Tuesday, August 25, 2009

life, unscripted

i've been meaning to document this for a while. i think it's important. it's important to me, it's important to my spawn, it's important to my sanity.

i've been married to the mister for 14 years. we knew we wanted kids right away. it's what was right for us and NOT NOT NOT a recommendation i would make for most marriages. i got married WAY too young, and we had kids WAY too early. but it's what was right for us.

we were pregnant with the he-spawn on our second anniversary, and we made the most of it. we were poor and ever so happy. he was everything you want in a first baby. slept through the night, hardly cried... blah blah blah. i always said and still believe that he was God's trick to get us to have a second child.

we waited longer than we intended to have a second. we thought we'd do the traditional american thing and spit one out every two years till we were done. when the male child was three and a half, i said to the mister... "look, let's have another now or not at all."

and so the she-spawn was born. the mister wanted me to have a tubal ligation at this point. he was done diddely did having kids. and he knew it. and he was totally at peace with it.

i was not. i would hold the she-spawn and cry, and say to myself "enjoy this... you will never have another baby. breathe it in." my nipples would bleed and i would say, "cherish this, you'll never have a month old baby again." she would wake to be fed three times a night on a GOOOOOD night and i would hold her and rock her and sing to her and say, "you can sleep later, you'll never have a six month old baby again." i mourned when she slept through the night for the very first time at eighteen months. i cried out "i will never have a baby need me in the night again."

the mister begged me to get a hysterectomy. i NEEDED a hysterectomy. my she-parts were rotten. i bled for weeks at a time, with atypical symptoms. horrid cramping, debilitating headaches, clots the size of texas grapefruits. all i needed to do was say the word and the doctor would start cutting. but i. couldn't. do. it.

i told the mister on many occasions... "if you are so at peace with having two children, i support a vasectomy. i will nurse you and pamper you, and bring you frozen peas." and i would have, too. but i could not sterilize myself. not even for my health. i believe a mother knows when she has had all of the children she is going to have. i believe that she knows in her heart of hearts when she has been given all of the babies that are hers, by birth or otherwise. and i knew. i knew there was another baby for me.

so i prayed. and i waited. and i got angry. and i waited. and i tried to find peace. and i waited. and i heard the cliche, over and over and over again that "God would grant me the desires of my heart." but i knew that if God was just... He may simply be deciding to grant the mister the desires of HIS heart, instead of mine. why should MY desires hold any more weight than his? so i waited.

several times, over the years, i thought i was at peace with my two children. i would tell myself "you have the DREAM family! you got the boy, then the girl. they are perfect and healthy and they sass and tell lies and don't clean their rooms and love you and wrap their sweaty arms around you and touch the windows with their sticky hands! you don't want another baby! you don't want to stink of spit-up and have pee on the bathroom floor! you. don't. want. more!" but it was a lie. and i knew it. and those closest to me knew it.

so i'm sure you can imagine my joy when i found myself pregnant. it took multiple tests to believe it! AT THIRTY-FIVE! advanced maternal age! who cares! overweight! meh... i can do it! not only can i do it, i will birth that child on my bed. no more surgeries for me! we created that baby at home, that baby will greet it's family at home. just like i'd dreamed. and waited for.

who cares that we'd just bought a house with not enough bedrooms. not the she-spawn who couldn't wait to share with the baby. who cares that i'll have one going to college the same month i have one starting kindergarten. not me. i'm up for the adventure. who cares that we are JUST NOW a two income family again. not me! not me not me not me! this was it! this was my personal dream come true. my miracle. my rotten parts and my meticulously careful husband were not enough to keep me from my dream come true. i. was. PREGNANT.

because of my screwy cycles, an early ultrasound was scheduled. we wanted a due date. we wanted to start planning. i needed to know how many paychecks i had to buy my bum genius's. no paper diapers for this baby! all of the research i'd been doing for OTHER MOTHERS was going to be mine to gain from.

so me and my mother and the she-spawn made our way to the hospital for the scan. i knew something was wrong when the technician didn't give me a due date. i was nervous all day. so when i got the call late that day i wasn't surprised to hear the doctor say "i have sad news." according to the ultra sound, i had miscarried.

