You’re not really a button any more. I’m sure you’re not. Maybe you weren’t meant to be here, maybe you didn’t want to be here or maybe it was my body that didn’t actually want you here. For whatever reason though, I’m convinced that on the weekend I had a miscarriage. Which is the only way I have been able to think about it.
When you’re pregnant, I think the euphemism “with child” is a much nicer way to express the condition than “up the duff” or having a “bun in the oven”. It’s a bit antiquated, sure, but I think it shows a connection between mother and child and expresses the sentiment fairly accurately. Now that I have had a miscarriage, the euphemism would be that I have “lost the baby” but that somehow seems wrong. Not because of the word “lost” like I lose my bobby pins or my small change (I would still use the word “lost” if I were talking about my husband or even my dog), but because to me, “lost” in that sense implies more of a connection to somethingone than I had with what I guess I still thought of as a curiosity. I’m not saying I didn’t care. I did. My neighbour could tell you I burst into tears on her because I care but now its more like “well, it happened”. Its not like I lost a parent or even a lifelong dream. I lost a plan. I got a disappointment. I have to make a readjustment.
I never saw you, I never felt you and I never learned anything about you. I never had much proof you were even there. I wasn’t sick, swollen, itchy or many of the other things that can occur early on in gestation. I never made it to the first scan. I never saw my body change. I never felt like you noticed what I did or didn’t do. In a way, because I never felt like there was much evidence that you were there, I was always kind of unsure as to whether you’d stick around. I didn’t know whether you’d be like one of those guests at a party who show up quietly, partake of a drink and a canapé and then take off before saying hello to the host. I knew you were there but we never spoke to any of the same people and we never connected. I thought you might be an awesome addition to the party but as it turns out, you weren’t. So now I’m planning the next event.
Some of the people I have told about this tentatively ask if I’m ok and whether I think I’ll be ready to try again soon. They prepare themselves for a distressed “no, I couldn’t possibly just yet” and so seem surprised by my somewhat pragmatic nature. Sure I’m ready to try again but it’s a maths thing. See, the midwife told me not to try immediately. She advised me to wait for a normal menstrual cycle first. The problem is however, if that first full cycle comes 28 days after the miscarriage and then ovulation comes 14 days after that, the estimated due date would then be smack bang in the middle of the Christmas/New Year period and I have decided that is out. I don’t want to be worried about popping over Christmas and what kid wants their birthday in the middle of the holidays when friends are never around and family try to merge two separate gift giving opportunities into one? No thanks. I am therefore happy to try immediately and if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to take a break for a month before trying again. No problem.
Now just so as you know, I’m not belittling the genuine pain (both physical and emotional) that some women go through as the result of a miscarriage. I’m not even promising that I would have the same reaction if this happens to me again…and again…and again. I’m just saying that right now, this time, I am really not falling apart. It didn’t hurt (well after the first day when I had some rather uncomfortable cramping moments). I know its not my fault. I know it doesn’t mean I won’t have a successful pregnancy next time. I know it doesn’t mean I’ll never have a successful pregnancy. I know its my body’s way of saying that one wasn’t healthy for you, I had to evict it on your behalf. I know that I got off luckier than some women because there have been no other complications or doctors involved but I also know that it sucks. Everything thing is fine but this situation? Its not “ok”. Its not like nothing really happened. For me or for Sparky.
On the plus side though, it was kind of nice to see my mother so excited by the idea that even though you weren’t any longer, the idea of you is far more real that it was before. She was upset for me of course but I think there was at least an equal amount of pleasure in the idea that she might really become a grandmother. Before all she had was a “we’re thinking about it”. Now she has an “it nearly did happen” and a “we’re trying to make it so”. So I guess for me, its better luck next time and for you, its now goodbye.