I still have my prenatals and my progesterone in the medicine cabinet but I do not need to take them. It doesn’t matter if one of the cats walks across my stomach and suddenly today I can drink a whole cup of coffee if I want to…but, I don’t, not really. My belly still sticks out a little in my top but there is no baby in there anymore. I lost that baby on the bathroom floor in the early morning…in that time of night that is neither here nor there. Just like my baby, a fetus at 11 weeks…a fig. A sweet little towheaded boy like the one I saw at the store today, the one who brought tears to my eyes before I turned away.
The bathroom floor is no place for an 11 week old fetus, but my womb decided it was no place for one either so the bathroom floor it is, then in Papa’s hands as he says, Oh Mama, the Baby…looking down at this little fig, our baby in his hands. From my towel nest on the floor, I see him looking down into his hands, both together like a cradle…a coffin for our baby and he asks if I want to see but I don’t. Not right yet. Ten hours of rolling cramps then excruciating labor pains led me to the bathroom, waiting for whatever was coming next. I didn’t really know…at least I didn’t really think about it. Part of me was still hoping it was cramps from the subchorionic bleeding and the baby was still bouncing around in there, happy as a clam. But I knew that pain this bad had to be caused by something more serious. And so, I held onto the wall and waited as a wave of nausea rolled me over then under and quick as a wink, I was out.
I woke into chaos. A sickening sound that was a thousand broken and convulsing voices, talking too loudly and all at once, I was broken into these voices, disjointed and miserable. I remember thinking, ‘Oh no…I’m back here again.’ Then I began to remember who I was and I opened my eyes to find that my legs were folded up by my cheek and my head was against the wall. For a blessed moment, there was no pain then slowly it rolled back around again. I called for Mark…Mark…Mark…and he came and helped me sit up a little. Then something slid painlessly out of me.
Hours later, I held him and looked at him in his little ziploc baggie…we decided it was a him, we had felt like it was a boy all along and our daughter had already named him Leo…he was wrapped up cozy in his little placental sac but I could see a round forehead, an eye staring out through the membrane and a curve to his neck. As much as I wanted to believe otherwise, there was our baby in a ziploc bag rather than the warmth and living comfort of my womb.
And so, this Imbolc there will not be a new baby to hold and kiss. I will not put out store bought cream puffs for Brigid and her White Cow because I am too tired to make something from scratch. And we do not need to keep an eye on Craigslist for a new cosleeper and cushions for the glider.
That morning, we stayed close to each other and touched our daughter whenever we could, finding solace and comfort in her soft skin and sweet kisses. And now a few days later, I am find I am grateful more than ever for our beautiful little family, Leo included, for he will always be here with us.
For anyone going through this I send you love and blessings. I found this page and it has helped a little, Miscarriage has Meaning, Our Babies Have Meaning.
The photo above is of me at the beach when I was pregnant in November. I lost that baby at six weeks in December because of an ill formed yolk sac. The Light is the baby floating away into the deep ocean. I could only watch helplessly as it left. I hoped that when I got pregnant again, I would see the photo differently…as a mother yearning and hopeful as her baby’s light returned to her womb. And I did…for a little while. Yet here I am again, watching that Light as it goes out into the Deep where I cannot follow.