waiting just under the surface…

…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.

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

3 thoughts on “waiting just under the surface…”

  1. We have an unfinished room in our garage we’ve been using as storage. My husband decides it’s time to finish it and requests I help move all the bins. Sure! No problem! It’s just christmas and Halloween stuff right?
    It’s all of G’s (my living child) baby clothes. Her baby toys. Her crib. All the things we’ve been storing in preparation of one of our pregnancies actually ending up with a live baby.
    He walks in as I ping pong from one item to the next, bewildered. He says; what’s wrong with you? It looks like you’re totally confused, and your face looks weird.
    And I begin sobbing for pretty much the next 4 hours. He keeps telling me to stop, he can do it. But my broken heart doesn’t make me unable to clear out the room, it just means all those bins are now covered in cobwebs, tears and snot.
    Totally unexpected, but just part of life now.
    Sending love to you.

  2. I’m so glad you reached out to your co-worker. The more we share, the more we realize that we’re not alone and that, sadly, there are way more of us than anyone thought. But that’s also good, in that it breaks the silence.

  3. Here I am, sitting in lab crying my eyes out reading this. Zero. I remember seeing some of this on my chart at the fertility clinic. i remember seeing TGR1 TGR2 and asking about it. Twin Girl Roark 1, Twin Girl Roark 2. No names. Just abbreviations. …

    I often think of Avalon when I think of my girls. I know we’ve talked about this a few times. Whether it was because it was all around the same time, a kindred spirit, who knows, but I do. As long as I am alive, your daughter will be remembered by someone outside your family, outside your state. My son will grow up to remember Avalon along with his sisters. Thank you for remembering my girls and honoring them in this post. Much love.

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