It’s been 8 weeks since Amy was here and gone. 8 weeks seems like nothing, like it just happened, and yet when I think about all the days between then and now, it seems like an eternity. I would have been 32 weeks pregnant this coming Thursday. Had she been born this coming Thursday, she would have had a serious shot at a normal life, but she would have had a long NICU stay. She probably would have had some kind of trouble. She would have been still far, far too early. So I think of that, and the eternity of days that have passed between then and now, and I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry because, in retrospect, it’s so totally obvious that we never had a chance at all.
I watch Private Practice, and have continued to watch it, even though there is a new storyline where one of the main characters finds out her 20 week old fetus has anencephaly and will not survive outside the womb but she decides to continue the pregnancy and donate his organs “so his life will matter.” I can not really explain why I have continued watching this, knowing it will be awful in the end, except to say that my situation was unique even among a unique situation, and so in a weird way it is cathartic just to be understood.
Most people never have to know what it feels like to have your baby die. Or the terror of going into labor at 23 weeks. Or the sadness that eclipses everyone in the room when you give birth to a baby who’s already gone. Most of you reading this blog, in fact, will never know firsthand how any of these things feel. But even fewer people will know what it’s like to go into labor knowing. To carry a baby with dread and then go into labor knowing that no matter how it happens, your baby is going to die. Nobody knows, how it feels to know with every contraction that you are killing your baby, maybe not then but simply by the very act of birthing your baby.
So watching it, on TV? Is really fucking sad. It really, truly is. But it’s also cathartic. Because someone, somewhere, understands exactly how I felt. Exactly what it was like. It’s the same reason I read blogs about other dead babies. I feel alone in this horrible knowledge most of the time, and watching this, I knew that someone got it, really and truly. Swap out anencephaly for preterm labor before any hope of true viability and I lived that. I said the same things. My family said the same things. It was exactly that sad, and exactly that beautiful, and exactly that much more sad for being both.
She was mine, and I miss her every day. I miss being pregnant every day, funnily enough. I miss what it all meant to me. And yet, it’s 8 weeks later, and despite all of that? I’m fine. Everything is fine. I go to work. I cook well-balanced meals. I go out with my friends. I stay in with my husband. I’m even working out regularly again. I’m okay, really and truly, but at the same time, I’m sad. It hurts all the time. But it fades more into the background, humming along behind my daily life, a little reminder that something awful happened, but everything is still fine.
It doesn’t seem possible, but it is.