Monday, 27 August 2012

6 months

Feb 27th was a Monday. 
The last day he was alive was on a Sunday.  How 'bout that?  It's here again.  A Monday the 27th.  Just like that Monday. 
Last night as I watched the clock from 11 something, to after midnight… I remembered very well what I was doing 6 months ago exactly.  I was at home… trying to will my baby to move. 

(Bits and pieces of my story come out.  One day, I will tell it all.  I promise.  I don’t know where to start, and I don’t know where the day ends.  It's all so clearly a blur)

I remember at this time, 3:34pm, I was terrified for my own life to get the epidural.  I was afraid the worst would happen in anything I attempted.  I thought I would lose my legs.  I thought I'd be paralysed for life should I get the epidural.  I'm already having a dead baby - why not have the worst case scenarios for EVERYTHING.  For sure I'll flinch
The physical pain of labour wasn’t bad at all. Maybe I can say that because I only know what labour feels like alongside with knowing the baby you are labouring is dead.  THAT HURTS. THAT WAS AGONISING.  I MET MY MAKER IN THAT PAIN.  I WAS BEAT.  THAT PAIN TRIUMPHED.  At 8+ cm I wailed for the epidural.  I couldn’t breathe through the contractions anymore as they started to overlap… while knowing….  I tried to retell the story to myself… but I still knew…Tell myself it was all going to be OK, and I could do this.  I felt deep down how much of a lie that was.  While transitioning I held on to the disbelief.  My efforts didn’t matter.  The corners of my clear mind started to clutter. Reality started to crash into my walls of meditation and nothingness I held on to.  My knowing it was all true took over, and I started to cry.  My sobbing and short breaths made my contractions feel infinitely worse. 
I reached my breaking point.   
I could feel the next one start to climb.  I had been in labour since 6AM? 7AM?  Maybe earlier?  I don’t remember when they started the oxytocin drip.  I don’t remember when the contractions started to the point where I had to stop talking through them.  I don’t remember the first time I squatted down on the hospital floor, letting all my muscles go, letting all my breath out, letting all my tension go….I just remember it was 3 something that I couldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t keep labouring a dead baby.  I couldn’t focus.  I couldn’t manage my pain.  My mind kept reminding me that what my body was doing was for nothing.  That this pain was all for nothing.
It was heartbreak on steroids.  I threw in the towel.  Cursing everything around me.  I'm done.  You got me.  You win.  I'm out.  I fold.  Whateverthefuck then...9 months down the fucking drain.  Just make it all stop.  The epidural was given – I didn’t have more than 20 min of down time.  It was time to push.  I knew it.  I yelled it.  I demanded it. 

They asked me to wait.  The doctor was en route.  20 minutes.  I told them if she’s not here in 10, someone else will have to catch.  Because I’m not holding back this urge any longer.
He was born at 4:51 PM.  I felt so relieved.  Instincts took over.  Relieved he made it.  Somehow the “dead” part was turned down a bit.  I was so fucking relieved that I didn’t have to go through the hell of labouring this mess of a loss any longer.  Man, I thought the tough part was over.  If I could go back, I’d shake myself to drink that boy up, hold him tight regardless of how obviously dead he was - and not waste any emotions on feeling better… and just take him in. 

I was stupid on that bed.  Downright dumb.  Because I thought to myself, “the worst part is finally over.”

That was 6 months ago.

I don’t know where the hell I am anymore.  I often have meaningful emotions, and revelations ... and glorious pools of healing wash over me… filled with a lot of sadness as well.  Usually these feelings sweep over me while I’m doing something monotonous or routine – taking a shower, doing the dishes, going to the washroom….but I feel compelled to write.  Often, I speak about my life in the third person to myself, or, talk to myself as if there is a third person listening…and situations become very clear.  I speak of the injustice that not many can understand.  I mention current events in my life that are taking on a very different role than they normally would, had my baby not died.  I talk to myself often how things will never be the same.  I cry a lot.  I let out a lot.  I feel compelled to write… to dry off quickly, wrap things up… and open my computer and give my very clear thoughts a place to live. 

