Wednesday, May 30, 2007

12 Weeks, take two

"I just wanted to call you, because I know you know what I'm going through."

As her voice trailed off on the voicemail, my heart tore in two. The feeling in my chest that just recently began to heal returned. The tightening returned. The clamp that only loosens when I would allow the tears to flow. Returned.

This was not the post I wanted to write. I have been writing a post in my mental Word for a little over a week. That post included the hello hugs to which we added a belly rub at the end. Our bellies rubbing. Our bellies were incubating future best friends that would enter this world about a month apart.

But today we found out that her baby stopped growning at 9 weeks. Today she was 12 weeks. Everything should have been alright, but there was no heartbeat anymore. It is no longer my story. It is our story. And I never wanted to share it like this with anyone. Especially not her.

I remember the first person that I knew who had a miscarriage. It was about seven years ago. We were about the same age, but I was so far behind her in life. I didn't have any idea what her pain was like. I had no concept of her loss. I don't remember, but I'm quite sure I did nothing for her beyond tiptoeing lightly when she returned to work. We are not close. And yet, in January, she sent chicken enchiladas and brownies and an email that said she was sorry we lost our child.

I was blown away by her kindness. I was grateful that she understood and sorry that she had reason to understand all at the same time.

Today, I baked a couple of Greek pizzas and put together a fresh salad. I set the table, and opened the door to her and her husband. We held each other and cried. We talked about trying again. Over lunch, the men changed the subject, and I found myself gingerly steering it back. It was the matter at hand, and I didn't want it overshadowed. It is important.

I said to Guy after they had gone that today was the first thing I found something positive in our loss. I am not always a good friend. Sometimes I don't understand. Sometimes I completely miss what my friends need. This is not one of those times. I get this.

And I get when she asked me to forgive her for feeling like my miscarriage helped prepare her for today. But she doesn't need to ask forgiveness. I felt that same guilt every time a woman shared her story with me and I felt comforted. I tasted it in every reassuring bite of chicken enchilada. The guilt was there everytime I felt thankful for someone commenting here, letting me know that they understood because they had been there too.

Sometimes she comes here to visit. She reads. She listens to me. You, internet land, are only part of how I got through my miscarriage. She is another big reason. She is who I called. And I felt guilty for burdening her with my pain. For a moment. She didn't let me feel that way for long. She bravely shouldered that grief with me and mourned the loss of a child that she hadn't met.

I will do that for her now, as much as she lets me. For as long as it takes.