Saturday, July 31, 2010

Seven Little Spirits

I have seven little spirits who are with me always. I wanted each of them desperately, and each of them coming into my life changed me in a different way.

Alex is my first spirit. His arrival into my life was sudden and unexpected. We thought it would take months to conceive him, and he arrived within weeks instead. His heartbeat on the ultrasound was strong and he was beautiful. We weren't told a gender, since he was still only 9 weeks, but I felt strongly that he was a boy. He would have been my family's first grandchild. He stayed with me for six more weeks, despite his passing days after the ultrasound. Losing Alex knocked the very breath out of me. I cried every day for months and questioned how the world could be so cruel. I didn't think I would recover from that loss, but I eventually accepted it and assumed it wouldn't happen again.

Then came Amelia. My first girl. I was so devastated at the loss of Alex that I did a major disservice to Amelia. I was so out-of-my-body with grief that I barely remember my pregnancy. I do remember the day we found out Amelia passed. She was with me for 10 weeks, even though she lived for only 7. The day I found out I would had lost not just a baby, but a daughter, was one of the worst of my life.

David. He's my third. I took a six-month break from getting pregnant after Amelia so I could focus on healing. Once I was ready, he came along quickly. We knew from the beginning that David might not be healthy, and we had many terrifying ultrasounds until the bleeding started at 10 weeks. The ultrasound at the ER confirmed he had died. Initially, we were told he wasn't a fully formed baby, but rather a blighted ovum. I was summoned by a doctor a few weeks later who told me that he was a baby, that he was a son, and that he had too many chromosomes. I walked out of the doctor's office dazed, as if my heart had been ripped out of my body, my body steamrolled, and my heart put back in my body in a different orientation than it came out.

Elizabeth came next. Oh my, I was so excited to be pregnant again. We thought we were in the clear with her, because we had birthed a living son a couple of years prior. It took six months to finally create her, and I was thrilled. I assumed the treatments would save her. She left us at 8 weeks, after only growing to 6. I was taken to my knees once again.

Gabe wasn't with us very long. We'll never know what happened, as he left me naturally at 6 weeks. I'll always remember him being with us on our 10-year anniversary trip.

Oh, Madeline. Where to even begin...I was so sure you were going to make it to this world. You gave us quite a scare with all that bleeding, but with each weekly ultrasound you were getting bigger and had a strong heartbeat. You left us at 10 weeks. I took medication to help release you, but it didn't go well, and we had you at home. It was more horrific that I can even describe to lose you that way. I'm so sorry. Losing you had profound effects on me. I created this blog one month after you were gone, and I began creating the Share of Madison support group later that year. The loss of you also brought me a dear friend, and I thank you for leading me to her.

Our seventh spirit doesn't have a name, yet, but she will soon. We're just not ready for that, yet. She knows she's important. She's being patient with me, and I appreciate that. She's the last spirit I'll have, and I feel very melancholy about her. I really thought she was going to make it, since I was rendered useless by nausea and fatigue. She had too many chromosomes and didn't have a fighting chance. I know she would have joined us here if she could have.

My spirits are a blessing that I wish others could experience. People ask me how many children I have. I want to say "I have one living and seven spirits. They're right here. Can't you feel them?"


Mrs.Spit said...

Yes. Here, loved and wanted.

butterflymom said...

I can definitely feel them with the way you carefully chose names and described what their lives were like while they were with you. By the way, I love their names. So glad that you did that. Thank you for sharing...

Fumbling towards Motherhood said...

Cynthia,I still feel my angels every day. I think of you all the time. This post shows that you are working through your pain, and allowing yourself to feel your losses. I am so proud of you for continuing to share your story. You have suffered so much loss, it's so important you have an outlet for your pain. I hope you can feel my arms around you as I send you a ((BIG HUG)). You are a beautiful woman, and I am so happy to have been able to share with you my journey through the most devastating losses I've ever endured. Although I am now pregnant, my heart will always know and understand your pain. You have touched my life in such a special way. I wish things could have worked out for you. You deserved another baby so much. I truly hope that one day we'll all understand why things worked out this way. Please take care of yourself, and keep writing!

the misfit said...

I'm so sorry they're not all here with you still growing.

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