The end of October is a little loaded for me. On one hand, I love Halloween and I have a lot of wonderful nieces and nephews with birthday all thrown together from the 17th until the 28th. Three of them actually; my sister's second son was born that week, my brother's daughter, and my cousin's oldest daughter (we consider her kids to be our nieces too).
I was due that week, once upon a time. It was my second pregnancy. Conceived with Clomid. On my birthday. The one that my body refused to give up, despite the fact that the baby was already gone. That's the one that my old RE treated so callously, telling me that while a pregnancy had occurred he couldn't confirm there was a baby. The one I induced with Cytotec and had to visit several pharmacies before I could find someone to fill it, because the first two thought I was using it for an abortion and treated me as such (I'm looking at you RiteAide. I still haven't forgotten your dopey bitch of an employee.) So, yes, the one that I induced after waiting weeks for my body to do it on it's own. The one where I indured 6 hours of contractions, screaming on my bathroom floor. The one that left me hallow, throbbing, and empty. The one where I saw a gestational sac pass intact but empty.
As far as my old RE was concerned there was no baby. His words, which set the beginning of our failing doctor-patient relationship.
And maybe there wasn't, at least not technically. But there was the start of one, the possibility of one, the hope, the dream that this time, maybe, just maybe, we'd get lucky.
So here's this date, October 22, that rolls around every year surrounded in birthday cards and presents, parties packed with kids. It used to be very heavy. Sometimes it felt like I was suffocating in what could have beens. It never stopped me from attending family gatherings or the children that already existed, but I always took a moment to remember everything that wasn't. I guess this year isn't any exception.
This year, I sat with my mother and talked about V's upcoming birthday, surrounded by screaming kids and beautiful chaos. Yet still, within me, even then was the knowledge of how things should have been otherwise. It's not something that goes away. I'm very bitter about how everything went down, that we didn't know what we do now, that there was nothing we could do with the knowledge we had at the time. I'm bitter about how long it took, how much pain I went through, how much grief the pharmacies put me through. I'm bitter about stuff that happened with my job when I was walking around in a detached daze because I felt so intensely defeated. I'm bitter about the lies my old RE told me, the medicine he gave me instead of the D&E, the pamphlet of bull shit he gave me telling me there was no testing or treatment for first trimester miscarriages. I'm bitter, still, about having to be ushered into the world of recurrent miscarriages, as if infertility wasn't enough somehow.
I'm bitter about losing my baby.
I'm also in love with the life I have been given. I love my son. I love being a stay-at-home mother. If I'd had the other children, I don't know how things would be. I can't reason with their deaths as some people do. I can't say, "Well, if they were here, he wouldn't be," because I don't know that. And even if it was true, it wouldn't make me any less bitter about what happened, or any less sad for what we lost.
My only outlet for my grief anymore is my blog. I hope you don't think I'm depressed or not grateful for what I have, because I'm more grateful because of it (if that's even possible), and while I do still have my depressive funks I am very happy with my life. Sometimes I just need to spit it out though; I need to write through my grief, acknowledge it, and let it go. I find that while my bitterness is less hostile now, it's tame but persistent. My grief is tepid, but still prevalent. It is very much alive. Most of the time it just sleeps with a whimper, but every now and then it howls to remind me what made me who I am today.
I am not the same person that was pregnant all those years ago. Parts of me have been ripped away, stolen, replaced. I feel like a bit of a rag doll, truth be told. Like I spend my days carefully placing stitches and putting myself back together. I'm more or less whole now, but I've still got some healing to do. Writing about what I've been through, letting myself relive it and be angry, or be sad, all of it is just another stitch in the healing process.
So here I am, balling it up, and letting it go again this year.
It's a process.