I have a confession… I’m still signed up for daily ‘alerts’ from What to Expect When You’re Expecting. See, when we found out our transfer had been successful and we were pregnant I became a little overzealous. (You know how people describe bridezilla? I was like momzilla… our tiny little warrior embryo was now a baby and I was obsessed!) I immediately went back to my secret Pinterest board and started pinning nursery ideas. I started shopping for maternity clothes online (It was March…I was due in November…I reasoned I could get winter maternity clothes on sale!) Dan and I spent a day stopping in tiny vintage shops looking for furniture for the nursery. My older sister and I planned the holidays…we would both have babies at Christmas, her family would come to Connecticut from Florida to celebrate, it was going to be perfect! And I registered my due date on What to Expect When You’re Expecting and happily started getting daily alerts sent to my email…
But, now I am not expecting. I haven’t been on Pinterest in a month. There are no maternity clothes to hang in the closet (next to that damn Gold Dress), there are no cribs to buy or antique dressers to refurnish into changing tables. There are no holiday plans for adorable cousins in matching Christmas pajamas.
But, there is still my daily email. I now know 15 sweet Scottish names, the best morning sickness remedies and different ways to exercise during pregnancy. I was alerted when I passed (or should have passed) the 12 week mark and I know a 14 week fetus is the size of a lemon (a very cheerful comparison I think!) You may think it’s strange I keep these alerts coming, but the reason is pretty simple (and it’s not that I enjoy torturing myself) it’s because I find comfort in the reminder that I was pregnant.
The sad truth is, it’s easy to forget I was ever pregnant. The pregnancy seems like a tiny dip on the rollercoaster ride of the past 2 years. So much time and energy went into wanting to be pregnant…and then more time and energy went into becoming pregnant…and now even more time and energy is being devoted to trying to determine why I could not stay pregnant…but the being pregnant part, it was short lived and (I fear) underappreciated.
Very few people celebrated our pregnancy with us, the majority of people in our life discovered we were pregnant after the miscarriage, so there was no celebrating. I didn’t announce my pregnancy on this blog. All told, maybe 10 people knew I was pregnant when I was pregnant. So it’s easy for people to forget there was a baby…most people just remember that there isn’t. You may think those are the same thing, but there is a BIG difference between the absence of a baby and the loss of a baby…trust me, I’ve lived through both.
My body has forgotten there was a baby. My nails stopped growing and my bras fit again. My hormones are back to normal. Sometimes even I have to remind myself… I lie in bed awake at night and softly repeat “there was a baby…there was a baby…there was a baby…”
But those emails remember. Those daily alerts remind me that yes, I was really, most sincerely pregnant. On a bad day, when I’m particularly sad or angry, those e-mails remind me…this isn’t just hormones and infertility, I’m not this upset because my assignment at work is busy and one patient’s family is rude…I’m not just tired and hungry… I’m grieving…I’m grieving a loss. A loss that most people in my life do not know about, a loss that those who do know do not know how to handle, a loss that is not easily spoken about…a loss sometimes I have to remind myself is real. I keep those email alerts because they’re the only constant thing I have in my life that remembers there was a baby…and, I like to think I’m learning a lot from them…you know for someday in the future…when there is a baby.