There is a song by Coldplay called The Scientist that says “questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart……” and like some songs do, it got to me during this very trying week, both physically but most importantly, emotionally.
Since November, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant. Of course, as everyone around us said, it would most likely take time to happen, and even more if we stressed out about it. However, three weeks ago, I took one of those home pregnancy tests and found out it was positive. Now before I go on, there is something you must know about me. I am one of those people who as soon as something good happens in my life, I am looking up to the sky waiting for that big fat piano to fall on my head and ruin it all. So, when I got a positive result, what did I do? I went to the pharmacy and bought two more tests, different brands, because there was no way I was pregnant, not this soon anyhow. Anyway, I took the other two tests and they came out positive. Yet, not even then did I allow myself to think I was pregnant. Not even when I took a blood test and got a positive result, did I allow myself to bask in the unbridled joy of knowing I was going to be a mom. It was when we left my doctor’s office, with a bunch of instructions in terms of diet, exercise and whatnot, that I finally let that joy spread inside and do several happy dances because finally I was going to be a mom. My husband and I were going to be parents!
I am a person who likes to plan ahead, so you can imagine that the week before our first ultrasound, I was planning just how to break the news to our family. And seeing as the ultrasound was going to be the Monday before Mother’s Day (which here in Mexico we celebrate on the tenth of May), well, I was eager for the first image of our baby so we could finally break the news to our parents and siblings.
Remember that big fat piano I am constantly looking for? Well, it felt more like a chunk of ice splitting my heart open when during the ultrasound the doctor gave us a grim look and with a foreboding tone said: “I don’t like this at all.”
Certainly not the words you want to hear during your first ultrasound. And I knew that I had gotten carried away too soon. What ensued was and still is heartbreaking, and writing about it is the only way I know to finally let it out of my system and deal with what will come ahead. We lost our baby, which in scientific terms wasn’t really a baby but the small bag where the baby grows but with nothing inside it. Still, I considered it my baby the second my doctor said, yes you’re pregnant. And here is where the lines from that Coldplay song have a deep impact inside me. Maybe in scientific terms or in everyday science what happened to my husband and I is normal, but when the heart is involved, nothing seems normal or something you can go “oh, okay” and then move on just like that.
When I first realized what had happened, I had wanted to write about it, and talk about how angry I was with life, with God, with nature itself for being as cruel as to grant me those brief moments of joy only to snatch them away. I am still angry, sad, confused and it doesn’t help when someone comes to you and tells you: “that happened to me, my sister, my cousin or some woman I met the other day.” Or, “it is something that happens all the time.” The thing is, it happened to me, the ones left heartbroken by it are my husband and I. I don’t care if it was nature’s way of telling us our baby would’ve had a problem later during the pregnancy, the shock of knowing I was pregnant before going to sleep and finding out I wasn’t the next, is the worst thing I have ever gone through.
Yet I found peace or felt my heart mend a little in a very unusual moment this week. In a previous post I wrote that while I was sitting by my dog’s side before the vet put her down, I was dealing with a personal loss. Well, it was the loss of our 6 week baby. And for some reason, when our dog closed her eyes and just peacefully left this world, it was like I was able to cling to that moment and say goodbye to the little being that had started to grow inside me but that just wasn’t meant to be. As I kissed my Dona goodbye, I asked her to take care of our little monkey and knowing that, I don’t know, it gave me some small comfort.
More comfort came from a very unexpected source: my seventh grade students. They were the only people, along with the other faculty at my school, that knew I was pregnant because since we are an all women school, including faculty and staff, it was very hard to hide the fact from them. And I felt giddy just telling them about it. My students found out and I swear they were as excited as I was allowing myself to be during those days. Since I had to miss school because I had some bleeding and pain, I told my boss what had happened and I guess she told my students because this past Thursday, they all surprised me with encouraging messages on cardboards, and all around the classroom. They all said they were sad this had happened but that they knew there would be more little monkeys in the future. We sometimes think teenagers, because most of my students are turning thirteen, have no care for anything or anyone that is not themselves or a famous boy band, but these girls do and as I told them that day, until I feel brave enough to try and get pregnant again, they are my girls and I am proud of being their teacher. It was those messages, those honest encouragements, that made more sense to me than “this happens all the time, don’t worry.”
And as this same Coldplay song says: “nobody said it was easy, it’s such a shame for us to part……” Indeed, it is………