Dellabee and Me

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Archive for the month “October, 2009”

Whole?

So about a year and a half ago I discovered that I was pregnant. 

I had the copper IUD and it had been “in place” for 17 months with no problems.  I liked not worrying about birth control.  I had 2 children and, although I knew I wanted more, I wanted to wait until the 2 I had were older.  This is why I chose the IUD instead of a tubal ligation or the big V.  The only drawback to the IUD was the heavy periods, but even then they had become less dramatic over time.

The day I found out  I was pregnant had been a normal day.  My period was a week late, I kept thinking it was starting because I’d spot a little bit and then it would stop.  This had gone on for about 8 days, so that day I decided to pick up a pregnancy test on my way home from work.  My theory was that my period needed a kick-start, so taking the pregnancy test would be mother nature’s way of getting me – ha ha sucker, you spent $12 on a pregnancy test so WHAM now here’s your period!

Unfortunately, that is not what happened.  I told my husband what I was doing and he accompanied me to the bathroom, I assume to witness what he interpreted as insanity.  We chatted as I peed on the stick, then tossed it onto the counter.  I told him about my day, he told me about his, we both changed our clothes.  When I returned a few minutes later to formally look at the test – my husband, having lost interest, had gone back to the kids in the living room – I immediately recognized the positive sign.  I burst into tears while simultaneously wanting to vomit.

That night was the beginning of, well, what exactly?  The short version is that it took another week and a half to see the pregnancy on ultrasound – and it had lodged in my left fallopian tube.  It took another 2 weeks and 2 shots of methotrexate, some funky lab results and unsatisfactory levels of pregnancy hormone, before I found myself undergoing surgery on a Friday evening to have the tube removed.

The long version? Well, in the weeks leading up to the surgery I found myself crying randomly.  I was unable to work.  I hated the obstetricians I was working with.  I had to go to the lab every other day and the hospital was in the middle of changing computer systems, so every trip for bloodwork turned into a 3-4 hour wait. 

Although entirely unplanned, I wanted that pregnancy.  Before we learned it was ectopic, I held my tiny 21 month-old in the dark one night and whispered to her to send “baby magic” to the one growing in my belly.  I imagined researching birth options, panicked that I had given away all of my maternity clothes, and plotted my due date.

I recall swimming in a pool as a child, trying to reach diving sticks that were on the bottom.  I could see the sticks moving in the water, I could nearly touch them, but my body would not allow me to get to them.  Losing this pregnancy, this baby, was like watching what I wanted but couldn’t reach – and watching it float away.

It took months for me to process the experience.  I still struggle with it.  I recall how a friend casually dismissed what had happened by saying something like “no birth control is 100% effective,” as if my loss was nothing more than a statistic.  I had never lost a pregnancy before, and wondered how other women had moved on.

So where does that leave me now?  In the time since this all happened, I stopped working, became a foster parent, moved cross country, sent my oldest child to kindergarten, endured a large financial nightmare, and began a blog.  And still, as far away as I feel from the night it all started, when my husband and I laughed as I peed on a stick, I can feel the loss weigh heavy across my  heart.  I hear it in my daughter’s laughter, see it in my son’s smile, feel it in the palm of my husband’s hand – someone else is supposed to be here with us.

We are incomplete.

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