Always Remembered. Always Missed. Always Loved.

December 2nd marked four years since the first time I laid eyes on a positive pregnancy test. December 22nd will mark four years since I said goodbye to our first baby, green bean. I only saw that bean’s heartbeat once. I never felt him kick, I never saw him on ultrasound other than a brief moment with a flickering heartbeat but it was still my first fleeting experience of motherhood.

The pain of losing green bean was initially staggering. The months passed, and being a miscarriage survivor defined me as a person and was something I wore on my sleeve. With time, the pain lessened but there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of the baby I lost. When my due date arrived, I did okay until that evening when I got very, very drunk and cried very, very hard. It was like the pain of my miscarriage had been a physical wound that had become infected and kept festering for months. After my due date had passed, it was as if the wound had finally been cleaned and was beginning to heal.

The heartache of month after month of trying to conceive and failing wore me down all through 2008 and into 2009. And then finally, my daughter came. My Nellie. Suddenly, green bean didn’t cross my mind as much. I still thought about my first babe, mostly during the month of December when he was so fleetingly a part of my life. Sometimes when I saw and heard of other children born in August of 2008 I’d wonder with slight sadness what my first babe would’ve been like. For the most part, I try to live in the moment with my living daughter and enjoy her to the fullest.

The other night, I was looking for something in my closet and came across green bean’s box. We have a Christmas box that contains bean’s ultrasound picture wrapped in a Baby Looney Tunes blanket Josh bought for the baby. A note to green bean and a shirt that I got Josh for Christmas that says “Daddy ‘08” are also tucked inside that box. I sat down on the floor of the closet and opened the box for the first time in a long time. I held the ultrasound picture frame in my hands and studied the photo for several moments. A tiny yolk sac. A little round ball where I remember the heartbeat flickering. A fetal pole. The first and last time I would lay eyes on my babe.

And then a sadness that I hadn’t felt in a while washed over me. I felt tears come to my eyes as I remembered losing my first baby. The physical and emotional pain of the miscarriage. The hopes and dreams I had for that child, gone as quickly as they’d come. I allowed myself to feel sad, even though I know if I hadn’t lost green bean I might not have my Nellie. I always thought that having a living child would make the pain of the miscarriage go away. And while I don’t think about it often, the other night made me realize that it never will go away. There will always be a spot in my mama’s heart for the tiny one that didn’t make it. I will always miss that child and wonder what could have been.

I thank the gods for my sweet daughter, but I will always think about and miss the one that just wasn’t meant to be.

Losing Green Bean – 3 Years Later

On this day 3 years ago, I had already received the news from my doctor.

It could just be cramping and bleeding but unfortunately, it sounds like the beginning stages of a miscarriage.

Miscarriage. That word echoed in my brain, bouncing off the walls of my skull until I thought it would shatter. The word I’d feared the entire 3 weeks of my pregnancy. And there it was, laid out before me.

On this day 3 years ago, my husband and I emerged from our apartment, our hearts heavy with what we knew was happening despite my doctor’s hopeful “could-be’s”. My bleeding was heavier and I was cramping. We made some phone calls and headed to Wal-Mart to get the makings for some comfort food: chili.

We came home. We slept. We cried. We gorged ourselves on chili. We watched some movies, the only one that I can remember being The Truman Show.

And then, later that evening, the actual loss. The moment I knew it was all over. The physical and emotional pain.

More tears. More pain. Three years ago today, we said goodbye.

And on this day, three years later I remember. I remember the little life, the little heart that beat inside me for such a short period of time. My little Green Bean. On this day, three years later, I have a child to hold and to love and I realize what a blessing this is. I cherish each day with my baby daughter, because I realize that things could have gone the same way with her that they did with Green Bean.. But they didn’t, and for that I am thankful.

But December 22nd will always hover over my head like a dark rain cloud. Each year the cloud gets a little smaller and the rain a little lighter, but I know that it will follow me until the end of my days. My baby daughter is the ray of sunshine peeking through that cloud, but it will remain with me always.

Rest in Peace, Green Bean. I loved you then, I love you now, and I will love you for always.

Mama

The Truth? I Still Miss You.

Part of me thought that when I had a baby, the pain of my miscarriage would go away. With time, the pain of my miscarriage has lessened, for sure… But it never really goes away. The sadness is always there, hiding in the back of my mind. I’m reminded of Green Bean at the most random times; at work, when I see a long-forgotten calendar on the wall, frozen on December of 2007. I was filing some things away the other day, looked up, and saw it. I stopped in my tracks and just stared at the 22nd. The night we lost our Green Bean. I remembered that night with sadness in my heart. Yes, I have my living baby but that night.. I will never forget the pain of that night. Every detail is etched in my memory.

