I had a good session with Jeannette on Monday. I’m starting to get over a lot of the feelings of self-blame about the miscarriage. I’ve also decided to stop saying that I “lost the baby.” I didn’t lose the baby. It isn’t like I misplaced him/her. The baby was right where s/he was supposed to be. The problem is that s/he died in my womb. But that wasn’t my fault. It just happened. sigh…
I’ve been thinking back on the entire 16 weeks of my pregnancy. All I remember feeling was abject terror. Fear was everywhere. I didn’t believe that I would actually end up with a baby in August. I knew that something was going to go wrong and I was ever vigilant, on guard. Dead baby thoughts were my constant companions. I barely remember relaxing once.
But you know what? Though those thoughts and anxieties seemed perfectly natural at the time considering my infertility history, I cannot help but now feel gypped. And I did it to myself. Shit, I was pregnant for 14-16 weeks and I never relaxed or enjoyed being pregnant during that whole time! I was too scared to really truly acknowledge the growing person in my body. I didn’t want to fully let myself bond because I was so scared that s/he would be taken away from me. But s/he was taken anyway! All my fears, anxieties and vigilance didn’t protect the baby from dying. All they did was to rob me of my joy…my joy at being able to carry life for even 16 short weeks. I totally screwed myself.
Now I am sure that this seems like more self-blame, but truly it is not. I’m not whipping myself for the feelings I had. What I feel is more of a sad feeling of regret. I regret that I let fear take over my world as if it was some protective talisman. Fear did not protect me or the baby. Fear and worry did not lessen the pain of my baby’s death. And now I am left not only with this profound loss and emptiness, but I also have few (if any) happy memories from the time I was pregnant.
If I ever have the chance to be pregnant again, I hope to behave much differently now that I understand all that I have lost. I will talk to my baby right from the beginning. I will be thankful for each day that his/her heart beats inside me. I will allow myself to love without fear and terror. I now know that whether I miscarry again or carry to term, each day, each moment with my baby is a gift that should be celebrated. And if I do miscarry, at least I will be able to look back on the pregnancy and see happiness and love, not solely worry and fear.
As infertiles we learn to live with the constant disappointment, anxiety, and expectation of the negative. I so get that. But if we are lucky enough to get pregnant, we need to try our hardest to overcome the illogical black cloud of fear that has suffused our brains throughout our TTC ordeal.
I’ve also been thinking of ways to memorialize Zappy. The emptiness I feel is made worse because I have few mementos or memories to hold onto. I never held him/her or felt his/her warmth against me. It almost feels like s/he just vanished as if I woke up from a dream. This distresses me. I need to document Zappy’s short time here in some tangible way.
I found a website for miscarriage and infant loss memorial jewelry. Miscarriage/Infant Loss Jewelry The tiny footprint and heart charms seemed a fitting memento.
I work with a woman who makes jewelry. She said that she would be honored to add these charms to a bracelet for me. I am very happy about this. I wear the cross my mother gave me and I will be able to wear a charm to commemorate my Zappy as well. I also bought this engraved silver baby bangle.
In West Indian culture we usually wear silver bangles from infancy to protect from evil spirits. Though the bangle is not the same as our traditional bangle, I am pleased that Zappy will have one in her memory box. I also plan to create a small scrapbook of words, ultrasound photos and letters from his/her mommy and daddy. In addition, my dear friends from Fertility Friend have sent us a tree to plant in our yard in Zappy’s memory. Mason and I will have a little ceremony to say goodbye when we plant the tree.
I guess these are all healing thoughts and actions. Ah well…