I was recently pregnant.
“Was” being the keyword there.
I spent my first day, upon finding out I was pregnant, shocked. It was rather planned but it still came as a shock. And I discovered really early on (about 3 weeks in).
After the shock was over, I was thrilled. Excited. Overjoyed. I spent my days planning my pregnancy, realizing all the concert plans I had would get harder and harder to mosh, and weddings I would attend late summer would mean new dresses needed.
H was happy from the start. He didn’t believe me when I said I “felt” pregnant, but the moment it was confirmed, he was happy. But as the guy in such a situation, it was tough for him to really feel like we were expecting. So he came with me to some gynae visits. We subscribed to babycenter weekly newsletters to imagine how the little one was developing in me.
I couldn’t hold it in for long. I told my yoga teachers at 6 weeks. I told my closest friends at around 10 weeks. I told my colleagues at 12 weeks. I even told the waiter at my favorite restaurant. I was bursting with excitement. A little one was growing in me! We were going to share our lives with it!
At 14.5 weeks I had a routine gynae visit, which was met with a dreadful silence from a usually talkative gynae. He couldn’t tell what the problem was, but the amniotic fluid level was suspiciously low. He referred us to a prenatal specialist. He called them up and requested for an appointment as soon as possible – while we sat in front of him. Dreadful would be the adjective I would use here.
At 15.5 weeks, we went to the specialist. He explained that amniotic fluid is produced by the mother in the beginning, and by the child later on. Low amniotic fluid meant bad kidneys. He later said he couldn’t find any kidneys from our little one in the scans.
How could that even happen?
What does that even mean?
No kidneys meant the little one wasn’t going to live. It was a matter of days, weeks or months. It could even miraculously survive till birth and then go straight into palliative care. What do you want to do?
I couldn’t handle the idea of ending my little one’s life in the beginning. It brought us so much joy and excitement. I was growing with it, and I was imagining it growing in me. And I now and then wondered if I felt its heartbeat or movements.
We were given a week to think it through. We asked to see a psychologist.
At 16.5 weeks we met one. I told her I could rationally imagine it’s the right decision but I felt like a terrible mum. She told us to think about how to make peace with it, to talk to the child and explain the situation.
So we did. We cried, explained to my belly, wrote farewell notes, cried.
At 17 weeks we had an appointment with the hospital. The thing is:
- Everybody seems to know someone who went through a miscarriage but nobody talks about it.
- Everybody has an equally terrible reason for their miscarriage.
- No mum would willingly give up their growing foetus.
- I don’t know how planned miscarriages take place before 12 weeks but after 12 weeks you have to have induced labour.
- Anyone who’s had labour would like to have it acknowledged that they’ve been through labour and gave birth to their little one (dead or alive) and was/is a mum.
I had an induced labour and gave birth to my little boy.
We laid there, happy as can be that we met him and that we got to admire him from top to toe, but sad that we had to do this, that it was way too soon, that he had no chances of living.
He was born on 22 June.