At 12 weeks yesterday, I gave in and bought baby clothes. Sil and I were at Old Navy and she helped me pick out the most precious "Baby's First Christmas" onesie and a pile of other gender neutral clothes. Mostly gender neutral. I threw in a onesie with a bulldog on it because a) I just knew my baby was a boy and b) It was possible to put pink pants with it and thereby qualified as either or to me.
We left Old Navy, picked up 36 Krystal burgers for the crew, and headed back to Sil's house. We had gotten new pj's and matching shirts for Lovely and my little Clone niece, and a pile of 50% Christmas randomness to show off and gloat about their cheapness. However, as I was standing in the kitchen serving drinks to the kids, I felt blood began to run down my leg.
Eighteen hours later, I am in my parents guestroom, being not pregnant.
Cleatus died at 9 weeks, 2 days according to the ultrasound. That was the day of the concert - the first day I needed maternity clothes. The D&C was last night here in Jackson. He was with me exactly 12 weeks. 12 weeks and you are supposed to be so much safer. Less risk. Everything is supposed to be alright.
They gave me plenty of prescriptions for pain, but none of them can touch where it really hurts.
It was just a precaution. Sil called her OB yesterday to see if they could work me in just to check things out. The spotting had gone on for about 24 hours, but I wasn't concerned. I had spotted after the doctor's visit and a few times after sex. Standing in the kitchen though, I became quickly aware that it was more than just spotting.
Still, I was thinking positively. Guy and I drove to the clinic and talked about how this was just a little nerve rattling scare. I told him, and believed with all my heart, that everything was going to be fine. I was not going to lose our baby.
The tech tried an abdominal ultrasound first. She said that she couldn't see what she needed to see from there. My palms started to sweat and Guy held my hand a little tighter. The vaginal ultrasound was confusing to me at first. Cleatus was bigger, and I thought he was moving, but later realized that it was the tech moving the instrument, not my little guy moving. The tech went to measure him and it came up on the screen as "9 weeks, 2 days."
That is when I turned my head away and started to sob.
She went to get the doctor. I asked him to try again. Please look again. Please try once more to find my baby's heartbeat. We looked again, and there was nothing.
I don't really remember from there. We moved from office to office filling out paperwork for the D&C. I was there and people were talking to me, but I wasn't there.
On the way out of the clinic, we passed by the pregnant woman who had been sitting across from me in the waiting room. She was smiling and saying goodbye. I didn't mean to look at her, and I'm sure she wished she hadn't looked at me. I know that look. It's like seeing the people coming from the back of the vet's office holding just a leash, an empty collar, and a used Kleenex. I pull my own leash in and lean down to whisper in my own pup's ear as they go by.
She looked at me as I walked by clutching Guy's arm and ignoring the tears streaming down my face, and she took a step back. She took a step back into the safety of her own pregnancy and away from the, "Thank God that isn't me."
I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I would have done anything to be in her shoes.
There is another reason for reprinting this. I think all of about 4 people read this blog when this happened. Suddenly though, someone found it, and commented. Shana, Jen, Sarah, you all know who you are. I realized that I wasn't alone. It changed the whole idea of blogging and community for me.
This year, as I have grieved for one life, created another one, and more, I have made new friends along the way. Friends that came together to be the ones that helped me celebrate Bird's pending arrival. Friends that put up with me as a roommate in Chicago. Friends that let me into their lives and who I'm glad I've let into mine. And I get to stay better connected with some IRL friends who are separated by too many miles.
A public blog is a strange thing. You know that there are people here that you would prefer there not be. You know that Google brings some creepiness your way (hello all you ginormous boob searchers). You know that the idea of online stalking is not just an idea (thank you, Sitemeter). But yet, the good far outweighs the bad.
You - my friends - are the good. Your comments and your friendship mean so much to me. So I hope you don't mind indulging me this day of remembering Cleatus the Fetus. The truth is, I'm doing just fine.
Like Guy said, "You will be sad forever at the loss of our baby. You just won't be sad every moment of forever."
And it's true. Today I'm going to allow myself a little sad. Tempered with packing a bag for the hospital.
It's all in the balance of things.