A Pregnant Pause
Noun — A pause that gives the impression that it will be followed by something significant.
— Definition from Wiktionary.
When I started this draft back in October, the “something significant” was that we’re expecting. In December, it was that we lost the baby. Today, I have nothing truly significant to tell you — just wanted to get this damned draft out of my stories.
My husband and I have been married for more than three years without really trying to get pregnant. It’s not that we don’t want kids, it’s just that we don’t have any particular ambition to have one ASAP. And it was fine, mostly. Our first year was especially peaceful — we lived far away from all the nosy relatives (and strangers), in a place where having kids right after marriage isn’t something people obsess over. Even if people ask why we didn’t have kids yet, I had my study as an excuse.
Coming back home was a different story. My childless marriage was suddenly everyone’s business, and they all wanted to know 1) why no kids yet? 2) when will you have kids? 3) are you on a program to conceive? 4) don’t you want to have one of these cuties of your own? 5) haven’t you been married for too long to not have kids?
Dear everyone who had heard me answer “I don’t know, just wish us the best” with a smile, here’s my actual answer: this is none of your fucking business. Slightly smiling emoji.
Anyway. This story would’ve been way shorter if I had just published it back in October. I would’ve told you how finally, after three years, I was pregnant. I’d tell you about how I initially felt confused because I’d been telling myself how OK it is to not have kids. I’d tell you how I wondered whether my happiness is from finally having a baby or finally fulfilling society’s expectations. I’d let you know that I was over it; that I’ve realized what a great news it was, what a miracle, and that I couldn’t wait to be a mother. You’d congratulate me. This post would still only gather below 20 claps, but it would’ve been a happy ending.
Instead, I waited. Because I was afraid of all the explaining I would have to do if, God forbid, something happens to the baby.
So here I am, giving you an explanation that something did happen to the baby: I had a fever, and I went straight to the doctor. Baby was fine, we could find his heartbeat. It was fast, but “normal, considering your fever”. I was perfectly healthy the next day. Had another fever the day after. Lost him at night.
Earlier that day, in the afternoon, I told my belly that I can’t wait to see my baby. This wasn’t what I meant.
It was the first time I learned that he was a he. I had to wait for my D&C overnight, next to a very loud family who just had their 3rd child. Everyone told me to sleep but I kept waking up, to my own tears and the cries of someone else’s baby. A nurse told us in the morning that we had to get kain kafan for our baby because they ran out. I thought I knew what numb and heartbreak felt like, but turns out I didn’t until that night.
These paragraphs were written back in December:
I took an entire week off afterwards. Work allowed me to stay home for another five weeks. Hasby asked me if I need to resign and stay home indefinitely. I returned to work because staying home won’t heal the gaping hole in my heart that makes it hard to breathe at times. Working probably won’t, either. I don’t know if anything would. But spending an entire day home alone when home is where I lost him sounds like torture I have no energy for.
All infant sounds are amplified. Everyone in my life — offline, online, even characters on TV shows and movies I stumble upon — is suddenly pregnant or having a baby. It’s almost like the whole world is rubbing it in my face: here’s what you don’t get to do because you’re not good enough.
It’s a lot more dramatique than what I’m feeling today. But I guess I really felt that way for the first couple of months. The second paragraph still holds true to this day — I couldn’t get past the first 5 minutes of Umbrella Academy. Cried watching Bad Neighbours 2. Got inexplicably upset about the “Bun in the Oven” charade on Game Night.
Here’s what you don’t get to do because you’re not good enough.
Today it just feels like a distant nightmare, one that I can still recall in vivid details with the slightest trigger. I still have to withdraw myself from talks about pregnancies and babies, because depending on my mood I may end up crying in the office bathroom. Sometimes this feels really weird and dumb; like I can’t find justifications for still feeling sad over something that happened months ago. But it is what it is and I really don’t know what to do about it.
It is now 4? 5? months later, and people who supposedly know about my miscarriage are already back to asking me to Get Pregnant Soon. To hell with sensitivity and courtesy, I guess. Or maybe I’m just Too Sensitive. I’m not the only person who’s had to deal with miscarriages, after all.
But, see, I’m one of the few people who’s had to deal with my miscarriage. All you know are the stories I decided not to leave out. All I need you to understand is how little it takes to make me relive the nightmare. All I ask is for you to find other topics of conversation, or just go talk to someone else.