I’ve been working through some things to find my way to a healthy place within my mind, having battled anxiety for many years. Exploring past traumas and writing through them in order to process the pain and put it to rest. I have always been that way; it’s as if writing it down and putting it away is my way of making peace with the past.
Some of you may know this story already. But for those who don’t, feel free to have a listen and follow along.
So, there’s this piece of me that keeps going back to that tragic day before it seemed then that my whole life had changed. Something died in me after that beautiful day on January 23rd, 2016...you see, this was the glorious morning I woke up with pure joy to find out the sex of our baby. Seventeen weeks along, still fighting major nausea and weight loss. But seeing her on that screen, bouncing like a baby bean, kicking and fighting the sonographer with everything she had so we couldn't know just yet that she was indeed a SHE....I will never forget that joy and awe I felt watching her inside my belly but not feeling her ferocious movements! She was definitely a little girl who has fought to be here, our little miracle girl, defying all odds to make it. She's still going strong. Almost three, and strong as ever.
Photo from our sonogram that day, January 23rd, 2016. This picture, and her little alien smile, was what I held onto through the darkest moments over the coming weeks.
But there was something in the way the geese were lining up in the sky that morning on the way to our sonogram appointment. As if they were evading an unknown threat; flocks upon flocks filled the bright morning sky, everywhere I looked. North, south, east, west. They were changing directions, moving south, even on such a beautiful day as we had that winter morning. I didn't even need a coat. The birds in the sky that morning made me so happy, imagining their journey, the constant changing of leaders, wings flapping altogether in one direction with a common goal. I watched them with wonder. I listened to Tim McGraw's "always stay humble and kind" and cried thankful tears. Prayed to God with heavy thanks for my pregnancy and for my husband, and for our family. I thought of my sweet grandpa, who we had seen only a week before at the nursing home. And I just knew he was going to make a turn around and come out of that place and be able to sleep in his own bed again near his wife, and be able to bother her for breakfast and tell her he was going to go for the mail and get the paper. But he didn't ever get to go back home.
Geese never truly go back home. If you think about it, their home is the sky, wherever they may land, as long as they’re together. That’s where they call home. Like nomads, wandering the earth, but they follow the ever-changing patterns of bitter cold and electrifying heat.
And after that day, I don't know that I have been back "home" either. January 24th was great until after our trip to Walmart, where Allen bought new tires for my car and finally fixed the terrible rattle. For a brief 24 hours, from the 23rd into the 24th, I actually told myself that I was happy and things were coming together and from then on, it would continue to improve. I wish I hadn't felt that so strongly. It's like I cursed myself. A storm was brewing that would push me from this feeling of finally feeling at “home.”
We stopped at McDonalds on the way home and ate our chicken nuggets in the car, and though I felt woozy and weak, I just blamed my pregnancy and having not eaten for awhile. I called my sister to tell her about what we had picked out for my nephew's birthday. Sat down on the toilet to pee. Had on dark underwear and black pants so I didn't even know I was bleeding profusely until I wiped and looked in the toilet. Tons of blood. Bright red blood. I couldn't even breathe. All I could see was red. I managed to fumble out the words “I think I’m having a miscarriage” to my sister and then shakily called my doctor's office emergency line (it was a Sunday afternoon, after all). Cried hysterically to the man who answered the phone. "I think I'm having a miscarriage. Bleeding heavily. What do I do." While waiting I looked in the mirror, raised my hands to the ceiling and yelled at God, "Please don't take this child from me God, PLEASE DONT TAKE THIS CHILD." He has me hold, contacts Dr Eades, comes back on the line and tells me to wait near the phone for my doctor's call. I go outside to tell my dear husband the news, as he is crouched on the ground doing the finishing touches to my car. Walking up to him, I could see he was calm, happy, carefree and blissfully unaware of the bomb I was about to drop on him with the words, “Allen...I, I don’t know how to say this, but I am bleeding...I’ve lost a lot of blood baby...”The look on his face killed me inside. I felt like crumbling to the ground. I told him I was waiting for the doctor to call back but to prepare for the hospital because there was so. much. blood. He nodded without a word and kept turning that wrench as I walked back inside. I think he kept turning the wrench because it was the only thing that kept him from crumbling to the ground in complete devastation. I didn’t understand that then, but I do now. He was on autopilot, just trying to center himself in the midst of the ground seemingly falling out from under him. Going into the house, I had one mission- search for pads- do I even have any? Blood had filled the brand new pair of undies I had put on already within those few minutes. Finally. My doctor calls. Asks questions about the amount of bleeding. I sat back down on the toilet while on the phone. Told him "more and more blood." I just knew our baby was gone. Looked into the toilet bowl to see clots of blood bigger than half-dollar size. Told the doc about the clots. His response: "go to BSA now. I'm calling ahead to let them know you're on the way."
…to be continued.