But I don’t.  Things come up.  Time restricts my expression… and I carry on doing absolutely nothing important.


I wanted to write today.  This is a big marker.  6 MONTHS.  I was browsing etsy this morning, looking for a big wooden “A” to start a craft project…and I read something like, “you know what’s important about today?  You only get one try” or “it’ll never be here again...” or fuck it, I don’t remember.  But for whatever reason I didn’t want to let this day pass and not acknowledge it. 
6 months.  A would have been baby at 6 months is a pretty special thing. 

6 months of grieving has felt like some sort of sentence in hell.  Isolating and lonely.  Misunderstood, and stagnant.  Frustrated, and not pregnant.  Life seems to be unfolding, but I do not fit.  I do not live.  I exist, at best. 

And all the stillbirth “survivors” (and baby lost parents) seem to all sing the same song.  The verses seem to all carry the exact same tune.  Some I read along with in present time, and others I’ve read through their archives.  I’m nothing special, and nothing I feel is unique.  I’m just serving my post stillbirth time, punching my clock at 6 months. 
I think I was feeling better before the weekend… during the weekend… even last night I was looking forward to sitting down and writing this post.  But I accepted a visitor this morning… and caught up on things in person.  Did a whole lot of dead baby talking.  It didn’t really go as I had envisioned.  It was fine… nothing was said that really offended me.  She was just trying to offer comfort.  But I emailed her over the weekend before she came.  I wanted to set the tone for the visit.  I wanted to prepare her for MY LIFE.   Part of the email said this …

“The only ones who can really get it, are those that have lived it.  The loss of a child is like no other.  Its unnaturalness tears through ones core, and there is little to no comfort in a "presence" or knowing they are somehow living on.  Your child's journey is so permanently ingrained to be by your side, living, breathing, growing... and when that reality is so traumatically changed, its sorrow strips away your beliefs of what is meant to be.  Cremate my child?  Bury my child?  I seem to have forgotten to prepare my life for those hardships, as one would assume (and hope) you out live your young.
I still feel some days that he is just up stairs... just out of my reach.  Somehow, I am still waiting.  I was waiting for so long... full term, over due... waiting... waiting... waiting.  Now, there are no cries, no naps, no cooing ... and I find myself waiting... waiting... waiting... for him to come home.  I turn a corner, and I expect to see a bassinet... I expect a child.  But no.  I am still waiting... waiting... waiting. 

But waiting without the anticipation is I guess what they call longing?  Aching?  But I know nothing will be different tomorrow.  Nothing will be different when/if I ever have another child.  Alexander will always been our missing boy.  Our family, with the missing +1.  Forever dead.  Never here.  And I don't presume my expectations will ever change.  He was always supposed to be here... but I believe those expectations will one day no longer be in the forefront of my every thought. 
Your children are not supposed to die.  So life right now, in all ways feels very wrong.  Very incomplete.  Terribly trying.  But not many people can really understand that.  And yes, this is a very lonely, isolating place... life with a dead son.  Not many can say, "been there, done'll all be OK."

I am not depressed though.  I use this compose box as a bit of a platform to allow myself to release.  I do not think the 'every day' person in my life knows, or can imagine, how very life changing this loss has been for me.  I look the same as I did before I had him.  My voice sounds the same.  I wear the same clothes.  But I am forever changed.  I am forever richer to have experienced such a love that I wouldn't trade for the world.  I am forever battered and bruised by the horror that is living without my first born. 

All things remain bittersweet.  Life is good.  Life is love.  And maybe one day (and don't worry, I'm looking for a suggested estimation) maybe the bitter wont overpower the sweet. 

