In my last post I talked about how our baby didn’t have a heartbeat.
ACCEPTANCE OR SO I THOUGHT
The day we found out, I was completely stoic. My first thought was, ‘okay I expected this’. I was even able to ask my doctor calm, logical questions; What if I just got my ovulation dates wrong? Was this because of something I did? Do I need to have a procedure done?
It was as if I was just asking about a tooth extraction.
It was only when Moe dropped me off at home and I was completely alone, that the information suddenly hit me. I burst into uncontrollable sobs.
GUILT AND FALSE HOPE…
Although the doctor had assured me that at this early stage of the pregnancy, I absolutely didn’t do anything to cause the miscarriage, I still couldn’t shake off the feeling that it was my fault. The baby was in me after all.
I didn’t exactly take it easy while I was pregnant. I still went to Manila every week and filled those weekends with activities. I got the go-signal from the doctor, sure. But I knew the first trimester was critical. I should have been more careful.
I felt guilty about every negative thought. Like I said in my first post, I had panic attacks. Did the baby sense that I wasn’t entirely ready to be a mom?
My bitchiness came back full force while I was pregnant too. And every time I let snarky comment slip out, we would teasingly blame it on poor Peapot. (by the way, we called her Peapot. Because she looked like a pea in a pot). Did she sense this and say, “you know what mom, I’m having none of this sh*t. Go blame your potty mouth on someone else.”
Did she feel unwanted? Was that why she decided to go?
Even after I found out that the pregnancy wasn’t viable I was immobilized with guilt.
You see, I wasn’t bleeding at all. So the baby was still inside me. And I couldn’t help but feel that she was still alive.
That thought filled me with hope, but it also paralyzed me. Every time I engaged in any form of “normal” activity, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was harming the baby.
I went back to the doctor several times, asking for one “one last ultrasound”. I got the same results every single time. But I still couldn’t let go.
The doctor gave me a prescription to facilitate the bleeding. To me, taking that pill felt like I was killing the baby. Moe had to force me to because he was scared for my health.
When the meds didn’t work, we finally decided to get a D&C. That’s the only time I allowed myself to accept the fact that the Peapot was gone.
MORE GRIEF AND MORE QUESTIONS
I’m not a religious person, but I’d like to think that God and I, we tight. And I believe that He has a purpose for each one of us.
I just can’t fathom though, that our baby had fulfilled her purpose in those 8 weeks that she was in my womb. I was heartbroken because it hardly seemed fair that she had reached her potential before she was even born.
Why wasn’t she given a chance to know more? To be more?
When my parents passed away, at least I had images and memories of them; I had years of experiences to hold on to. I had only known about our baby for about a month. We had no shared memories. I have never even seen her. I can’t look back and reminisce on what she was like, how she smelled like, how her voice sounded.
I remember our doctor gently informing me, that for medical purposes, she was going to put “embryonic formation” in my medical results, since technically, the baby never had a heartbeat.
I understood her reasons perfectly. But it was still painful for me to hear that Peapot could be reduced to just an “embryonic formation”. For us, she had lived. She was unique and irreplaceable.
ON GRATITUDE & COMFORT
When I expressed this to Moe, he said, “You know what, I think the our next baby’s still going to be Peapot. She just wasn’t happy with her packaging, so she decided to wait for the next one.” So that became a running joke between us: “What? I’m getting daddy’s receding hairline and mommy’s butt??? There’s no way! Imma wait for the next vessel.”
It’s morbid, corny and a tad bit heretical. But it comforts us. And it makes us laugh.
I’m grateful that despite everything that we’ve been through as a couple, we can still joke around and laugh.
I’m thankful for family and friends, who instinctively knew that despite my oversharing ways, I wanted to be left alone. They gave me the space and the silence that I very much needed. No unsolicited advice. No insistence that I share what I went through. There was just a lot of love, a lot of acceptance and a lot of respect.
I’m also grateful, that when I finally decided to share our story, a lot of people reached out to give us comfort or even to share their own very private and painful experiences.
There is something about going through pain that makes you feel like you’re totally alone. But the messages that we received made me realize that in as much as grief can be isolating, it can also bring people together.
This thought gives me hope. There are still a lot of unanswered questions in my head, still a lot of sadness , still a lot of doubt. It is a process after all. But I derive strength in knowing that even in the ugliest of situations, people still find ways to empathise, to reach out and to support. And that makes me feel like in the end, life just balances out.