…is this trauma. This grief.
This morning I looked up my ER note from the other day (foot pain, tendonitis). I read through my medical history, my eyes sticking on “complete miscarriage” (miscarriage in medical terms simply means the unplanned end of a pregnancy, up until full term). Then I see G1P0. (Pregnant once, live birth zero in medical lingo.)
G1P0. Zero. One minus one equals zero. Backspace, delete. Zero. Gone. Whole person inside me, now a zero. G1, a person. P0, not living. Gone. Zero.
Tears in my eyes, just suddenly, I’m so sad. I’m so sad for that woman in the chart, who was me, and that dead baby, who is just two letters and two numbers and nothing else. G1P0. Not baby girl named Avalon who died, grieving mother with no baby. A non-mother. Almost-mother. Baby loss mother. Lost mother.
A co-worker just got back from maternity leave. I overheard her and a patient conversing about the fact that her firstborn child was stillborn. I went to her in a break room (I didn’t know her before this) and said, “I overheard that you lost your daughter. I had a stillborn daughter, too.” We talked a long time. And we would’ve talked longer if we didn’t have to go, you know, actually do some work.
So two of us immigrants from planet MyBabyDied found brief solace in one another. In acknowledging our burdens, our almost-joys, our missing girls.
Harper Lynn and Avalon Linda.
Eliza. Celeste. Alexander. Luke. Willow. Hazel. Clara. Avery. Liam. Evelyn. Anya. Georgina. All of them. All of our children.