I remember the ride home from the hospital.
Sitting in the passenger seat hoping not to get blood on the upholstery. I remember breaking the silence and saying to my husband Mike, “How am I supposed to live now? I already don’t like to talk to people and now I am forced into having to tell everyone.” My privacy had been robbed from me. I’ll admit that I had been guilty of being more of an introvert than I would like to admit. But life sometimes pushes you into doing things you never imagined yourself doing; becoming someone you never imagined you would be, or really even wanted to be.
A bereaved mother. Even the words imply a elderly woman who lost their child in a freak accident; no mother should have to lay their child to rest. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children, or have their children cremated. Yet we did. And sometimes I feel like there is another version of my life with a completely different ending. The ending I would like to write; where I get to include tea parties, birthday candles and many milestones along the way. But our ending came before we thought we had even begun our life with our daughter.
“April showers, bring May flowers.”
It’s not all grey skies and rainy days. A new year brought on the conversation of Mike and I starting a family and not that we were really trying, but I was really hoping. On April 1, I decided to stop by Shoppers Drug Mart for a pregnancy test on my way home from work. After thinking I was pregnant and having a negative test the weekend before, I had a positive pregnancy test in hand. I felt like I had found the golden ticket. But just to be sure, being April Fool’s Day, I did another test and this wasn’t one of life’s cruel jokes – I was pregnant!
I went to the doctor’s office and he scheduled me for an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. On April 18, I went and the doctor estimated I was just 6 weeks pregnant and referred me to an ob/gyn. My pregnancy was low risk, healthy and pretty uneventful.
In the summer I had a dream that Mike and I were at a funeral. In the morning I told him about it in a text message and he told me that the week before he had a dream too where we were at a funeral. We both wondered whose funeral it was in our dreams and since my father in law had passed away in February we both thought not again and chalked it up to being nothing but weird pregnancy dreams. Now I look back and wonder if we were being warned of what was coming.
Come October and we celebrated thanksgiving with family. Every female full of joy and opinion gathered around the table debating breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Every female sharing their birth experiences and talking about whether or not they had epidurals. I remember knowing that I wanted one, but I also knew for some reason I can’t explain that I wouldn’t be able to have one and I had to be okay with it. I thought I would have time still to get myself mentally ready for childbirth and that I wasn’t going to make any decisions on what I wanted since I really didn’t know too much what it was like. I also thought I still had time to pack a hospital bag. I also remember being in Kohls shopping with my sister and her saying that I should get preemie sized clothing ‘just in case’ and getting peeved at her for even bringing it up.
So on October 27, I woke up and text Mike about a peculiar dream I had again. In my dream I was pregnant again and we were having another baby. I text him saying that there is no way that we were having two babies back to back. I went in the shower. Life was normal. I had an appointment at 9:30am and wasn’t in any rush to get there since I usually had to wait. I actually arrived late at 10am. Upon arrival I peed in a cup, the lady tested my urine-normal. I was weighed and my weight gain was normal amount since the last week. When I was called in the doctor measured my stomach and I asked him how much she would weigh when she was born. He said that he would know further along and that she was about 4lbs right now. Then he checked the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler. After what felt like forever of him not being able to find her heartbeat, he calmly grabbed the ultrasound machine and pulled her up on the screen. Surely it was his mistake and I would see her heart beating on the screen. I just remember waiting forever for him to say something and then the words,
“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”