When my father died in April of 2010... It was very different.  I almost had no choice but to see all the love and wonderful time I had with him, and it would often blanket all my sorrow.  My grief was strong, and it definitely changed its role in my every day as the months passed.  I love my father, and I miss him still.  His death sentence via cancer was sudden.  His death was quick, all things considered.  But I felt beyond lucky to feel a love so real in my life.  And it never went away. 
I can speak the same of my son.  But it's different.  Oh my God, how lucky I am to have a love so true, so pure.  It broke me wide open.  More than I ever could imagine.  I have never felt so deeply captivated by love before.  He made me a mother.  And that will always be his title to bear.  First born, mother making Alexander.

But the heartache is like no other.  The extreme injustice of such a life lost pummelled me to the ground in my early days.  I was beside myself, negotiating with my sensible side, and neither of us could make any sense of this mess.
I don't invite any "on the brighter side of things".  In my early days, I would listen as friends and family would stumble about, desperately trying with good intentions to somehow ease my pain, and attempt to lighten my loss.  "you will have more children." "you are young, don't worry" "at least he didn't have to suffer" "something good will come out of this, you'll see"  "everything happens for a reason, we don't get to have the answers as to why".

The death of a child, your child, has no brighter side.  I don't like it when my grief is redirected due to the uncomfortable nature of my life.  I have heard every one of those statements above.  I know people "just don't know what to say", but it doesn't make it any easier to hear any of it. 

He died.  It's hard.  It's painful.  It is not going to change.  It's unimaginable.  Nothing will ever change what happened.  And I still cry all the time.  All.the.time.”

I send her this email, along with the recent information about my miscarriage in hopes that she’d just listen to me, and let me grieve, and cry, and talk, and NOT TO TRY TO MAKE IT BETTER!  And not say the words, “I know how you feel”. 
It was fine.  She came early, we talked, I cried.  I just regret having company on this day.  I wanted it to be somewhat symbolic of my state in how I feel.  Quiet, isolated, alone, hopeful, rotten, sad, annoyed, depleted… all wrapped into one.  And after today’s visitor, I feel the rotten annoyed side of me step up to the front lines. 

Maybe I’m just being picky.  I’m a jerk.  I know.  But she mentioned having a miscarriage at 12 weeks in between her 3rd and 4th living children, and then for the remainder of our time used the phrase “after I lost my baby” … and it irked me.  She talked about the pain in losing her mother a few years back, and how long the grieving process was and still is.  Again, irked the fuck out of me.  I’m horrible… she’s just trying to be nice, I know.  Horrible horrible horrible me!  But I feel I let myself down.  I made myself out to be a liar.  She tried a few times to put a spin on my loss... and I just smiled and nodded.  I see she's set in her ways.  She really is 'just trying to help' and doesn't know any better.  How can I get outwardly mad at her?  Why did I expect anything to begin with?  Maybe because she was a childhood “aunt” figure in my life that hasn’t seen me in OVER A DECADE.  I thought I’d be comforted as I was when I was a youngster… wrapped up in ‘kiss it all better’ vibes and hugs until it won’t hurt so bad.  But no.  She’s just a woman, with her own problems and suffering that was looking to share her story of life and loss, too.  Comparable?  Relatable?  Not really.  Good intentions?  Oh yes, very much so.  But it was exhausting.  I found myself explaining my loss a little too much, and correcting how she so easily compared it to her losses.  She used the phrase "I know how you feel" too many times, and I just got tired of sharing. 
It was just a little too much of what I try to avoid, invited into my home.  I didn’t even want to talk about this crap on this blog!  I had so many other things on my mind yesterday, and last week…. And now, it’s just *poof* gone!
And I have oodles to let out.  Health wise (not pregnant though), work stuff, a wedding (not mine), and personal bullshit challenges coming my way… And I cant seem to channel the proactive desire to GET IT ALL OUT (without sounding like a rambling fool!!).

In time, in time, in time…


Today marks 6 months since my son died and was born.  I miss him.  I love him.