but why wasn't i bleeding? why wasn't i cramping? why were my hcg levels continuing to increase? when was the bomb going to go off? and mostly? why would God play that kind of cruel trick on me? so we broke the news to the spawn. news you should never have to tell two excited loving souls. we would forever be a family of four.

so imagine my glee when the bomb didn't go off. my doctor ordered another ultra sound a week later to see if we could find out why i hadn't passed the baby. and guess what we found!!! a hearbeat! that baby was growing and developing PERFECTLY. i would have a christmas baby. noel noel.

another week or so of joy. everyday in a haze of wonder. no more wine. no more caffeine. leafy greens at every meal. begging pregnancy books from my friends, as mine were long since loaned out to forgotten someones.

then i found it. the dreaded pink smear on the paper. no worries... according to google. women who bled during pregnancy came out of the woodwork. even women who had full periods throughout. deep breaths. deeeeep breaths.

so i had more ultra sounds. baby fine. baby growing. on track. heartbeat perfect. all is well.

but the bleeding wouldn't stop. i tried to be at peace. i already defied the odds by getting pregnant with my oh so careful husband at the helm. i already grieved a miscarriage that was misdiagnosed. i'd already been through, and put the spawn through ENOUGH. this baby was going to be fine. like the sister said "your God. the God that YOU believe in would not do this to you." so i waited for peace.

i was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage. this happens in a percent of a percent of pregnancies. i should just wait. more waiting. waiting waiting waiting. either i would bleed the hemorrhage out, my body would absorb the hemorrhage, or.....

but we would know soon enough. SOOOON? do you know what that means to a pregnant woman? there is no soon. no soon. soon is NOT in a pregnant woman's vocabulary, unless she has just said "i will soon pee myself."

well, i did not get my happy ending. on may the 16th i started bleeding. no more pink smears. no little quarter sized clots. blood. blood pouring from me. barely grasping at the small bit of faith i still had in my miracle, i called my friend to take me to the hospital. no need for the mister to come, let the spawn stay asleep in their beds. somehow, this will surely be fine.

when my pyjamas were soaked (not to mention the towel i'd placed between my legs) before i was even checked in, i knew i needed the mister to come and trade places with shanna. at this point, i was in labor.

i don't want to rehash the hours in the hospital. there is no point. you've all seen women in labor, fictional or otherwise. it's painful and scary. more so when you're not going to bring home a baby. i'll tell you that when you have a hemorrhage, there is more blood than you've probably seen before. we could actually hear the blood coming out of me. i left a trail when i went to the restroom. they had transfusions ready for me which i thankfully did not need. the doctor opted to do an ultra sound. i asked what point there was... he hesitated... i asked, "stranger things have happened?" he shrugged and said, "stranger things have happened."

it was very difficult having a vaginal scan when the pain was worse than the 22 hours of labor leading up to the birth of my first. no pain meds would get through (too bad, since it took over an hour to find a vein for the IV, story of my life). but i'm glad for the ultra sound, now, because it gave me some very valuable information.

my baby was alive. my baby had a heartbeat. my baby's heart was BEATING twenty minutes before he passed. at that point, he was resting on my cervix, so we knew it was over, we knew i would soon deliver (yes, deliver) my baby. but my baby was real. was a living, breathing person.

so, the rest happened fast. i was wheeled back to my room where i continued to bleed. the staff brought me my paperwork to sign out. at this point, there was nothing left to do but go home and let it finish "naturally." the mister started helping me to get dressed when something primal came over me. i lunged for the bed, and began clawing through the easter ham sized pile of clots on the bed with my bare hands. he was yelling from the corner of the room "NO NO NO!!!" but i had to see. i had to find out if my baby had been born.

he had. my little holden karl was there... under the mess. in all of his perfect glory. i held him in my hands, the mister's back was turned. he had every finger and every toe. i could see his perfectly formed bones and organs through is thin skin. i know he was a boy, because i opened his tiny legs to see. i. had. to. know. i cried over my precious perfect boy who passed so fleetingly from this life to the next. not because of any flaw in him, but because of my rotten parts that should have come out years ago.

