goodbye, I love you February 15, 2012
Today I went into “labor.” He was eleven weeks old, but it had not occurred to me that this would happen. In spite of the midwifery schooling and working at the birth center, I just never thought about it. I suppose I have been in too much pain and too stressed out. I don’t know. How strange the mind works.
It was awful. So awful. I sent Chris to CVS to get some ibuprofen, and stumbled into the bathroom. All I wanted to do was get into hot water immediately. The urge was so strong! I just sat in the bathtub crying and crying. I was bawling, and I wanted my mother so badly. I would have called her and told her to come over, but I didn’t have it in me to get out of the tub to get my phone. Long ago in another lifetime when I was at the birth center I distinctly remember talking about whether or not I would want my Mom at my first birth. HA! Once again, the Deedster doesn’t know shit from a shoehorn. All I wanted was my mommy. And I wished that my cousin were home. I wanted my Christopher and I wanted a woman. I’ve seen how women in labor just want feminine care, but the pull for it going on inside of me was so intense.
I have never been so grateful for all of my experience with birth. I likely would have been terrified and rushed to the hospital if not for my time spent at school and at the birth center. Blood clots are pretty dang scary if you have never seen one. I have seen enormous ones, so the small ones in the bath tub water were nothing by comparison. Our son passed just as Chris got home. I could see in the water, and my heart just ached; no woman should ever have to lose a child. I asked Chris to grab me a sheet of scrapbook paper off of the table, because it was the first thing I though of. He handed me this beautiful piece with deep purples and swirls, and I told him not to look. I didn’t want his heart to have to hurt as badly as mine was hurting. I put our tiny little guy on the paper and folded it up. I had placed this glass snowman wastepaper basket next to the tub, in case I needed to be sick (which didn’t happen, thank god), so I leaned over the side of the tub and held the paper over it. I asked for a lighter. I thought is this appropriate? The paper started to burn and I dropped it into the snowman. I started to sob, and he just held me and we cried.
It hurt like a son of a bitch. If you have gone through a full labor, you deserve a god damn badge of honor and, like, six purple hearts. After he passed I was just on my side in the tub, because that is what felt the best. Between the ouchy bastard contractions I explained to Chris everything that was happening. When the contraction stops the pain stops (during labors at birth centers or at home -sans interventions- many women sleep during these “breaks”), so I would make a joke and tell him my observations. I am such a strange girl. My curiosity was as active as my grief and pain, but I have always been like that.
And then it happened. For the past weeks since my first appointment I began to suspect that I was pregnant with twins. I have a strong awareness of my body (probably due to all the metaphysical healing classes) and I knew that there was a boy in there, but I began to feel a girl as well in the past several weeks. I never told Chris. I knew from week six that there was something wrong with the pregnancy, and it would never reach term, so why lay extra grief on his shoulders as well. I’m too obvious to keep secrets, so I told him I knew I would miscarry five weeks ago and he believed me. The odd thing is that he is so tuned in to my emotions (I know, I am the luckiest girl in the world) that I think he knew about it, but the hurt prevented us from saying it out loud. She passed. I requested another scrapbook sheet. We cried some more, and she joined her older brother. Maybe that is why the original ultra sound looked so strange? I do not know.
After the next contraction I passed my placenta. It was the size of a silver dollar, and I examined it a bit. I guess the “examine every placenta” routine was too strong for me to ignore. I did tell Chris he could peep at that if he wanted to, and then requested a third sheet of scrapbook paper. For whatever reason I absolutely did not fancy letting my tiny placenta just run down the drain. At this point my cousin got home with the boys. My hands got so shakey that Chris had to light the paper for me.
I dried my hands and typed a note on my iphone for my cousin. I am having a miscarriage in the bathtub. Can the kids keep it down a bit? Thanks. Honestly, I was relieved to hear them, and wished that she had been home sooner. I felt such a burst of love for those boys that I started to cry again.
She tapped on the door, and came in with us for a bit. She had suspected I was miscarrying, because she knows that I don’t really get cramps, and I have had them soooooo frequently that I’ve asked her for pills a couple of times. It was a relief to hear a woman’s voice, I cannot even begin to express just how much. Jecca is like my sister, and I love her very much. She told me where tampons and pads were (I use a diva cup, so I don’t buy that stuff anymore) and to let her know if I needed anything. The little fella (who turned nine on friday) tapped on the door, because he had to pee, which made me chuckle. I weakly apologized and told him I was very sick. His mom said I’m sorry honey, but you are going to have to pee on a tree. That totally made me laugh.
I started crying pretty hard again, because when it was pretty much over all I could think about was that after babies are born moms get a WHOPPING rush of oxytocin. That is the “love” hormone. Medicated mommies normally don’t get the full effect because of the drugs, but it is the best “high” in the world. And miscarriage mommies don’t get it either. I didn’t have my babies to hold. My babies were so tiny that I wrapped them in beautiful squares of pretty paper.
I stayed in the bath for probably another forty five minutes (it is just more comfortable) waiting for the contractions and bleeding to slow down. Finally I decided that I needed to get out so I could monitor my bleeding properly. Chris helped me upstairs, and here I still am. When I got upstairs I got very scared because a whoosh of blood came out and got all over my legs. Chris was trying to help me get cleaned up, but I was scared and my impulse was to go to my prayer “alter” place (it covers the top of my dresser). I was standing there and shaking, and I thought I am afraid, please help me. It was amazing. I felt like some gentle goddess reached down and took my heart in her hands. Do not be afraid. Everything is working out perfectly. I felt held in the hands of god, and I knew my little ones were too. And then the tears really started coming. I stood there crying my heart out, and Chris was hugging me. We curled up on the bed and cried for a long time.
Please, please, please, if you have any children go and squeeze the stuffings out of them. Call your relatives and tell them that you love them. Hug every single person that you care about to make sure that they know it. Every life, no matter how long or how brief, is a miracle. Every life is a gift. All I can do is feel grateful.
I love you. I love you. I love you forever.