I Love You, my Alexander… my almost made it babe.  I wish things were different.  I'm so sorry they are not.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Thank God he was OK

The sixth month mark is creeping up on me.  Soon, before I know it… I’ll be talking about my son dying YEARS ago…
This 27th will be the first 27th that passes on a Monday.  February 27th was a Monday.  The anticipatory sadness leading up to this 27th is particularly heavy.  Maybe I have PMS, and all things are out of focus due to this hell on wheels time of the month.  Maybe it's because we left the last 27 in our story with a budding pregnancy, and lots of hope.  And this 27 will have nothing but time attached to it.  Another month since he died.  What a crule marker in timekeeping.
Let me tell you a story…

It was late November of last year.  I was in Montreal for a 2 day business meeting.  I was 26 and a half weeks pregnant with Alexander (or, “the baby”, or “him/he”.  He was nameless the entire pregnancy).  The night of our arrival, it is custom for upper management to treat us all to a night out.  My colleagues and I settled on a restaurant, and hit the town.  I knew I wasn’t going to stay out late…I needed my rest and it was a long day of meetings ahead of me, and well, I was pregnant!  Let’s not push it!  The restaurant was somewhere on Maisonneuve Boulevard (I can’t believe I don’t remember the name!).  We walked from our hotel.  It was drizzling and threatening to pour… but it was only 10 or so minutes. 
We ate.  We chit chatted.  I was ready for bed.  It was pushing 9:30pm. 
My party of 10-12 gathered at the entrance of the restaurant, and we were all a buzz about how much we were NOT looking forward to the next 2 days.  We were going to be travelling the city, visiting a few different offices, be introduced to a few new bosses, and then would be confined to a board room… talking about numbers, budgets, new products… all with enough excitement to last a life time.  (I was secretly THRILLED to be attending my LAST managers meeting for what I considered to be, maybe, forever.  I've been doing this several times a year, for 5 years.  I was done.)
ANYWAY!  We made our way out of the restaurant and on to the front steps.  The rain was picking up a bit now, and we were splitting up into umbrella groups.  Somehow, I was the last person down the stone steps.  The staircase was about 9 feet wide, with hand rails down both sides.  I walked down the stairs, in the middle, not thinking I’d need the hand rail.  I’ve walked down millions of stairs in my life time, and have never had a spill.  Even while pregnant, I’d race down stairs at work…running for the phone.  Dangerous and needless – I know now… but I still did it, successfully. 
But not this time.  The stone was so wet, and slippery that my usually traction equipped boots slipped right from under me…my foot went straight up, and I fell straight back.  Hard.  Down 6 steps.  Like fingers gliding across a set of piano keys, down my body went.  I let out a loud, “oh no!” and everyone turned around… It went by so quickly.  I reached out, but nothing was there.  It was too late.  I was at the bottom of the staircase.   Pinned.  People were grabbing to pull me up.  I started crying.  I was hurt, but not enough to make me cry.  I was afraid.  I was afraid I hurt him.  I was afraid this was it.  That I ended it.  So I cried.
Two girls pulled me up, and told me it was going to be OK.  I held my belly and cried.  I couldn’t believe I could be so careless.  Why didn’t I hold the rail!?! The hostess at the restaurant came running out, as she must have seen me fall.  She told me she had 911 on the line.  They were going to get me to a hospital.
My backside was throbbing.  I felt a pull in my groin/lower abdomen area.  I was terrified.
I was crying.  I was so embarrassed.  I felt so horribly irresponsible.  How could I have let this happen?  Why am I in a different city, a different province, without my husband, letting myself fall down stairs?  I paced back and forth gently.  I was nervous.  Anxious.  I felt the pain in my back, and was trying to calculate if that severe pain could somehow penetrate my uterus. Did he somehow feel the pain too?  I asked for everyone but the two girls that came straight to my aid to leave.  I felt like a spectacle.    I didn’t want everyone to keep watching… to keep guessing… “Was the pregnant lady going to be ok?  Was her baby going to be ok?” 
The ambulance arrived, and they ushered me into the back.  The EMT’s were both men, and both VERY FRENCH.  I did my best to explain what happened as they did their best to assess my case with their limited English.  The point, THE BIG POINT that I didn’t fall at all on my stomach was received.  They held a stethoscope to my belly…
”I ‘ear a ‘artbeat” 
“Ok, I feel him moving.” 
“dat’s GOOD.  Dat is a good sign”
They suggested I get assessed.  Just to see… just to make sure.  They thought I was ok, and that because I felt the baby move, and had no pain in my uterus… the outcome would probably be a successful monitoring session.  They told me to try not to worry.
It was after 10:30pm.  I was tired…I just wanted to go home.  I wanted to see my doctor, and make sure everything was just as perfect as it was before I had the spill.  They took me to a hospital that would manage my 26 week pregnant state.  If the baby needed to be delivered, this hospital would be able to do it.  I was taken straight to the maternity unit.  I was on a stretcher, with my body STRAPPED down.  One of the straps was loosely over my belly.  He was moving a lot at this point, almost to let me know how incredibly pissed off I’d made him.  Giving kicks and jabs in every direction.  I felt so relieved.  He was active… as he was always active… I felt so reassured, but in a way as if he were giving me the third degree and telling me not to worry all at the same time.  He was such a sweet baby, and always the best company.
