We had a barbecue this weekend for friends and family. Towards the end of the night I was sitting with my neighbor, SIL, and a friend just talking about random things when the conversation got turned to what I now refer to as my Black Year. I'm not big on sharing something so personal when I'm face to face with people but I've been trying to get better about it. I've come to realize that I need to speak up when these things happen or I end up where I was during my Black Year. Plus, I think that the more I talk about it, the easier it gets for me to deal with it and to handle the guilt I now feel. So now you, and by you I mean those random people reading this blog, are going to be a sounding board for me.
It started when Mr X and I decided to expand our happy little family. I was excited at the thought of 2 more little feet running through the house. As luck would have it, I got pregnant on the first try. We were so excited we couldn't contain ourselves and called everyone we ever met. I was due in early January. We happily began planning and even went so far as to buy the crib and dresser/ changing table. Then the unthinkable happened. I was 7 weeks along when I lost our baby. I was crushed, but I am (90%) of the time an optimist. I cried but I decided to brush it off.
I did feel a bit more desperate to get pregnant again. I could just feel that little baby, just out of my reach and I had no patience to wait.
This time it took 2 tries. We told our parents and I told a few friends, but no one else. I did not want to have to go back and tell everyone if something went wrong like last time. At the same time I was confident that it would be ok because lightening doesn't strike twice. Right?
I was 12 weeks when we went to hear the baby's heartbeat. There was nothing there. I'll never forget the sound of that Doppler echoing so emptily in the exam room. The baby had died 3 weeks before. I miscarried at 13 weeks.
I was destroyed.
I put on a happy face during the day for Mr X, Girl X, and everyone else. But at night, I let go. Everyone else would be asleep and I'd be in the nursery crying my heart out on the floor. Or if it was too much during the day, in the bathroom.
During the time that I was miscarrying, my bil and sil came over. They didn't know what we were going through as they didn't know that I had been pregnant again. I like to think if they had they wouldn't have chosen that weekend to tell us that she was pregnant again. I remember getting out a weak 'congratulations'. In my head all I could think was that she had my baby. God was punishing me by taking my baby and giving it to someone I could barely tolerate. I avoided her a lot for the next 8 months. I avoided a lot of things during that time.
This time getting pregnant was taking longer and I was falling apart every month. Looking back, I know I should have been seeing a therapist. At the time, I just functioned as well as I could.
Mr X went to get a physical. We were preparing to have fertility testing as we knew that would be the next step. Instead we got bitch-slapped.
We found out that Mr X had Hepatitis B. He got it as a child and never knew. If I was on shaky ground before, now I was working in a constant earthquake. Mr X had to get a biopsy and medication. We had a lot to work out.
I got pregnant again a few months later. The day after I took the test, lightening struck a 3rd time.
When Girl X would go to the school in the morning, I would have a good cry and scream, then go on about my day. I started to feel numb.
I think Mr X started to get an idea that all was not well in my world. We went on vacation. I was not entirely myself, but as the trip wore on, I let myself forget.
We had always said that we wouldn't want a Christmas baby. By this time though, I couldn't have gone a month without trying. Now, that baby just out of my reach was my tormenter. I could smell that sweet baby scent in my sleep.
When I took a pregnancy test the next month, I thought it would be negative. When it came back positive I started crying. I was terrified. I took a deep breath and went on.
I was in a constant state of panic during that first trimester. I ran to the bathroom every time I felt the slightest pain. My Dr let me have an ultrasound early and seeing the heartbeat helped immensely. 2 days later, I was back to panicking. At 12 weeks, we went to hear the heartbeat.
Silence. I sucked in my breath.
And then there it was. Steady and sweet.
I can't say that the rest of my pregnancy was easy. It was text book perfect, but my anxiety made it difficult to enjoy. I had spotting off and on during the early part of my 2nd trimester and that sent me into a bit of a tailspin. I worried between every Dr's visit. I worried when I couldn't feel the baby move. I worried during labor. I worried when he was finally here, but he wasn't crying. In fact, he never really cried. Turns out, he's just not much of a crier. He's the happiest baby I've ever seen.
Those 'what if's' followed me every day. Every minute. I blamed myself and my body for what had happened. I had convinced myself that I had done something horrible to deserve it. I wondered if I could continue trying without going insane. Sometimes they are still there.
Remember when I said we hadn't wanted a Christmas baby?
My due date was 12/25/05.
How's that for fate?