It is amazing how one minute things are... and the next they are not. Such is the life of a woman in her thirties.
Last month I got a positive pregnancy test result. It all happened so quickly, and for me things are not known to happen quickly. But L and I took our miracle and embraced it. We argued over names. We bought only organic (much to my chagrin). We used the word 'family' a lot, over and over, as in 'this decision will be good for our family'.
It was surreal and wonderful. L would talk to the baby every morning and every night, whisper to my stomach and giggle as though the baby was telling him all about what it was like in there. He refused to tell me what he and his little one were talking about-- that was his time. I didn't care. All I could think to myself was, 'Lucky me, lucky me.'
It is amazing how one minute things are... and the next they are not.
When things started going strangely, and events started not making sense, and something inside me started to panic, I embraced that too. I am a pragmatic person. I researched online and tried to fit my symptoms into a puzzle that would ultimately create a child; a healthy one.
'No fetal pole' was mentioned last week, and I thought rationally, 'Do I have a "pole"? Did I ever?' 'Threatened abortion' was also mentioned-- such an ugly phrase. That phrase could not be mine. But damn that heartbeat that just would not flicker on that ultrasound screen. I know enough about science and love to understand the importance of that beating heart.
And from that point on L whispered loudly to my stomach, 'Hang in there little guy,' because there was no longer a need to keep secrets.
'Blighted ovum' is the official diagnosis, which to me sounds like something that happens after a long weekend houseboating on the Sacramento River. Tomorrow I will go in for a 'Dilation and Curettage' procedure-- shortened to a hard and unfeeling 'D&C'. No food or drink after midnight. No driving myself home. Vicodin. How like animals we become in the hands of our doctors.
And just like that-- poof-- it will be over. What once was will be no more.
I don't write this to be melodramatic. I know about natural selection. I have heard many unifying, if not comforting, stories about women who have gone through the same thing. I know that it's easier to go through this now as opposed to three months from now. I know that things will happen the way they're meant to. Why do I walk through my church doors every week if not to remind me to do that one simple thing-- believe?
There is such a strange mourning for something that was so real, and yet could never be. It's not a funeral. There are no tombstones for the ones who stopped before they started. Rather, it's up to the parents who never were to put away their blind hope; to transfer what's been damaged into something similar that can be used for next time. Hope made less hopeful, in some ways. Hope that is shadowed and dwarfed by ugly words used by doctors, but still there.
A woman in her thirties has two choices in any difficult situation: to survive or not to survive. When put in such terms, the future seems easy. Survive, please. And be stronger for it. Yes, I'm fairly certain that's my line.
But the hope-- that is optional. And the belief-- that, too. They are choices-- hard ones-- that must have a sneaky way of coming and going, like fair weather friends.
And yet, I choose both. I must choose them both through tears and anger, through 'what if' and 'why me'. Any other choice leads to darkness and fear. I might not know much about how things work and why things are, but I do know these are no options for a woman who will someday be Mom.