After some paper work, and room preparation…  I was hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and was told I’d be left for 4 hours.  FOUR HOURS!! I was starting to feel like everything would be ok, and that MAYBE 4 hours wasn’t necessary.  I was selfishly thinking about the next day of meetings, and my sleep… and 4 hours put me at close to 3AM before I’d get back to my hotel. 
One of the girls rode with me to the hospital.  She carried my purse, and got me seamlessly through triage with the EMT’s.  I told her to go get some rest.  It was nearing 1AM, and she was fighting sleep in the chair next to me.  She didn’t want to leave until I saw a doctor.  I laid on the bed, listening to his heart beat.  He was always a night owl, at his squirmiest in the late PM to early AM.  He kept kicking the disc on my belly.  The entire room filled with a muffling static.  The same sound as someone blowing into a microphone.  Then his heartbeat would fill the room again.   “PPPFFFFFFFFHHHHHHFFFFPPPPFFFHHHHF……whoooca, whoooca, whoooca, whoooca, whoooca….PPPFFFFFFHHHPPPPPHHHHHFFFFFF”.  Just adorable.
The doctor paid me a visit.  He was from Toronto…English speaking!  (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the French, and I love Quebec… I was just needing to converse with a medical professional that was as English speaking as I was).   He told me that it’s standard to monitor for 2-4 hours after a fall.  If there was any impact on my front, then they would keep me for 24 hours.  And without hesitation, they would do a c-section if need be.  Thankfully, I didn’t qualify for anything more than a few hours of listening in, and I was beyond relieved.  I was still nervous… they couldn’t exactly examine him through and through to make sure he hadn’t experienced any trauma whatsoever… but I’d have to trust that he was okay.
I sent my friend home.  Knowing that things were OK, I didn’t want her hanging around just for the sake of being with me.  I was OK.  I was going to try to close my eyes.  She left.  Nurses came in… they needed to move me.  I was in a private room… and I was no longer an “emergency”, so they would move me over to the L&D assessment room.  I was not alone any longer.  I had to listen to his heartbeat over the beats of other babies with their mums’ strapped to monitors.  After I settled in… I pulled the monitor close to my bedside, and turned up the volume.  It drowned everything else out.  I closed my eyes again.  Put my hands on my belly.  I felt his kicks coincide with the muffled feedback as he nudged the disc on my belly again and again.  Ahhh, just the two of us.  Me and my boy.  What a treat.
It was almost 3 AM.  The nurses checked on me one last time, and told me I’d be able to leave in less than 20 minutes.  Everything he was producing was absolutely perfect.  He was healthy, and strong. 
I got a cab and made my way back to my hotel.  I texted my boss.  Told her I would be missing the first half of the day’s events.  I needed to sleep.  I needed to rest.  I got to my room, and looked at my back.  It was sore.  There was a bruise the size of Texas on my upper right ass cheek.  I tried to take pictures of it in the bathroom mirror… I wanted to have this story to share one day with picture evidence.  I wanted to show my son how I fell like an idiot while in Montreal on business with him in my belly at almost 7 months pregnant… and he made it out perfectly fine.  Amazing, at that. 
I went to sleep feeling him lightly swish about.  The heels of his feet and the caps of his knees stroking the anterior wall of my uterus.  I let out a sigh of relief that I’d finally be able to rest my body, and that he was doing just fine.  I had a twinge of guilt because I was on business, all expenses paid, with the purpose to educate myself and gather information to report back to my team, and get them prepared to function while I was on my maternity leave.  And I’d have to sit out for a quarter of it… because of my carelessness… but also, because I was pregnant.  If I wasn’t pregnant… I’d drag myself to the meeting at 8AM.  I’d manage through the pain no problem – I have been more hurt, and forced myself through tougher circumstances.  But it was 3:30AM.  I was 6 and half months pregnant.  It was time to stop thinking about what I could maybe put myself through if I hadn’t been pregnant, and quit trying to keep myself on an equal playing field in the world of business as a pregnant woman… and just focus on the baby in my belly and sleep.
When I was pregnant, I thought of that fall as one of the worst things that could have happened.  I walked away thinking, “Thank God he was ok.”  Because I don’t know what I would have done.  I would have never been able to carry on if I ever let anything happen to my little man.  I was so so careful of my every step throughout the following winter.  I would always revert back to this experience and say, “I can’t believe I fell!”  But all was well.  I finished my pregnancy without an additional scratch. 
But he died anyway.  At the very end.  He just slipped away. 
My entire pregnancy is summed up with “he died.”  That was it.  That’s the whole story.  Everything else just gets dismissed.  It was all a useless, pointless, dead pregnancy.  That is what I’m afraid people will think.  (That is what I have thought, once, too.)  The pregnancy was veiled, and eventually showed its dead baby ending face after all.…
So where does my stupid success story of my fall while pregnant fit in?
It’s strange, but I still think…”but thank god he was ok”
That fall is one of the best parts of my entire pregnancy.  Because he made it out of the hospital alive at the end. 

