Saturday, September 25, 2010

Help Support MISS

MISS's Dr. Joanne Cacciatore needs participants for a study dealing with the loss of a child. I encourage you to participate if you can.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Reflecting Pool

I was sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Monument, trying not to act like a tourist. My friend J (who works in D.C.) had met me for "Lattes with Lincoln" which tuned into "Ice Tea with Lincoln" because it was so stinkin' hot.

It was nice in the shade. There was water in the Reflecting Pool (there wasn't the last time I was there---about 7 years ago), and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. It was a good time to reflect about life, and breathe after the insane conference I attended earlier that week.

J and I were talking about life---how far we have come from the two young, wet-behind-the-ear girls we were when we met 10 years ago in grad school. J is starting her career as a researching professor, just recently awarded her K grant (top score---go J!). As we were reminiscing, my phone rang.

It was my other friend J. Two things alarmed me about the fact that she was calling me.
1). J rarely calls. She is a text-type of girl.
2). It was the middle of the day on a Thursday (she's a school teacher).

I picked up and assumed the worst.

She told me in a matter-of-fact voice that she had a miscarriage. I almost didn't hear her/believe what she was saying. Partly from her tone, and partly because it was very much assumed that she and her husband had made the decision NOT to have children. This was not even in my radar. I was expecting something happened at work/to her husband/to her mom or dad.

I wanted to ask questions, but only asked two. "How far along were you?" (almost 8 weeks) and "Are you doing ok?" I said I was sorry. I was out of town, but I would be available by phone if she needed to talk. She whispered "Ok" and hung up. I felt like complete shit for her.

I know that it must have taken some serious, monumental effort to change her mind about children. And I feel awful that she was dinged with this the first time out. I have tried to assure her that the fear will subside, usually enough to try again, but I know that fear. It's palpable. You are scared to get your hopes up--scared to love the child that is but a mere mass of cells the second you get a positive pregnancy test. But you do. It's innate. You try to disassociate, but you don't {really}. In your inner workings of your mind, you have already allowed yourself to imagine, if only briefly, if they will have your eyes, his nose.

I didn't say what I'm sure the other 'well-meaning" people may have uttered. "It was probably a good thing---genetics and all" "You can get pregnant again" "It wasn't in God's plan". Because all of that (which may be true) doesn't mean shit when you have had life in your uterus and then ripped out without a live, breathing baby to show for it.

I do hope she tries again. I do hope she finds the strength that I know she has. I hope that the next baby sticks. I hope that she can look at her own child like she has looked at mine.

I hope....I hope....I hope.....