Any time I see a picture of an early ultrasound, I remember Nellie’s first ultrasound but I also remember the one time we saw Green Bean, and his/her heartbeat. I think about the night I found out I was pregnant with GB all the time. I remember that night with a sad smile.

I wonder a lot.
I wonder what GB would look like. It blows my mind that if things had gone differently, GB would be 22 months old. I never even knew if GB was a boy or a girl (though I felt like it was a boy). Would he have curls? Would they be blondish like daddy’s hair (when he doesn’t shave it), or dark like mine? What sort of things would he like to do? When I see a child that is around where GB should be, these thoughts always pop into my head. Always.

And then I think.. If I hadn’t lost GB, Nellie probably would not be here. I wouldn’t have this sweet, precious child in my arms. Everything happens for a reason..

But I still miss my first babe. No matter how many babies I go on to have, there will never be another Green Bean. There is a special, sacred, untouchable place in my heart for that first little one, whose name I never knew and whose face I never saw.

Your song. This will always be your song.

Wow, really?

So this lady who works in our building came in to see how my coworker (who, by the way, lost her baby :( ) was doing. I told her that she was off ’till Tuesday on bereavement leave and was having her D&C on Monday, and she said, “Well, that’s so sad. I’ve been praying for her. But you know what? It’ll happen for her, she’ll get her baby. It happened so easily for them this time, I bet it’ll take them no time to get pregnant again.”

I just looked at her and said, “My husband and I got pregnant on our first try, and had a miscarriage. We’ve been trying since June to get pregnant again.” And she just sort of stared at me and was like, “Really?”

Then she proceeded to babble at me about her 4 sons and how she still sees them as children, and blah blah blah blah blah. I wanted to be like, how about you don’t offer words of wisdom and advice when you have no fucking clue what the hell you’re talking about?

Pardon my French, it just irritated the crap out of me.

Memories

It’s hard to believe that this time last year, I was pregnant. I didn’t know yet that I was pregnant, but I was. I was starting to feel a little wonky and off, like something was up. *sighs*

It’s hard, sometimes, to remember back to a year ago and think on how wonderful a time it was. To find out we were pregnant, to be on cloud nine for three weeks and then to go through the most horrible experience of my life thus far.

Here I am, almost a year since the loss of our baby and I’m still not pregnant. I never dreamed that I would be in this situation. This time last year, I figured I’d either be holding a newborn, or on my way to being a mommy. I never imagined that I would have lost my beloved little one… Never would have thought that my desire to be a mommy would still be unfulfilled.

Oh, well. I guess I just have to take what I’m given; deal with what I’m dealt. Life isn’t fair, it doesn’t make sense sometimes, and there’s nothing we can do but try our best to cope.. Even if we don’t understand it.

Questions that could keep me up at night

What if it’s not “meant to be”?

What if I’m not meant to be someone’s mommy? What if I’m destined to forever be “Aunt Natalie” to my family’s babies, my friends’ babies? That I’m meant to watch my girlfriends become mothers, watch the love light up their eyes while they hold their newborn babies, while I am standing aside, wanting for nothing more but to be in their shoes? What if I’m not meant to feel baby kicks, baby moves; what if my belly isn’t destined to swell and grow as my little one does?

What if I’m destined to forever wander through the aisles of baby clothes, gazing longingly, wishing and hoping for a day that will never come? What if I am meant for nothing more than staring at a pregnant woman’s belly, and feeling empty inside?

What if this love I feel inside of me, love that’s meant for my baby, is meant to go unheard; unfelt?

What if I miscarry, one baby after another, until I am so broken inside that I simply cannot do it any more?

What if it’s just not in the cards for me?

I just don’t know what I’d do.

You can say, “it’s meant to be”, but in the end, no one knows that. No one.
You can say “just give it to God”, but for one, I’m not religious and for two, I don’t want to. That doesn’t help me. I don’t like not having control over the things that I want, that I need in my life.

Does every woman who struggles to conceive feel this way?

It really is a sisterhood..

The girls from my iVillage group ‘Trying To Conceive- After Miscarriage’ are amazing. They really are. Never have I found such understanding when it came to my miscarriage. Because while our stories may all be different, our hearts all hurt the same.

I’ve spoken with so many people, some friends of mine with children, who tell me things like, ‘just be patient, it’ll happen.’ Or, ‘stop trying so hard! Just relax!’
These people give me advice, words of “wisdom”, all the while blissfully unaware of the struggle that is infertility problems of any kind, whether it be struggling to conceive, miscarriage, or what have you. If you have not had problems conceiving (and I’m not talking, ‘oh it took me FOUR WHOLE MONTHS to conceive!’), you do not understand. If you have not experienced the loss of a child-and that is what a miscarriage is, no matter HOW early it was-then, you do not understand, plain and simple.

