As the tandem blue lines, albeit faint, slowly exposed themselves I was overwhelmed by a feeling incongruous with those that I had anticipated.
It’s not like we didn’t want this. Maybe it was that I hadn’t expected these lines so soon. It had, after all, been only four weeks. Surely it must be wrong?
The sore breasts, the persistent nausea and the otherwise inexplicable weight gain, however, gave me no cause to doubt the little whist stick which loudly proclaimed to be 99% accurate.
It was so unlike my first pregnancy, which provided me with none of these textbook symptoms. This one, this felt more real. I was experiencing those things, as uninviting as they were, that a ‘normal’ pregnancy proffers.
I emerged from the sanctuary of the bathroom where I’d spent the last ten minutes, perched upon the toilet, wondering how I was going to inform my husband. It was an odd feeling, because I knew he, too, wanted this.
I plastered a smile on my face, and overwhelmed by the weight of the stick and the emotions it had produced, I went to share the good news.
“Take a frigging look at that,” I stated, throwing the pregnancy test across the table towards him. I sat in a chair, placing my head in my hands.
None of this felt right. The wanting to be pregnant did, the trying we’d done for a mere four weeks, that was real, that was what we both wanted.
My reactions, however, were in contrast to that which I should be feeling. I couldn’t understand it, nor could I explain it.
It was three weeks before I could see my obstetrician and the nagging thought that something ‘wasn’t right’ persisted.
Extended family received word of my pregnancy and their elation and congratulations grated upon me. Smiles and hugs were thrust upon me. I couldn’t help but reflect on how my feelings were in such discrepancy.
It wasn’t Depression. I’d been through that. This was different. I ‘should’ have been happy and excited, and all I could feel was that it was ... not right.
I confided in a few people; my psychologist, my sister-in-laws, a few close friends. I explained my fears that something was wrong.
I wasn’t worried, although everyone, without fail, assured me it was very normal to worry, to be fearful and to have concerns.
I wasn’t worried, I knew something was wrong.
By the time I saw my Obstetrician, I felt more alone, more unsure and more confused than I thought possible.
I smiled anyway. No one was listening to me and all I had left was to go along with what was expected from me; to smile, to be excited, to pretend that the ‘worry’ was ‘normal’.
We crowded into a small room so the foetus could be checked out, due dates estimated and the plans for the next few months.
I lay on the narrow bed, pants pulled down to just above my pubic bone. My husband, wedged in the corner, furthest from the door, a student midwife beside him and my Ob beside me, squirting a barely warm gel on my lower abdomen.
I was the only one not surprised when he gently placed his hand on my arm and said “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”
My beloved went pale and was ushered from the room by the others, leaving the door wide open and looks of concern on their faces.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to say “I TOLD YOU!”
Instead, I pondered the situation. I giggled to myself as I lay on the crisp white bed, my luminescent white belly and girly bits on show to whomever walked.
“I’ll just wait here, then?” I said to no one.
They weren’t listening anyway.
Maybe it was shock, and maybe it was relief that what I knew was confirmed that caused the giggling.
I was booked for a Dilatation and Curettage (D&C), under general anesthetic the next day.
I spent that time, and the next few days, comforting those who were saddened by my news. Most had arrived under the pretence of supporting me, yet the roles had seemingly reversed.
They had all ignored me when I told them something wasn’t right. Now they were sad and needed me to comfort them.
All I wanted to do was lie under the doona and be left alone.
They hadn’t been there when I needed them.
Although my intuition – perhaps that Mother’s Intuition – had been spot on, I had still lost a soul that I had wanted.
My being right didn’t change the fact that I had lost, and had lost so much; a trust in my instincts, my trust in others, the trust in my own body to do what a woman’s body does.
I had lost. I was sad. I needed comforting, too.
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