Again taking the cue from Mandi (and fulfilling the promise I made a few months ago), I am taking a moment to share the brief time I spent pregnant with Myla.
I had my period in the middle of June. I conceived Myla over Independence Day weekend (a string of weddings has that effect, I guess). I noticed my breasts were super sore around July 8th. I was suspicious, especially when I realized that after coming home from work I'd instantly take a 2 hour nap. I love naps, but I never take them during the week. John lets me sleep late on the weekends (I love that man), but we don't have time to nap during the week.
However, I remember waking up from those naps and giving John kisses on the head for letting me crash. I was confused by my sudden, inexplicable exhaustion. Again, I suspected pregnancy, but I didn't allow myself to believe it for fear of jinxing things.
Finally, as the days progressed, I noticed all of the other symptoms I'd had with Vincent - intense thirst (for someone who never drinks, that's a huge deal), super sore chest (seriously, the girls were on fire), insatiable need for cereal (at midnight - always at midnight) and other bodily signs that I won't bother to discuss.
Point is, by the 15th, there was no denying I was pregnant. I knew it, and I was so excited that I could barely contain myself. Seriously. I must've had the biggest, dumbest grin on my face 24/7. I began devising ways to tell the families. I began looking up "Big Brother" T-shirts for Vince. I even began devising ways to hide my ballooning belly long enough to do a "big reveal" around Christmas.
I'd of course taken a few tests, but just as with Vincent, they came back negative. I didn't think too much of it because Vince's tests didn't show up positive until well after my missed period. My missed period wasn't for a few days yet, so I figured I'd have at least another week or two to wait for a positive.
Finally, that Friday, July 19th, I visited my friend, Mary. At first, I tried to play off my excitement. But I couldn't. She asked me what the dopey smile was for, and I said I was 99.9% sure I was pregnant. Really, I was 1,000% sure, but again, I didn't want to jinx things.
Fat lot of good my superstitions did me.
Mary promptly asked how John would react. I honestly wasn't too worried. I knew he'd be freaked out, I knew I'd be hurt by his reaction, but I also knew he'd eventually be fine and my happiness could not be tainted - even with such a callous response to news of our baby.
En route home, I also asked for prayers from two spiritual sisters I've grown to rely on. I shared with them my news and asked that they pray for a positive test so I could finally go forward with my "reveal" plans for the family.
That night, when I got home, I made the decision to tell John. I honestly couldn't hold it in anymore. I wanted to tell EVERYONE. But I knew it would be a shock to John so I wanted to give him time to process things.
You already know how well that went.
But tell him I did and I was glad.
Unfortunately, the next day, July 20th, found me spotting. Implantation bleeding? I was hoping, but given I would be on the later end of the timeframe for implantation, I doubted it. I still hoped, though. I ignored the cramping and nausea. I put in a call to my OB (who I was scheduled to meet with on the 25th) and she suggested I just relax and see what came of it.
Sunday the 21st I knew for sure. All throughout the night I had been tossing and turning with terrible back pain. I was cramping and bleeding and fully understood what was happening.
It's odd. The physical act of miscarriage was my nail in the coffin. That was my final physical sign confirming what I'd known for two weeks - I was pregnant, and I was losing her.
In losing her, I fully gained her - and that might sound ridiculous, but it's the truth.
I went downstairs and told John. We had our niece's birthday party that day, so he didn't ask many questions. I didn't feel like talking, so that worked for me.
When we got to phase one of Alliya's birthday party (it was at a gymnastics place), I sat off by myself. I felt like crap and didn't want to be near anyone. I felt bad for seeming miserable, so I took a photo of my pink and sparkly flip flop to send to my friend, Theresa.
She had given me these shoes for her wedding (she's the one obsessed with pink). I jokingly wrote that I was wearing something pink and sparkly knowing it'd generate a chuckle and quite possibly an eye roll from her.
She didn't know about Myla yet. She didn't have to. I was just in need of some sort of friendly communication - something familiar to fall back on while I wrestled with the physical and emotional pain of what was happening. Everyone at the party was rightfully happy and excited to be celebrating Alliya. I felt terrible for not being able to feel the same. But I couldn't exactly go home without an explanation, and I wasn't ready to give that explanation. So I stayed, and I tried my very best to be social. However, when everyone was ready to go back to the house for the subsequent party and cake, I took a breather.
I dropped John and Vince off there and claimed I needed to pick up swimsuits from Walmart. In truth, I didn't need to do that at all. I could've easily brought them from home, but I didn't because I knew I'd need an out. So I spent about 45 minutes collecting myself and working through the physical pain of miscarriage.
By the time I'd arrived back, the party was in full swing. I got into the pool with Vince because I hoped the warm water would help me feel better. In truth, it did, but I was also having to catch Vince each time he'd jump into the pool. It was heavy lifting, and in truth, I was really angry with John who left to lie down because he "had a headache."
If looks could kill...
Anyway, after the rain started, we thought it best to go home.
That evening, I sat down and typed out my feelings through a torrent of tears. That is where my "I Was Pregnant This Week" entry came from. I had just finished typing it when my Mom sent me a book entitled Cracks in the Sidewalk (great book, BTW, but a complete tear jerker).
She sent it with a message along the lines of, "I'm not sending this to pressure you or John about children - although I wish he'd reconsider. I'm sending it because it's a good book and I think you'd like it."
I read the first few pages and immediately realized what she meant. The entire first chapter deals with a woman only able to have one child and feeling guilty for being unable to provide more for her daughter.
I wrote her back that it was okay. She was just acting in the name of Divine Providence. I then attached my blog entry because I could not bring myself to say the words out loud.
In the coming days, I mostly felt numb. After the first day and a half of pain, I was fine. I just bled. I called my doctor and asked if I could just skip my visit on the 25th. She wanted me to come in so I could be checked, but I told her women miscarried without seeing their doctors all the time. Truthfully, I just didn't want to go in and be surrounded by a dozen other women with their full bellies and excited baby chatter. My heart wouldn't be able to take it.
She understood and simply said to call her if I developed fevers, increase in blood flow / cramping / etc.
Thankfully, I never had to call. I still haven't. Her office called me about a week later, but I never picked up and never returned the phone call. Terrible, I know, but I guess I just couldn't handle that.
About a week later, I no longer had any pregnancy symptoms. They'd all dissipated with the passing of Myla's tiny body. The realization that nothing was left almost sent me into a state of panic.
Again, though, God's grace abounded and cocooned me in mercy. Now here I am several months later. The emotional pain is still there. Sometimes my entire body rocks as I try to keep the waves of tears inside - especially at Mass when I know she's so close. Other times I feel elated and excited at the thought of having her up in Heaven to greet me one day.
In all things, though, I know I am blessed to have held her within me. Even for how tiny she was... how fleeting her soul was hidden in my womb... I am blessed.
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