Monday, 13 August 2012

How I see myself

She doesn't have a stillborn baby.
She doesn't have grief.

Sometimes I feel like she went off to live another life.  A happier life.  A lighter life.  More successful.  More confident.  More determined.
Some days, that is how I still see myself.  I wonder, where did she go...?

It is not just my baby boy who has taken on a "what could have been" life.  But it is me, too. 

I don't know exactly where the wrinkle in time took place, and I went one way, and she went another.

Here, in what is real, I try to splice it all together.  Make it all one life.  No trading.  No do overs.  Just one happy life.
That is me.  Staring into my father's eyes behind the lens... knowing all things are possible - in the best imaginable way.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Start Here

I don't really know where to, I'll just start with the now.  Here.

I miscarried a subsequent pregnancy this weekend, and I’m just puttering about today – sad, sad, sad.

This blog wasn’t supposed to start like this, but what am I do to?  Last week, I finally fumbled around with blog.ger, and thought, this is it… I’m-a-bloggin’ now or never!
And then this happened.  All this nasty, unwelcome, heavily emotional wind blown through my windows… and I’ve got a mess to deal with, again.
This miscarriage doesn't have a comparative feel to losing Alexander.  It's like apples and oranges.  A child verses a pregnancy.  They're very different.  But bottom line right now, is I don't have either... here... alive... growing... so I'm just sad.  Sad, sad, sad. 
My skin will thicken up down the road I'm sure.  I'll be able to say I miscarried and not choke up at the same time.  I'm really quite surprised with myself.  This isn't hard in comparison to what I'm already going through... but it doesn't make anything any easier. 
I regret opening my mouth about "trying again".  It's hard not to though.  It's in the forefront of my thoughts.   It’s hard to navigate through the responses.  The grief is hard.  Trying again is hard.  It's not the same as it is for everyone else.  It's not just timing the days, and taking our chances with when I ovulate.  Everyone says, "you're not supposed to think about it".  Trying to conceive after our loss is almost as hard as dealing with the loss itself.  It's a constant reminder of our purpose behind conceiving.  Our baby died.  Our son is dead.  We cannot parent him.  We cannot hold him.  We cannot have him.  Our only option to fulfil our need as parents is to have another child.  We're not trying to grow our family, and start with a new "first".  We're trying to desperately kick start this vehicle after our last ride dead stopped at the finish line.  It's exhausting, and I don’t want to keep doing this.
I had strong instinctual feelings about this pregnancy #2 ending.  They weren't just fears, and paranoia's.  Something told me the day after we took that positive pregnancy test to not believe it.  Several nights last week I had dreams of bleeding… waking up with an understanding, and not with fear.  This will end soon too...
I told my GP right away - I was booked in to see him July 30 to renew my medical leave for work - and gave him the news that I had missed my period for 4 days now, and had a confirmed positive pregnancy test at home sitting on my bathroom vanity.  I was secretly excited.  But I contained it.  My better knowing self was being very stern with me.  But all I could think was, "OK, step 1 out of 122375675265773490409404.... done.  Pregnant.  Now what..."
He wasn't happy.  He seemed irked to have to quickly figure out what to do with me.  He made an insensitive comment about my cycles, "when was your last period? or wait... did you even GET a period yet??" 
I surely hope he didn't forget that February 27 was my day, and I have no baby to breastfeed, so 5 months postpartum equals AT LEAST one period.   His comment was made to draw attention to the notion that (he thought) we were trying too soon.  We were moving too fast.  He doesn't show understanding towards my emotional state these days, and has told me in several appointments previous to this one, "just wait. give it time".