You don’t know what it’s like to see a pregnant woman, to look down at your own belly and be reminded of what SHOULD be, and to be filled with such an overwhelming feeling of sadness, it feels as if the entire fiber of your being is going to split apart with the grief. You can not understand the sense of loss, the sense of never EVER being able to know that child that you conceived; to not even make it to the point where you truly knew if it was a boy or a girl. To have a miscarriage is to lose your dreams and your hopes for that tiny little life inside of you. The loss of a child is unlike any other loss. The loss of a grandparent, a parent, a sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin… These are all losses that of course, are real and valid, and painful. But to lose a child generates a whole new level, and depth of grief, that if you haven’t been through it, you simply cannot know what it feels like.

A woman who has lost a baby most likely will not come out and express her jealousy toward other pregnant women aloud, because we know what others will think of us. People who haven’t been there can’t sympathize, and thus they jump to the conclusion that we’re bitter, hateful, and full of negativity. This simply is not true. We are in pain. Every glimpse of a baby belly; every glance at a onesie is a constant reminder of our loss. This is why places like my message board, and this blog, come in handy. With my “sistahs”, I can talk about anything. I can vent my sadness at seing a newborn baby at a store. I can share with them the jealousy when I see a pregnant woman waddling through the maternity section of Target. And they will not judge me, because they themselves have felt the exact same thing. Is this emotion necessarily a fair thing to feel? No, it’s not. Any woman who is pregnant is entitled to feel the joy of carrying a new life inside of her. Of course she does. But that doesn’t make my (and other women’s) feelings any less there, or any less painful.

This is my blog. This is a place for me to go, to express my feelings about my miscarriage, and our trying to conceive again. If you don’t like what I say here, don’t read it.
It’s taken longer than I anticipated. I wish every single solitary day of my life that I hadn’t lost my baby. I wish that I were holding that newborn child in my arms right now, singing him or her to sleep. Feeding that tiny little being. But I’m not. And unless you have gone through what I, and many other women, have gone through you will not EVER understand.

And I honestly and sincerely, with every ounce of myself, hope you never do understand. Because it’s one of the worst things I can imagine a person having to go through. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, ever, and I wish that no one had to endure it.

When it finally is my turn, I know that if I ever see a woman who looks at me a little too long, with a sad, jealous, or angry look in her eye, I will know her pain, and understand that it’s nothing personal. She’s hurting, she’s lost, and all she really wants is her baby back.

Hey, jealousy!

Wow. Last night, between the movie theatre and Wal-Mart, I saw 4 – count ’em – FOUR pregnant women.

It’s not as hard as it used to be, now that my EDD has passed and I’m not eying them knowing I should LOOK like them, but I still get a twinge of jealousy.

I’m trying very hard to be patient. Very, very hard to be patient indeed.

Have you ever been to an amusement park? You know, when you’re waiting in line for a roller coaster for a really long time, and all of a sudden, somebody who hasn’t been waiting as long or as patiently as you have sneakily ducks through the queue lines, and cuts in front of you? This is how I feel sometimes. I know a few women who have gotten pregnant accidentally, or after 1-3 cycles of trying, and that is how it makes me feel. I want to stand on my tiptoes, and yell at them, “WAIT YOUR TURN!” I want to say something to them, but of course, I don’t. I stay quiet, silently fuming to myself, throwing my wordless little temper tantrum inside of my head.

I know that I’ll eventually get on that roller coaster. Maybe it will break down sometimes, and I will have to wait a bit longer. But I’m a more patient person than Little-Miss-Cuts-In-Line. And I guess in the end that will make me appreciate things a lot more.

Um, wow.

I got way too drunk last night. My husband found me in the computer room, crying my eyes out, drunk as hell, and made me come to bed.

I’m not particularly proud of it and it’s certainly not the healthiest way to deal with things if that’s the way they are dealt with all the time, but I actually think I needed it. It was like something stuck in my finger; a splinter that was causing an infection, and I had to yank it out.

I don’t think that’s a very good metaphor but it’s all I have at the moment.

Ha What?

It’s 7:00 in the morning, and I’m drunk off my ass.

Do I care? Not really. I was supposed to have my frigging baby today.

I’m drunk off my ass, it’s 7:00 AM, and I DON’T FRIGGING CARE.

I have told everyone that would possibly listen today in chatrooms about my baby today.

Melodramatic? Maybe.

I DON’T FUCKING CARE.

I FUCKING HATE THIS PAIN.

I. Fucking. Hate. It.

I’m going to stay up all day. I don’t even fucking care.

It’s 7 A.M. and I am not even tired.

I miss you so fucking much.

Fuck.