a miscarriage, or miscarriages, and it’s not an easy thing. We don’t “get over it”. Some are able to tuck it away more quietly and privately than others, but I can’t do that. That child is a sweet face that I never got to kiss, a tiny hand whose fingers never curled around her Daddy’s, a belly laugh that never sent her brothers into laughter themselves. It’s a first day of school that will never come and a first date that will never happen. It’s an unrequited love that can never be whole.

There is no medical reason that we know of and God blessed us with Andrew the very next August with no problems whatsoever. I don’t know why she was taken from us, but I think about her a lot. I named her Hope. In our backyard, I have a garden for her where I can think about her. I am the mother of an angel. And I hate March 8.

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