Elegy for Amy

16w3d January 7, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — elegyforamy @ 5:56 pm

Sometimes I re-read these posts and I feel a little dishonest. Not that they’re not true; they’re a snapshot of that moment. But they’re so mostly positive. So “it’s not so bad.” And that’s true, but it’s also not. I’m trying to think positively, to feel positively, to BE positive, because when I’m not, I end up thinking of this new baby, this new tiny son, and remembering how it felt to hold his tiny sister, looking at her perfect face – dead. If I think about it too much, I don’t know how to get through the day, so I just Focus On The Positive.

It’s not dishonest, it’s just not the whole story.

What’s the whole story? Well, for one thing, pregnancy kind of sucks. In general, but for me especially. And I hear so often how I handle it with things like “grace” or “strength,” and I want to say no, no, I DON’T. I just have to. I have to tell myself it doesn’t totally suck because otherwise how do I wake up tomorrow and do this all again? Daily injections. Weekly injections. Feeling bruised and sore and battered, anxious about every twinge or cramp or what’s on the toilet paper. Wanting to have a full-on tantrum every time the doctor wants to take blood for something. I go to the doctor every.single.week. The most annoying commute, the parking garage fee, the tedious hour long wait (because it is apparently impossible for my OB practice to be anything resembling on-time). And the worry. Every time they take a cervical measurement, check for a heartbeat, every time, I can’t breathe again until they say it looks okay. Looks good.

And the second trimester is not a kind place for me. Oh, you worry in the first, most people do, but it’s nothing compared to the second. Not for me. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every day that goes by is agonizingly slow. I want to go to sleep and wake up on March 1st, with a 24 week old baby. Still on the inside.

I worried, last time. I had the 24 week mark in my mind. But then I got to 20 weeks, and I felt great, and the baby looked great, and the weeks began to pass, and soon it was 22 weeks, and soon it was like, gee, I’m practically there! Look how well this is going! I’m practically to 24 weeks! Why keep worrying? And then the world came crashing down, 6 days shy of 24 weeks. Our daughter, dead, 2 days shy of 24 weeks. And a sheet full of statistics suggesting that those 2 extra days might not have meant as much as I was led to believe, anyway.

So now, no week is safe. 23 weeks and 6 days, not close enough. 24 weeks isn’t even really viability, not to me, not anymore. To me viability is, the doctors stop asking you if you want them to try to save the baby. The doctors stop assuming something will be horribly wrong. 28 weeks. I’ll accept nothing less. And how I feel, lately, is that I have already been at this for so many days, and it’s still SO many more days until any of this even matters. I can keep going every day for the next 7 weeks and 2 days, and it won’t matter. 28 weeks is still so far away. I’m exhausted and kind of worn down, probably more by the thought of having been here before and failing so colossally than from any of the actual medical stuff.

And most of the time, I think, of course this baby will live. OF COURSE he will. Babies aren’t supposed to die, and one should far exceed one couple’s quota for a lifetime. Doesn’t always, though. And I know it. In the back of my head, I know that losing Amy doesn’t protect me from losing this new baby, but most of the time I just pretend that’s not true, because otherwise you can’t do it. You can’t try again, you can’t get pregnant again, you can’t get up every morning and be pregnant again, if you don’t honestly believe that one way or another you are bringing this one home. I really need this baby to live, so I tell myself he will. And I make baby registries and make plans for next year with a baby and buy onesies and name the baby and all the while all I’m really trying to do is ignore the thoughts in the back of my head, the horrible what-ifs. I can’t what-if this. I can’t even acknowledge that a what-if exists.

So I guess, if we’re telling the whole story, right now I’m surviving more than anything else, and faking it ’till we make it. Or at least until we get to 28 weeks, when I’ll feel like I can breathe again, maybe. Maybe just a little.

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3 Responses to “16w3d”

  1. tracy Says:

    Hi! I really feel like we should be friends because I’m telling you that I just went through and when I read more bits about Amy’s story, I shake my head because it’s my son’s story. So heartbreakingly sad and I so get it!

    Your explanation of what you are feeling with your son is right on of what I felt like, laying there on bed rest, pregnant with my daughter. I can tell you that getting over that hump of 23 weeks and then 24 weeks, it will feel a little bit more like smooth sailing. Then when you do get to 28 weeks (you will!), suddenly it really feels like you and the baby are out of danger. I went in with contractions (that were fairly easily stopped and my cervix didn’t change) at 28 weeks and while at the hospital, I was surprisingly calm because my baby was 28 weeks! not 23 or 24 or 26! Like I said, thankfully it was stopped easily because I obviously didn’t want my daughter born that early, but your mindset definitely is different during the 2nd trimester. Then, when you are over 30 weeks, it’s like so refreshing and so different from the rest of the pregnancy. Celebratory is the right word.

    Take care,

    Tracy

  2. I have been reading along here for a little while without commenting (found you on GITW blogroll). My second daughter was stillborn in January 2012 and I am now 22 weeks pregnant with a boy. I just wanted to say how well I understand all the conflicting feelings and to throw my support in behind you. I found the first trimester I was mostly in denial, sure I would have a miscarriage (have had many before, had signs of one impending but obviously never happened) and then felt sort of ‘safe’ and started to get excited around 17 weeks or so. Now, having passed 20 weeks and into the magical ‘stillbirth’ territory, I find my anxiety ramping up around what could happen. I hope your pregnancy continues to go as smoothly as possible, that your little boy stays safe and sound, and that you can feel as peaceful as possible under the circumstances. Remembering Amy.

  3. Emily Says:

    Ugh. This is exactly what makes me want to run and hide when I begin to contemplate another pregnancy. I did it once and while it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, the fact that my daughter came home made it all worth it in the end. I’m hoping so huge that by the summer you are saying the same thing!


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