I was only aware of my pregnancy for 8 days.  But of course, after our final attempts of trying in mid July, I thought of the possibilities.  I thought of time lines, and "if's" and dates, and term, and seasons.  I was only "5 weeks" pregnant on Sunday at the point of loss...but really it was 3 months of trying to conceive lifted off my heavy chest that now has to land somewhere again. 
We took the pregnancy test on Friday July 27th.  We took it on that day as a tribute of hope to our little guy - always trying to keep him involved and significant in our unfolding future.  The positive line was faint, I didn't believe it was real.  D had no doubt.  I told him I'd retest on Sunday the 29th with a digital test - and then we'll see.  29 holds a special place in my heart next to Alexander.  He was conceived on May 29th, 2011.  I know that because it was a busy month.  I had a week-long meeting that month.  D and I didn't see much of each other that month.  To be blunt, I know he was conceived on that day, because there was no other "it" during that month.  I have no idea when this subsequent pregnancy was conceived.  We gave it a shot several times.  But we'd know the day when we found out it was real.  Once on the 27th (with doubt) and then again on the 29th.  The little message on the digital test said it all, "Yes+". 
Conceived in July meant a baby for late March or early April.  But I wasn't thinking that far ahead.  I wasn't even going to tell anyone until I looked 6+ months pregnant!  I was going to hide, and white lie my way through the first trimester and a half. I couldn't live in that blissfully pregnant state, and just glow about the news.  I needed to wait... and wait... and wait... for it all to be real.
My GP called me Tuesday morning last week.  Told me all my numbers were low.  "Really low".  He said I might have my dates wrong, because from what the blood work read, I was just a few days pregnant, and not a few weeks.  I knew when we last tried to conceive, and it was weeks ago.  So, no, I couldn't be days pregnant - I was weeks... and low numbers aren't a good thing. 
I was upset.  I felt broken.  I asked him what I should do.  He said nothing.  "We'll keep an eye on it, and retest in September."  I asked him if I should start taking medication to up my thyroid.  I told him last year, my OB put me on thyroid meds right away when she saw it was low to better the chances of perfect health for the baby.  I told him what medication and the dosage she put me on. He said, "oh...well, you're thyroid is MUCH lower this time."  I was baffled as to why he didn't want to make sure things were starting off on the right foot.  Maybe he thought a miscarriage is better than starting a pregnancy at the wrong time?  I felt abandoned, and with no one to turn to. 
I desperately want a doctor who wants me to have another baby as much as I do.  My current GP obviously is indifferent as to whether I'm healthy enough to grow babies in the near future.
I went through the week, trying not to get too paranoid... trying not to get too attached.  Something was bugging me, giving me this nagging feeling that this was all going to end.  I tried to write it off as post traumatic stress, and just tried to stay in the moment.  I tried not to look too far in the future.  I tried not to get my hopes up.  But with all my trying, I still ended up doing the majority of the above.
I started spotting this past Saturday afternoon.  I started feeling really painful cramping on my left side.  I knew this was the beginning of the end. 
The spotting stopped, but the cramping persisted.  I wanted to check with a doctor.  Make sure my ovaries, or fallopian tubes weren't bursting or something horrible due to the embryo attaching in the wrong spot.  We went to emergency, just to check and see if they can confirm it’s a miscarriage, or if it's something else going horribly wrong.
We waited quite a while.  This wasn't an "emergency" so to speak, I just didn't have anyone else to aid me medically in this process.  I didn't want to break my body.  I didn't want to damage my equipment.  I needed to place the responsibility into the hands of someone with a medical degree to determine whether I was going to be OK.  I feel like I've lost a bit of my ability to judge "normal" anymore. 

