Dear Child [Not the one who gives me huge sloppy kisses, but the other one inside my tummy],
We’ve had a pretty odd beginning. Other women will tell you that it was their tingling breasts, missed period or some odd intuition that they ‘just knew’ they were pregnant. For me, not taking a dump in four days was a sign that something was up.
One bulk pregnancy test purchase later, I got a sign I didn’t need. Two lines, mocking me inside the toilets of McDonalds.
Some women cry for different reasons over home pregnancy tests; anguish over yet another negative result or perhaps joy after months or even years of trying. I’m not sure why I cried but a few days later, there were a few more sobs at the doctors office with the official news that I was up the duff.
Your father’s response wasn’t quite what I expected either. I thought a normal reaction to this sort of news would have been “Fuck” or maybe even an “Are you sure?”
The announcement of your existence was met with an “I TOLD YOU I HAD SUPER SPERM” followed by “I should text my best mate, at least he got six months of trying before his wife fell pregnant”. After I let Daddy marvel at the strength of his semen, we had to decide what to do with you, the unexpected womb visitor.
The rational part of my brain ticked over all the reasons why we needed to say goodbye, but then by golly those hormones got to me and all I could think was Babies, babies, babies, NOW! Everywhere I looked there were pregnant women and babies.
Don’t they look so sweet and cute? I’d think to myself, I could totally do the whole motherhood thing, hell I already have a part-time kid care of your father.
I would like to say it was the experience of seeing your bean-like outline on the screen but honestly the only thing on my mind was willing the moment the radiologist would stop pushing that metal wand thingy into my full bladder and let me go pee.
I’ve been trying to get used to the feeling that my body isn’t entirely my own anymore. I wake up tired, I grow more tired throughout the day, then I go home and take a nap before pulling myself off the sofa to go to bed for the night. Not to mention the constant nausea, regular vomiting, and my little b-cup breasts exploding seemingly overnight into giant D cups a few weeks into this journey.
Your Dad asked me what it’s like being pregnant and the only description I give was that pregnancy is like having a permanent hangover after not sleeping for a week.
That feeling of being stuck with hangover has meant I chowed my way through many Whopper meals, my favorite hangover food, way more than either of us would have liked. While we’re on the topic of ‘bad food’ I apologize for putting you in mortal peril by eating my way through the following banned foods: brie, sushi, sashimi, smoked salmon, raw cookie dough, ham, homemade ice-cream and tiramsu. But hey, at least I’ve stayed away from caffeine and booze so I’m not really that bad a hostess right?
But as it turned out, I was a bad hostess.
Just as I was getting used to the concept of being pregnant and excited about being your mother, week 13 hit. For most women week 13 is the time they get to relax as the “danger time” for miscarriage has passed.
My week 13 involved getting a bad sign in the middle of nowheresville Australia and bouncing from one hospital to the next trying to find someone who could give me a good sign. Instead, the doctor confirmed what I already feared was going on: my pregnancy hormone levels had already plummeted, which meant you weren’t alive anymore.
It’s odd that I should feel that my heart is broken into a million tiny pieces over your short existence. At first, all I could think about was how all the drama in my life, lack of space, and astronomical lawyers bills made Plan A, abortion, the only real option.
But when the time came to start making the arrangements, I couldn’t go through with Plan A. Why, you might wonder? I suppose it was because even though you were a huge surprise and your timing was really crappy, on a certain level you were desperately wanted.
That moment of knowing was much like your existence, so brief I’m pretty sure we almost missed it. But one day your daddy rubbed my tummy and asked “How’s my baby?” with his cheeky grin. I think that’s the point when we both decided that no matter how bad the timing, Plan A had just be torn to shreds.
But now it’s me that feels like I’m being pulled to shreds. I’m sitting in a foreign land with a dead fetus in my belly, feeling so alone. The only comfort is that even though this pregnancy ended in disaster, at least I have no trouble with the getting pregnant part of the procreation process.
Someday hopefully not long from now, I’ll be holding a healthy child in my arms and the pieces of my heart will be put back together again. Except for the one piece you’ll always have.