Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mother's Day

I hadn't been to the cemetery in a few years. I saw no point in it really. I mean, his soul, it isn't there... so what's the point?

At first, I would go to the cemetery a lot, it became a refuge. It was the place where I would go to let my rage and sorrow out. People didn't understand, how could they, and after a while, they probably begin to wonder, what is wrong with her, why doesn't she just go on with her life? That's what I thought, anyway. So during monthly anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, Tuesdays, I would go to the cemetery and try to make sense of things, try to find a connection with him. The cemetery became a place to relax and feel at peace, and it was so beautiful too, looking out on early spring mornings. Seeing the sun casting shadows within the mist, through the trees. Sometimes we would take lunch, stop by the florist to buy a white rose and some balloons, and of we'd go. It may sound kind of morbid, but in a way, it was enjoyable.

That lasted for a few years, and eventually it stopped when I made up my mind that he wasn't there. Maybe it meant that I finally felt that he would always be with me, in spirit. Maybe it meant that I was deep into the road to healing. I am not sure what exactly it meant, but that is how it went.

Now, I feel that 8 years later, maybe it's numbness, maybe it's healing... maybe it's just the effects of time, but I am at peace with how things went. In many ways I feel he is in a better place. I don't feel the rage anymore... the rage at the fact that I am unable to go back in time to change what happened. On mother's day though, I feel angry. I try and stop myself, this is just a day like any other, but it doesn't work. I can never make the uneasiness go away. This past Mother's day we were supposed to go see one of my favorite bands, but as the day started, I wasn't in the mood. I didn't want to do anything. I felt stagnant. I felt worried because, well I really didn't think the way I felt had anything to do with the fact that it was Mother's Day.

So anyhow, I got dressed and me and C went out for lunch. We went to brunch, and of course, it was filled with families celebrating Mother's Day. I felt out of place. Lunch was ok, and as we were leaving, I turned to C and said, "Can you take me to the cemetery?" I think I was as surprised as he was that I asked him that. We've been together for almost three years, and I haven't ever gone as long as I've known him. The cemetery was only a few minutes away, so on the way there, I tried to prepare myself. Nowadays, I feel like I can't cry or feel anything sometimes, but I was preparing myself to try and not cry. As soon as he drove in through the gates I felt a flood of tears welling up in my eyes. We walked towards the Mausoleum, and the tears continued. When we got there he asked me if I wanted to be alone. I said no. I wanted him there with me. I felt a fleeting sense of deja vu, a fleeting sense of the darkness that overcame me during the early years, and it was scary. I'm sometimes surprised I made it out alive of that, and I don't ever want to go back to that place. I thought about how life would have been if he was here, how would C feel about having a stepson?

C is my soul mate. I'm not religious, but I feel like he was meant to be in my life. Would he still be my husband if my son was alive? Would my life had gone in a completely different direction? See that is where my sense of peace comes now. I feel like my life is where it was meant to be at this moment. Everything and everyone means something, and that's why I don't feel rage about wanting to have changed things. No matter how long he was here, Angel will always be my son. He grew inside me, how much more intimate can you get? I didn't get the chance to know his likes, dislikes, dreams, etc but I got to know his soul and he knows mine, I'm sure. A bond like that, is one of the things I think we are put on this earth to attain. Me and Angel will always have that.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the "Big" question

The big question that we now get asked, as newlyweds, is also a question that I dread to hear. "When are you two going to have a baby?" Granted, no one in my husband's family knows that at 17 I gave birth to a baby that was stillborn, so I really can't blame them for asking or label them as insensitive, but everytime I hear that question my stomach gets tied into so many knots, that I almost can't pretend I am not interested in having any kids soon. I'm not sure why I always try to give the impression that I am not too interested in having children, though I always try to be "the strong one" no matter what I do.

Some of it probably has to do with the fact that although I feel like I will have a family/kids in the future, when I think about the present I feel like it will never happen. Ever since my pregnancy 9 years ago my periods have been irregular, if not nonexistent. For years, I did not use any birth control with my ex, and I never got pregnant. I've been on the pill since before I met my husband, but there have been times when I've forgotten and have gone maybe a month or two without taking it, and no signs of a menstrual cycle. When me and my ex thought about me getting pregnant again (Boy, am I lucky that did not happen) I went to my former Ob-gyn and what did he do? No tests, no nothing... he just took out his pad to write me a prescription for Clomid. Could the scraping off of the placenta that they had to do have affected me in some way? I've self diagnosed myself with PCOS, and my primary care doctor diagnosed me too, but I have yet to see an Endocrinologist. I justify it because I am not trying to get pregnant now.

Deep down I am afraid that I won't ever ovulate again. And if I were to get pregnant, what are the chances that what happened last time, is going to happen again. My cause of my son's stillbirth was never identified, but there were several signs/symptoms that indicated an adverse pregnancy outcome. Several months after his birth, when I went to pick up my medical records from my doctor I found out that when my AFP triple screen results came back, my HCG was off the chart, ten times what it should have been. At the bottom of the chart there was a note stating that this indicated a higher chance of fetal demise, problems with the placenta, etc. Was I ever told this when I asked for my results? No. The placenta was also full of blood clots, and the cord was velamentously inserted. Basically my son died because of a lack of oxygen, but we never found out the reason why. I have read study after study that states that high HCG, Velamentous insertion of cord, retained placenta... all these things have a higher/high chance of happening again in subsequent pregnancies. That completely freaks me out. I couldn't go down that road again. I don't want to go down that road again. I don't want my husband to know firsthand what the pain is like. I guess I'm not as unfeeling as I sometimes think I am.


I almost could've been a 26 year old mother of a 5th grader.
I almost could have asked for more ultrasounds, more monitoring, if I had known certain things weren't quite right.
I almost could have died, hemorrhaged, or ended up with a hysterectomy at 17, if the doctors had not been able to get out the pieces of placenta, that remained attached to my uterus, in time.

I almost could have remained ignorant about sheer agony that the loss of a child brings.

But I didn't.

Now, I'm 26 years old, newly married to a man who's my best friend and who I'm madly in love with. I think about the future and I see a growing family, overabundance of love and camaraderie, adventure, hope....all the things that an ecstatic newlywed feels. I think about the past and the "what if's", the things I didn't know because of the incompetency of others, the things I wish I'd done if I wasn't filled with such a raw, unfamiliar pain, and the things I miss, the person I miss. I think about the now... and it's filled with so much uncertainty. Here's to trying to swim through muddied waters... to never forgetting the mother within me... and to finding discovering motherhood in the future.