Everything was a little too appropriate today. It's a grey, gloomy, rainy spring day, there's not a cloud in the sky or a sliver of sunlight. I was even dressed appropriately for the occasion. Big clunky boots, jeans, a grey shirt with a navy blue cardigan and a summer scarf. Hair down with just cherry chapstick. All of the glimmerings of new life, hidden under all the sure signs of the dead of winter. I dropped the girls off at my mom's house so I could go to my 12 weeks appointment. When I first got there I did the routine weigh in. I gained one pound. Normally by my 12 week appointment I'm far into about 12-16 pounds. Nurse asks if I had any concerns, as normal, and as normal I think of something that they reply as "well, every pregnancy is different!" This month's concern is that my morning sickness literally stopped overnight ("like all my hormones just went away!") and, "why have I only gained one pound?" This cues the nurse to joke that that should be the least of my concerns, and it's because my selective memory only remembers the times I come in and gain six pounds at a time.
If there's one thing that I remember well, it's my weight. When, where, why, what number, what size. I've been wondering lately why I'm still wearing my regular clothes. By this point in the game, I usually am in the awkward two sizes up, crotch too low, legs too long, but still a muffin top. Typically I throw in the towel and wear sweats from here on out.
Doctor goes through the routine first trimester questions; each of my previous births, when? full terms? weight? Then goes through the routine: heart disease, high blood pressure, depression? I answer no to all of them, "although, sometime I do get a bit down," when she replies, "Kiera, eveybody gets a little down all the time, but you are the happiest person I've ever met." She notes that my belly hasn't grown. She skips the doppler (the machine used to hear the heart) and goes right to sonogram. Last appointment all the nurses were impressed that the baby had already begun moving. His little arms and legs were going the entire time. This time there was nothing. No heart beat, no sweet limbs flailing.
Couple mothers' guilt and Irish guilt and my mind starts racing, even though it probably had nothing to do with me. Was it the days I forgot to take my vitamin? Zumba class? When I got the flu two weeks ago? Was it just too much for the little baby to handle?
The doctor has to send me to "make it official," to the imaging floor of the hospital. The scene must've been set by a director. I finally saw the hospital through a new lens, and I realized why people feared it. Full of death and sorrow. I had to walk down too many dimly lit hallways, with shiny floors, and the smell of bleach. For the first time I realized that the hospital is just kind of dank. I couldn't pull my knit cardigan tight enough around me. I waited in chairs, while listening to news full of more destruction, and read a times magazine through blurry eyes. Then I was simply called in, got a quick, bit too harsh, efficient sonogram, with the tech saying, "yep, I'm just confirming what they already told you." And I was cattled out like any other patient that found out grief worthy news.
I've always loved the hospital, I loved the smell of the cleanliness, the soap, the squeak of shoes. When I think of the hospital I think of unlimited cranberry juice and Lorna Doones on beckon call. I think of clean white sheets, with the tv on low in the background, while I sit Indian style with my new sweet baby wrapped up sitting in my lap. (While I eat hospital meatloaf and buttered corn, topping it off with jello.) I love smelling my baby's sweet head and choosing which outfit to put on her. A white tshirt with a diaper or a yellow tshirt with a diaper? It seems all of these things I was so looking forward to in September is just gone.
This all may seem a little dramatic. I've experienced miscarriages second hand, and I still had no grasp of how devastating it is. In the book of etiquette, you're supposed to never say, "maybe there was something wrong with it," or "you'll have another baby soon," or "at least you have other kids!" All of these things are true, but there is something so earth shatteringly unique about this baby. This hope, this dream. What this baby was going to offer to the world. What I was going to offer to this baby.
The thaw is setting in my bones, and I'm just getting achier. Hopefully the nurses and doctors understand that I was in complete shock when I said, "well there's always a silver lining, and now I can drink beer on St Patty's day!" Because that's not really how I feel. I would give up anything for any amount of time for my children. sl;fsdf;lasjdlasfkhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh