Thursday, December 4, 2008

Losing it

Last night was pre-natal swim class. It's a tight knit group of us preggos, and we spend as much time indulging in non-stop pregnancy talk as we do swimming.

Two of the girls were missing from the class, which didn't come as a surprise seeing they had both been bursting at the seams and were due any day. There's an excitement that permeates through the rest of us when news comes that one of our own has finally reached that point where everything - the build up, the expectations, the curiosities - become an overnight reality.

We look at them, and see ourselves.

After class, we received a message from one of the girls. It was bare in its simplicity.

"I went into labor a few days ago. Unfortunately, the baby did not make it."

A ton of bricks doesn't strike as hard as those two simple sentences scratched on a tiny square of paper. We stood there silently. We weren't crying, but I'm not sure we were breathing either. We just stood, paralyzed with the images of our own baby rooms in varying states of completion. I saw the onesie with the bike on it, the empty crib, and the changing pad the cat has now taken to sleeping on. No matter what we have left to get or prepare for the baby room, only one part of that room is a true necessity - the baby.

As the silence broke and tears welled, our hands all found there ways to our stomachs. Slaggy gave me the tiniest of kicks.

Someone asked in a stuttering voice, "How could someone go on?"

I answered with the only truth I know. We'd hurt. We'd heal. And we'd try again.

Six months ago, I was just another woman. I was strong, fit, and essentially still wearing the same body I've been in since I was 13. Over a handful of months, and without my knowledge, help, or permission, my body morphed itself in such a way that the priority was no longer on me. My body just knew how to create a baby, which is convenient, because I wouldn't have a clue where to start. Our minds and bodies came prepared to provide security, sustenance, and life for these fledgling beings. I can't help but wonder if we aren't also engrained with a certain amount of resilience to withstand the vulnerability that comes with loving someone so very much.

Last night, I slept intermittently, often dreaming about little Slaggy. During my frequent awakenings, he seemed to always be there, already awake, and punching away at my insides almost to say, "Hey! Is this your bladder? Is this your bladder? How 'bout this?"

And I appreciated every single punch.

Now, for a moment of happiness, I bring you impossibly cute dog and cat snuggling:


Funknuggets said...

Worrying about your spawn will not cease. Long after they are born, you will stop by their room to make sure they are still breating.

As for the bladder punching. Beware... my son somehow twisted my wife's ovary... requiring oovarectomy at 7months gestation... you've been warned.

cynthia said...

"wonder if we aren't also engrained with a certain amount of resilience to withstand the vulnerability that comes with loving someone so very much.."

well we have the resilience? I hope i never find out.

I think being a parent is the biggest risk a person can take.

even 28 years later if the thought of anything happening to my little baby creeps into my mind I shut it down immediately. I can't bear to travel down that train of thought.

recent ode to my little baby -

Steve said...

Lost one last year. shittiest thing to ever happen, but I'm glad it was early and not during delivery, not sure I could handle that. Makes my month old daughter just that much more precious.

Daner said...

If the woman who lost her newborn has a husband in the bike industry we have both cried over the same tragedy. Glad I found out about it very late in the workday when everybody else was gone. Wouldn't want the coworkers to see me melt down at my desk.