The biggest questions, especially as a woman, we have when we realize we’re losing our baby(ies) are: Did I do anything wrong? Could I have done something differently? Was this my fault? We search for causes, explanations and answers. SOMETHING to make sense of this mess. To give reason to the unimaginable. Over and over again we are reassured that it was nothing that we did, or didn’t do. By the nurses. By the doctors. By our husbands and partners. And by our families. Yet the questions continue. And truth be told, deep down, at least for me, on some levels, I DO know that none of our losses were my fault. At the same time, it doesn’t matter.
The shitty truth is that it doesn’t matter that I did everything right because I have no control or say in all of this. Throughout this pregnancy, Double A was great at reminding me this was a different pregnancy. We have a different—and better—doctor group. We have an amazing support group in our therapist and other loss friends. We weren’t experiencing the spotting and challenges of pregnancy #4. And we had surpassed all other loss dates. Yet here we are, Mom and Dad to 7. Parents to none.
I spent last Sunday cooking up a storm. Cheesy Potato Soup, Mexican Casserole and Meatloaf. Comfort food meals galore in an effort to make for an easier work week. I was tired and throughout the day felt heavy in my belly, from the growth and movement of our twins (or so I thought). Did that contribute? Throughout the day on Monday, the heaviness continued, along with pokes and minor pains. Did I call the nurse too late? At the post-Amnio check-up the Thursday before, I didn’t allow my doctor to do a cervix check because the Amnio doc said nothing vaginally for 72 hours. Did I prevent him from finding a problem? In spite of knowing the answer to all of these questions is a big fat No, they, and more like them, keep popping into my head. (Side note: When I asked my doc about that cervix check, he flipped it and said, what happened if we DID do it, everything was fine, and then this happened? For some reason that made me feel a little better, even though there’s no way to know for sure, and we’re still left with more questions.)
I’ve spent the better part of the past five months visualizing a healthy pregnancy and adding healthy baby photos, positive thoughts and words to my vision board. While not typically “that” person, I was willing to try the “if you build it, they will come.” mentality. Each morning before I got out of bed and each night before I went to sleep, I visualized the healthy birth of our twins. Not the messy part (couldn’t even tell you how I delivered), but our doctor first showing us our healthy and crying, beautiful baby girl, asking Double A to do the honor of cutting the cord before handing her off to deliver her baby brother. Nice job, Mom, he’d say. We have one more to go, he’d tell me. He’d then hold up our crying son. Look at this healthy, handsome little guy, the doctor would smile before telling Double A he’s up again. And then the best part, the nurses would turn to us and say, Aerins, are you ready to meet your kids? She’d go in my right arm, he in my left. I’d look at each of them, and then up at Double A, crying, saying we did it. We finally did it!
Writing and reading that now, it sounds silly. Ridiculous even to think that visualizing something can make it true. Yet it was that scene, played over and over and over again, that got me through the uncertainty of random thoughts of panic, mixed genetic results and constant wonder if this was the time we’d finally get to bring home our babies.
Now I’ve spent the greater part of this last week trying to figure out what went wrong. What we could have done differently. How we could have prevented this. And as far as I can tell, the answer is nothing. There are many who will say that it DID matter that I did everything right. Of course it did, because otherwise, I’d be sitting here with that to contend with as well. At the same time, here we sit. No answers, just emptiness.
You know, I started Will CarryOn exactly one year ago today, on Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. I knew we would always be connected to this day. That we would continue to honor our babies, and stand up with, and be a voice for, the other babyloss moms and dads. I just had no idea that we would be doing so for three more babies, with a wound so big and fresh, hearts so broken and minds so numb.