I went to an OB appointment today with one of my best friends. It is her first pregnancy, and I’m more excited than I can say that Jo Jo is soon going to have a bhai (little brother) or bahini (little sister).
There I was, bouncing a roly poly almost-six-month-old on my knee, commiserating with first trimester nausea and second trimester headaches, asking, “when can we know the sex?!” before I could help myself, normal as could be. Normal as could be until the doppler was placed on her tummy and that racing “boom boom boom” sound filled the room.
My heart felt like it imploded. I wanted to sob. Instead tears just streamed down my face as I fumbled for a box of kleenex. The doctor must have though, “oh what a sweet friend, look how moved she is,” but my friend wasn’t fooled. The sound of that baby’s heartbeat did not say, “I’m alive I’m alive I’m alive” to me. Rather, it said: “she’s dead she’s dead she’s dead”.
It all came screaming back to me… the little heartbeat that was my truest love, my highest hope, my greatest joy, it stopped beating. It wasn’t supposed to stop beating, not until long after my own had. It did, though. I pushed her out and the heart I loved more than my own stopped beating.
That gasping, screeching, furious pain: my baby is gone, my baby is gone, my baby my baby my baby…
I don’t know if I’m going to survive going with her to the anatomy scan. I told her I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to, even though I wish that I could and that it could be the happy, joyous event it was meant to be. I just think that if the memory of a doppler heartbeat could completely crush me, what would the image of a baby on the screen do to me? I remember every second of every minute that I spent watching my daughter on a screen. She rubbed her forehead a lot with her left hand, she swallowed, she flipped this way, and that. I was her whole world, and she would never have another, but she was also my whole world… and the tragedy is that I’m forced to have another.
I know that I have much to be thankful for, more than “much”. I have a beautiful baby girl that I love with every fiber of my being, and she is here right now, and hopefully will stay forever. There are many mommies out there who don’t have that, who want that desperately.
But for today, I let the pain come up, and out. I remembered completely and absolutely the grief that has shaped me into who I am today, the grief only a mother who lost her child can feel.