Monday, May 29, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way to church...

So we were stopped at a gas station to get some outrageously priced gas yesterday, My Beloved and I, when I spotted a hugely pregnant woman in a really pretty, filmy pink tank top filling up. My first instinct was to look away, but I couldn't. She looked so, I don't know, so full of promise (if you'll pardon the pun).

It's not like she was happily bouncing around like some caffeine-infused fertility goddess or anything. In fact, she looked a little bit tired and slightly wilted in the intense heat, but there was just something about her. That something you can't put your finger on.

I watched her from the passenger seat of our car while my poor Beloved pumped gas in the heat. And as I did, I felt something stirring inside me. Instead of just jealousy and longing, I felt something else too. Not quite hope, but maybe hope's slightly less interesting, homely cousin - skeptical, wary hope.

Watching her reminded me of that time with Thomas. Eight months pregnant and past what I assumed were all the big milestones in terms of his development and viability outside the womb. I was settling into the waiting and nesting stage, knowing with certainty that he was a boy and getting more and more delighted with the idea of having a son.

I know what the pink tank top lady's baby felt like moving and rolling and kicking yesterday. I envied her, yes, but I started to think that maybe it might happen again for us - that I might feel all those things again someday.

What's more, I started wanting to.

We started trying again three months after Thomas died. In hindsight, I was no where near being ready, but lost in my grief and unable to sort out rational thought from flight of fancy, I thought I would be fine if we got pregnant again so soon.

I wouldn't have been.

Since then I've realized that I'm far more terrified than I thought I was. Getting pregnant scares the bejeezus out of me. The whole thing. Worrying about what another loss would do to me, to My Beloved to our families, worrying about what horrific thing might happen to me and the baby if I make it all the way to the end...

The mind boggles at the horror of it all.

Yes, the horror of pregnancy. Because that's what it is for people like me. Well, the idea of it anyway (not being able to actually get pregnant now I don't know what it's like to succeed after a loss like mine, but I know how much the thought of it scares me. That I know in spades).

Anyway, some of that fear - a speck, really - vanished yesterday when I watched the pink tank top lady go about her business.

But as nice as that was, I discovered that I still have a lot of work to do on the way my mind processes all things baby.

As I continued to watch her, I started thinking about what I would do if I got pregnant with a girl. I have all boy things - enough that I wouldn't have to do any pre-baby shopping - but I don't have anything for a girl.

I could easily make do with the unisex and blue outfits that belong to Thomas, and fter much thought, that was my final conclusion. I'll make do and shop afterwards. Or send out the small army of ladies I know would adore shopping for baby girl things (a team led by my fearless sibling and mother who had so much fun shopping and knitting for Thomas).

And then one last, terrible thought popped into my head.

I'll just get one girl outfit to bury her in.

That's the way my brain functions now. Good God, how awful! And what's worse is how naturally the thought fell into my head, as though it made perfect and logical sense for it to be there. As if that's what everybody does while they're pregnant - buys something nice for the baby to be buried in.

Fuck me. One step forward, two steps back.

But I did like that one step forward, and I'm still clinging to the sweetness in that speck of hope despite the thoughts of doom I know I simply won't be able to rid myself of until I'm holding a healthy, live child in my arms.


Catherine said...

heh...or you could buy something appropriate for taking home or burying...and buy the wrong freaking size (like your idiot bloggy friend here). OK...enough of the woe is me...

You COULD imagine what it would be like to have the fairy tale too. There's nothing wrong with the happy thoughts, you know.

delphi said...

Wow, I can relate to what you are saying here.

All of it.

miraclebaby said...

I relate to that, being pregnant again is terrifying and exciting at the same time.. Sometimes I imagine myself holding and breastfeeding my baby. But when I feel hopeful, for some reason I feel guilty and have to think of all the things that could go wrong, too. I feel messed up sometimes, but it's what happens to our brains.

Bronwyn said...

Hooray for one step forward! Just ignore the backwards steps right now. The fact that you could even entertain the idea of getting pregnant again and having a live baby is fantastic, even if the thought was only fleeting. Hopefully, this thought will grow as time goes on and maybe one day, well... maybe one day it will be more than a thought.

Sherry said...

I really think it will happen for you and your Beloved, too.

And, no, I don't think it's awful the way your mind works now - I have similar, strange views or outlooks regarding my TTC future and that take-home baby I long for. I think it's hard not to have that outlook be jaded or warped after the tragic and unexpected ending of a pregnancy.

Relish that one step forward, though, since there are so few for now. Hopefully very soon you'll be skipping along with far more forward steps than back. = )

kate said...

I spent alot of time knitting Chloe's coming-home-or-being-buried outfit. I think it is natural after we lose our babies. I am glad that you made a step forward though....and i am hoping you will find yourself pregnant again soon...

Rosemarie said...

Isn't it amazing how a complete stranger can bring us hope? I bet that woman will never know the hope she brought to you. The fear will be there, it always will. Accept it and understand when you do get pregnant again (and you will) that there is nothing you can do. It's out of your hands. So just enjoy every moment you have.