Thursday, March 1, 2012
Smile, breathe and go slowly.
Yesterday morning we went to the doctor for the first prenatal checkup. After a lot of poking and probing the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat. The fetus was too small and had no movement. They call this "intra uterine demise." Most of the rest of us call it a miscarriage.
It was a fairly wild ride. My only hope when we went in was to hear the heartbeat. The doctor was unbelievably gentle while still being very direct. I felt sadness right away but never scared or confused. I imagine in the last twenty years he has given this information to people many, many times. He said right from the beginning that he was very pessimistic and so I wasn't waiting all morning for the second ultra sound believing that things would be different. Hoping, of course, but not truly believing.
I keep coming back to something I heard in a dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hahn (Tick not han) a few weeks ago. Life happens when the proper elements gather in the proper way. Life ends when they cease to gather. And ends isn't quite the right word. Life never dies, it just moves on, in a continuous cycle.
So, this was not the proper time or place for this child to continue with us. On my Monday night meditation I spent some time preparing myself for the many fold possibilities of this child. I told myself it was the perfect new part of our family, it would bring us the perfect joys, challenges and teachings. What we needed right now, it was, if only we could be open to it. And I was right. I just didn't know how soon it would be teaching me. Surely it is too soon to see all the lessons, but the first few I see now are these:
The lesson of miracle. What a miracle that we can make room for another life inside our bodies. Not only is it possible, it is common!
The lesson of letting go. Up until about 11am yesterday my vision of the future was drastically different than it is now. I can choose to hold tight to that other reality and torture myself or let it go and watch as a new future forms. One which I am sure will be full of joy and laughter, frustration and challenges.
The lesson of grace. So many people have already offered such comfort and kindness to us. So many women have told me how they have gone through the same thing. (The doctor quoted a number something like 60% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage if you were counting all of them, even ones where the mother never knew she was pregnant!) And now I have people bringing dinner for the next week and wrapping us in love. And instead of telling everyone that I'm alright and I don't need anything I am trying to just say, "Thank you." Which is a little hard for me. But it feels good.
Tomorrow I go to the hospital for a procedure to speed up the process. Hold us in your thoughts then and I will be back here soon with more images of Spring.