It’s been a year today since what was probably the worst day of mine and Amy’s lives so far.
It’s been a year today since we went through what no couple ever wants to go through – miscarriage. A year since the child that we already loved so much was taken from us. A year since I thought I would pass out from the pain and a year since our hearts broke. A year since I realised that even losing “just a ball of cells” was heart wrenching and something that we would never fully recover from.
In that year we’ve been through all kinds of things, but that baby has never been far from our minds. February was hard. That was when we were supposed to be bringing them home – when our new life was supposed to start. When we were going to be parents FINALLY. But instead, we were still just two. We’ve done a lot of grieving, a lot of thinking and a lot of healing. Despite the horror of the situation, losing Squishy made us stronger as a couple.
I worried what would happen if we got to this day without conceiving again. I wasn’t sure how we would cope. I knew we would – we are a team and we would have got through it, but I think it would have been very difficult. We;ve only got through the last year with the support of eachother, friends, family and the wonderful wealth of online support from ladies who have been there, done that and unfortunately got the T-shirt.
Losing Squishy makes us even more grateful for the baby that we are growing at the moment, the new life that we will hopefully bring home in December. Our very own Christmas miracle, who likely wouldn’t be thriving so well without the clomid, help from our wonderful donor and the progesterone suppositories that I am still sure kept them safe in the first few weeks. Every day, we thank our lucky stars that we are here and I think losing our first baby is the source of much of that gratitude.
I wanted to leave this post with this. A wonderful friend shared it with me soon after we lost Squishy, and it has been close to my heart ever since.
Colin, my twelve-year-old son, discovered me late one rainy afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, a damp Kleenex crumpled in my left hand, wiping my eyes as I tried to compose myself for his sake. It was the third week of January, two months after I’d miscarried a pregnancy, but I still found it impossible to get through a day without at least one meltdown into misery.
Stunned when the test came back positive, Rog and I had stared at each other with doubt and ambivalence. At forty-one, my professional life consumed me. I’d just achieved what some had predicted was an impossibility: I’d been granted delivery privileges at Alta Bates, and as a consequence, my midwifery practice burgeoned. Some months I delivered twelve babies, and no one ever knew if or when I’d be home. Rog, too, felt stretched to his limits, keeping his business afloat while picking up the slack for my frequent unscheduled absences. Colin and Jill approached their challenging adolescent years. How could we fit an infant into our lives? But when I lost the pregnancy and all hope for resolution dissolved with my tears, I fell in love with the baby that was not to be.
Colin asked, “Are you crying about the baby?” and when I nodded tearfully, he said, “Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it’s a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother.”
I must have looked puzzled because he said, “Don’t you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don’t? I mean, you’re my mom!” But he could see my perplexity.
So my first child, this not-yet-teen-aged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, “Well, Mom, here’s how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that’s the baby that’s born. If she doesn’t get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby’s born…now listen, Mom, because here’s the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it’s always first in line. Isn’t that great?
“So you just have to get pregnant again, and you’ll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don’t, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman’s circle, and it’ll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born.
“But it’d be a shame for you not to have it yourself, because I know how much you want it. So you just have to try again. Mom, remember that baby you lost before I was born?” I nodded wordlessly. “Well, that was me. Really. I’ve always known I was a Spirit Baby. I mean, I know what I’m talking about here, Mom.”
Chapter Excerpt from Part IV of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife – Spirit Baby
We’ll never forget our first baby. They helped make us who we are today. I can’t wait for what the future holds for us, but this will always be a very sad part of our history and one that will never be forgotten…