On Tuesday I was told that I needed to wait a whole week for a second ultrasound — a week! It seemed like forever. I knew my little bean wasn’t going to grow in that time. (I would have had to have conceived after getting 5 positive pregnancy results. The biology just wasn’t there.) Still, doctors like to make absolutely sure and I respect that, even if waiting another week just to get bad news felt like extra torment.
The week before, I had proudly and shyly shown off the tiniest beginnings of a bump above my pubic line. With the new understanding that my pregnancy was ending, I was able to look at my belly squarely. It is now flat and lifeless. Was my bloating before psychosomatic or did my progesterone levels simply plummet? On Thursday, two days later, I was back in my jeans, no doubt helped by the fact that I have been able to eat very little. Good! I sobbed angrily to myself. Get the fuck out already.
Getting angry at the little bean was a moment I allowed myself. I have so much anger it sometimes feels like I can’t breathe. There is a dense red cloud in my chest that sometimes strangles me. Allowing myself to be angry has assuaged feelings of guilt that I had spoken to the little bean like that. Instead of berating myself for being a hateful bitch who didn’t deserve to be a mother anyway, I hugged myself and reminded myself that it’s okay to be angry. It’s what I do with that anger that counts.
Other pregnancies announce they are ending with a distressing sudden show of blood. Mine just… ended. Soundlessly. DH asked me if I was scared of the labour and delivery. I replied, No. The thing that I was most scared of has already happened. I am not scared of the physical pain. I am not scared of the flow of blood. I am not even scared of seeing what would have been my baby. I actually want to see him/her. In some ways I feel like if I can get through this, I can get through anything.
Even so, my anger, like the grief it protects, has nowhere to go and that does frighten me a little. I’m trying to let my feelings wash over me. I picture myself as a pebble on the beach, the waves crashing over me. I hear the underwater cracking of pebbles tumbling with the ebb and flow. Sometimes I am dragged deeper into the ocean, other times I am pushed farther up the sand. Up and down, back and forth, give and take. Over time, the cycle smooths away the hard edges of suffering.
I still don’t understand why I didn’t just miscarry, but meeting my anger with kindness has made me realise this week is an opportunity to say goodbye. When I realised that, I took my first step in the long journey towards peace. Two nights ago, I placed my hands on my flat belly and told the little bean it was okay to leave.
Yesterday, the watery discharge started. This morning, the faintest smudge of pale brown. Later, pale pink-stained paper. The process has arrived and brought with it freshly-cut sorrow.
I am a tumbling pebble.