Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An answer and a wish

I went in to see my doctor a week ago for my post-D&C checkup (I've never hated two letters as much as I hate these two). On the drive to the office, the tears developed. I managed to hold them back through the time in the waiting room and the ridiculous routine the nurse takes me through every time I'm there. Once I was half-dressed and sitting on the exam table, I let the tears flow. I sobbed my heart out for the injustice of the experience. I was supposed to be there with my husband listening to my baby's heartbeat and not to check to see if my now-empty uterus had healed. I sobbed for my baby and for the death of my dream of having another child. I kept sobbing, even once the doctor came in. She was an angel, getting the exam over quickly and painlessly. She left the room so I could get dressed and came back with news I wasn't expecting to receive.

We have an answer now for why our baby died. She had Trisomy 15, a chromosomal disorder. It's such a roller coaster of emotions to receive news like this. On the one hand, I'm grateful for an explanation of something that was out of my control. She didn't survive because of an accident of nature, not because of something I did or didn't do. For most of our losses, we've received an answer along the lines of "everything's normal and we just don't know what happened." We then make up stories for what could have happened. This is definitive - it's an answer. Because this particular chromosome disorder has a high likelihood of recurrence, it's possible that it was the cause for some of our other losses, particularly the three babies who couldn't be tested for various reasons. We'll never know. It'll always be a mystery. On the other hand, I'm devastated. It's horrible to find out that a baby we created wasn't healthy. This chromosome disorder causes developmental abnormalities. To think she may have hurt or suffered in some way is more than I can handle. I try to put that thought out of my mind and believe that she felt peaceful and loved and wanted to be here with us, but just couldn't. Even though we decided before we got pregnant that this time would be the last, this information makes our decision to not conceive again a solidly shut door. I wouldn't want to conceive now knowing that this (in addition to countless other things out of my control) could happen again.

I find myself wanting to change - dye my hair brown, wear clothes I wouldn't ordinarily wear, take up hobbies I've never tried before. I think that if I don't look the way I normally do, don't live the life I'm used to, perhaps I won't feel the way I do. If only it were that easy.


Fumbling towards Motherhood said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this Cynthia. I think of you all the time. The doctor's diagnosis comes with mixed feelings for sure. I understand how you are relieved you didn't do anything wrong, but I also understand how painful it is to know that this is a recurring disease. My heart aches for you. This road is long and painful, please make sure you reach out and get the support you need during this emotionally devastating time. You can and will find a way to move on, but that will not happen over night. Just take it one day at a time, and ask for help when you can't see the light.

mrs.spit said...

I'm sorry, this is such a hard place to find yourself in. I wish there were better answers.

the misfit said...

I'm glad you have your answer. I wish it weren't this. But I can't imagine ANY way under ANY analysis that you were less than a perfect mother to your baby while he was here, or that you could have given him anything other than the best chance at life that he could have. I so wish it had worked out differently.

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