Sunday, August 17, 2008

The longest year ever

One year ago, I was embarking, for the second time, on trying to conceive after a first trimester loss. I had spent July and August 2007 as a human science experiment, having every test in the universe run on me to try to figure out why my babies kept on dying. In the end, there really wasn't anything wrong that they could find, just a few little things that probably didn't amount to much. Along the way, I got a lot of pity and a lot of bad pity advice. Let me tell you, for the record, that having a child before your losses is actually not a good thing. No, it doesn't make the losses easier to take, and no, it doesn't prove out the theory of "well, at least you know you can have kids" No, what it means is that I know that I can have one kid, the one that didn't die, but that doesn't mean that I possess the ability to have any more. Fertility problems after a loss, secondary infertility, whatever you want to call it, just freakin' the inability to get (or stay) pregnant just sucks. And it is very lonely, because no matter how many people are trying to get pregnant right along with you, your personal hell is yours alone. And, as time marches on, you get more and more alone. All the friendship and support in the world doesn't take the place of that healthy child that you want so much.

It doesn't matter how you try to sugar coat it, the bottom line is that Shannon should be 6 weeks old now, not dead 6 months. I should be worried about taking her into the sun, not getting mad because her urn got moved. If Shannon hadn't died, I would't be mortified of seeing all of the new babies born to our friends in the past few weeks. Oh, and the fact that they were mostly girls doesn't help. Moving backwards, if I hadn't had my first loss in Feb. 2007, I'd be preparing for a first birthday party now. If I hadn't had my second loss in June 2007, I probably wouldn't have been crying over a child who was about 8 months old in the doctor's office the other week. Because I wouldn't have found it sad to see a baby the same age as my second dead baby.

It's a pretty fucked up bunch of milestones that you get to measure time by when your whole life has become about loss. And it doesn't go away. I, and mom's like me, do the math reflexively. We always know how old our child would have been. We can guess by looking at other babies what ours might have been like. And when we hear pregnant women and new moms complain, we wish our diamond shoes were tight too.

So, I'm off to ride roller coasters with my child. At least, unlike the roller coaster I've been on for the past 20 months, I like these roller coasters.

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