Friday, March 26, 2010

Ugh - that didn't last long

I knew the peace I found yesterday was temporary but I had hoped it would last longer than 1 day. Last night I dreamed I had an early miscarriage, I didn't even know I was pregnant. I just had a gush of blood at my doctor's office and she told me she saw an embryo. I went to my husband crying and he got mad because I couldn't tell him right away what was wrong.

I spent the morning drive to work reliving Aiden's birth. Feeling that tiny, still body slip from me and hearing the soft words of my doctor as she checked the placenta. I wish I could unremember that part. I realized that part of the problem with my dreams is that I have no good memories of Aiden.

There was a discussion on Glow in the woods not too long ago that caused some misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I think everyone managed to work it out to some degree but I feel I have to rehash some of it to explain this feeling. A couple of women that had miscarriages or lost their babies before birth were regretting that they didn't get more time. The mothers of the babies that were born alive but didn't live long were horrified that anyone would want the memory of their baby suffering before it died.

Other people explained it more eloquently, but it came down to just wanting more time with our babies, not wishing for suffering. For me I wanted a memory of something other than heartbreak and horrible no-win decisions. I wanted a memory of how his warm skin felt in my arms, a memory of his eyes open, a memory of kissing him. A smile would probably not have been possible, but some mothers did get that. I need something other than death and a cold, decomposing body to dream about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sorry I saw and held Aiden's body. That was the only tangible thing I got out of this pregnancy. I wasn't horrified by his condition, except that I couldn't bring myself to kiss him. That bothers me. But I so wish I had something else to remember. Even his kicking is tainted since he was already paralyzed at 20 weeks. I was only feeling his arms moving and when he jerked; it makes me sick now to think of all the times I smiled when I felt him move.

Protecting Aiden from suffering is the reason we ended the pregnancy early and the reason I didn't get those things. I am okay with our decision. I just wail at the injustice of having to knowingly deprive myself of those memories in order to protect my son. On days like today I almost wish I didn't have the memories I do have, they are all bad. Would it be better to not have Aiden in my heart? The mother in me screams "NO, you will not erase my son", but a small part whispers, "this hurts, I want it to go away."

I wish it would get better.

*Edited to add: I just heard this again and was struck by how appropriate it was.

"It's a need you never get used to, so fierce and so confused.
It's a loss you never get over the first time you lose."

- Come On Come On, Mary Chapin Carpenter


  1. +20 back at you, and no -5 for me today since I am a government employee (yeah Cesar Chavez day1). :)

    It's a tough one. I like to refer people to bunny's post/statement about how "there is no better, there is only worse". I know someone who lost a baby right at birth (saw her alive for a few minutes), and she definitely treasures that memory. But in the long term, it makes the healing that much harder. You were in an even more difficult situation, because you had to make a decision, something that must have been so harrowing to go through that I can't even comprehend it.

    I am glad you found peace yesterday, and believe it or not, those interludes of peace will grow wider and come more often until one day you will actually feel healed.

    No lie.

  2. My heart breaks for you. I know that Aiden felt/feels your love. You made the best choice his mother could make by not allowing him to suffer and be in pain. It is the ultimate self-less act.
    Sending you love.

  3. While I didn't go through the heartache of having to decide end my pregnancy for the sake of my child, I do share a bit of how you now remember your son. My second pregnancy didn't make it to through the first trimester. It ended in a medical traumatic experience for me. Now instead of being able to remember and feel good about the few weeks of bliss that I had with my baby, all I can do is think about the fear, the dread, the pain, and the terror I felt as I was losing my baby. In fact, whenever I think about the experience it's like I wasn't even pregnant at all. It's like the whole pregnancy morphed into sadness, pain, and hospitalization. Like I was more sick and not pregnant.

  4. that sounds like a horrendous dream. my husband had a horrible one just after we found out about the baby dying. it makes me glad i don't remember my dreams.

    it's not fair what you had to go through. it was absolutely the right decision, but noone should ever have to make it. i wish i could make it right for you.

  5. I'm sorry that the peace you found was so short lived. Memory is a strange thing, sometimes I long for the 'unremembering' that you describe above. At others I wish I could remember every single detail because they are the only memories I will ever have of my daughter.
    I agree with Leslie, the difficulty of your situation was compounded by the fact that you had to make a decision. An impossible decision. You made that choice to protect your son.
    And yes, it is horribly, horribly unjust that you were forced to forego those memories in order to do that.
    And I'm still not used to it and I'm still not over it. I never will be. But please trust me that it will get easier. xo