my baby was born and died on may 17th, 2009. my family was complete.

we went home, and the mourning began. a dilation and curettage a few days later, a hysterectomy a few weeks later (two weeks ago, to be exact). a few jokes about being spayed, or transgendered (my favorite) and now it's all behind me. well, at least it will be soon, when my milk dries all the way up, cause yes, that came in, too. how's THAT for unsavory.

so that's the point of my life where i begin this blog. the musings of the unsavory martyr. it may be too real for some of you, too gruesome for others. but it's where i'm coming from right now. and it's not always comfortable, classy or grammatically correct. but it will always be real.

maybe next time, i'll tell you where the unsavory martyr comes from.

arrivederci, rebecca marie


  1. Thank you so much for writing that. Even though I pretty much knew the story from earlier, I felt every single word of what you just wrote, and I am richer for it. Sometime I will bore you with the details of my experiences and how they make me relate so deeply to yours, but for now just know that I am so happy to know you, even if (for now!) it's only through cyber space. You have more courage than you give yourself credit for, and if it's ok with you, I would like to share your blog with some of my homegirls. I know it would mean a lot to them. Grief is a horrendous and incredible process. And although we are never the same, we do heal. Slowly, painfully, hysterically, sometimes joyfully, but we do heal. XOXOXOXOXO times infinity,

  2. Thank you. Thank you for sharing everything. well, maybe not everything because when we go thru losing a child like this we'll continue to discover what it all means to us - something new will come around a year from now that will add to the story. I know my story is constantly developing and I can only pray and have faith that thru the chaos of it all that it will end up being a blessing to someone else. Your story is that to me - to have someone else to relate with is a blessing. I know you don't want to know that a horrible tragedy in your life is a blessing to someone else, but I also know that you know what I mean. Love you,T

  3. it's just, i never knew all that...those details...and i should've asked. but i think i was afraid of not knowing what to do even more than i already didn't know what to do.

    it seems so worthless to say this, but i am so intensly sorry. what a horrible, terrible thing for you to go through. am i the only one saying "what kind of God ARE YOU to permit such a thing?!?!"?

    i hate that this is your story. i hate that you have those pictures and memories of each painful second of that ordeal. i hate that your family is completed with incompleteness.

    if the love and adoration of others was enough to fix it, i know that surely you'd be all-better now. but honestly, i don't know what difference it makes in the middle of the night when you're wide awake and shaking with hurt to know that i (and zillions of people) love you so much. but if it DOES help....THEN KNOW IT. know how deeply you are loved.

    and i just wish i could bring you to my house and wrap you in a blanket and rock you to sleep in the rocking chair. (cause that's what i wish someone could do for me on the rough days). you could even pick which blanket you wanted. and i would bake and bake and bake and keep your wine glass constantly filled until SOMETHING was better.

    i'm out of stuff to say.

  4. What a painful, horrible, yet fragile and beautiful journey you are on. I hope the process of writing is healing for you. I know the reading of it will be helpful and healing to others. You are such a beautiful person. Thanks for sharing yourself with others so freely and graciously.

  5. I am moved to tears by your honesty and pain.

    I remember a time in my life when I screamed at God: "I don't want to believe in you anymore!"

    I still believe and I still don't know why I went through that crap.

    I know that's not the "comforting" thing to say, but it's real.

    Thank you for being real.

  6. I don't know if you'll ever read this because I was so late in discovering your new blog, but I wanted to say something, anyway. Not that I have any words. Me, Wordy McWorderson. I don't know what to say. Except that I'm afraid to say anything because I'm afraid I'll somehow make it worse. But I have to try...I'm so sorry, and so sad for you. I can't stop crying big, fat, ugly tears for you and your family. And I hate that you had to ride that rollercoaster of hope and heartbreak. And I wish I could say or do something that would make it a tiny bit easier, even though I know I can't. I can't tell you how awed I am by your honesty and openness and the sheer courage it took to share all that. You are one hell of a woman.