When the spotting picked up again while we were waiting in a smaller room, "next" to see a doctor, I asked one of the nurses if I could go home.  I was finally in the closed off "pelvic examination" room.  My name was finally at the top of the list.  We had been waiting now for over 3 hours since getting through triage.  But I wanted to go home.  I figured it was a pretty sure thing now - blood means no pregnancy.  She told me to stay.  She told me the blood work might come back with good numbers, or my cervix might in fact be closed and the bleeding is due to something else... or maybe I'd need an ultrasound... maybe I'd need a D&C to clean me out.  I think she misread my chart.  I think she misread my "5 months postpartum" as "5 months pregnant", when I was in fact, 5 weeks pregnant. 
I finally saw a doctor.  He was very nice.  He gave me the time I needed to cry... to tell him why I was spazzing out over what was looking like an obvious very early miscarriage.  He listened.  He gave heartfelt condolences - for both the loss of my son, and the loss of this subsequent pregnancy.  He told me my blood work showed that I was either a few days pregnant, or in the process of approaching a miscarriage.  Since the spotting was now turning into what appeared to be a menstrual flow - he said he didn't need to do a cervical exam, and that the miscarriage was confirmed.  He gave the advice to wait for a period after I stop bleeding, and then if we feel ready, to try again. 
So, another 2-3 months of waiting to be ready.  To start trying again… again.
Feels more like a sentence than a time frame.

There go my dreams.  Oh, what wonderful dreams they were.  That somehow I’d find a way through this loss to fast forward.  “I’ll be pregnant by fall.  I’ll have a baby again.  Life won’t feel so hard.”  Silly girl.  The initial days and weeks of grieving were comforted by such thoughts.  I wrapped myself up in the certainty that I’d be pregnant after the first try, and all I’d have to worry about is dealing with a postpartum body, taken out for one too many spins too soon. 
Let me take a minute to flush my expectations down the toilet. 
There.  Now I don’t dare to create new ones.

Pregnant – check
Full term – check
Stillbirth – check
Trying to conceive after loss – check
Miscarriage – check
Now, let’s see where my laundry list of things to talk about takes it’s next turn…