Tuesday, May 31, 2005

So, I've been thinking about babies

and those who aren't anymore.

Aren't babies anymore because they are growing up.


aren't babies because they never got the chance to grow up.

I get into these melodramatic moments from time to time. The conflict is intense. First, I challenge anyone to be more pro-choice than I am. Well, ok, I'm sure you could be, I don't, after all, donate my entire salary to Planned Parenthood So, forget the challenge, just let the statement speak for itself. Having daughters, I am even more pro-choice than ever before, wanting each to have the only say in what to do with her body. I have lost two children: one from miscarriage, another from ectopic pregnancy.

And, I look at my infant daughter, and looked at my others at this precious needy stage, and wonder what I lost. They make the losses all that more heartbreaking, seeing what could have been. Yadda yadda yadda about without the losses I wouldn't have them. It's true, I can't deny that, and I cannot wish the losses away because that would wish my kids away. But damn if I don't get weepy and down-right SAD about them somedays.

On days like these, I need to reread what I wrote long ago, shortly after the birth of my firstborn, N. I belonged to a Pregnancy Loss board on ParentsPlace, and had many a friend in the same place as I. It was written in response to a friend's angst over wanting her lost baby back, while still carrying the child conceived after her loss. Most anyone experiencing a pregnancy after a loss can relate to the terrible conflict of emotions.:

April is full of these days for me as well. N was born on the anniversary of when we learned the horrible news of our lost one, and I am so happy to have her.... I can't express how much she means to me... but the irony did not go unnoticed. I have spent many a tear over my little N - through pregnancy and even on to today, crying over what I would do should I loose her. This evening I plan on walking her over to our memorial tree and showing her it now in leaf, full of life where my lost one now is not. There is more guilt in this life than we could possibly deserve, yet somehow we bear it and go on. I wonder though, is it really all guilt? Is not some of the feelings we have over this bittersweet part in our lives melancholy instead? Do I honestly feel guilty over mourning my lost one instead of celebrating with wild abandon the arrival of my daughter? Or, instead, do I now know what I really have lost, and think about the impossible - having them both. I cannot wish for that anymore - to have my lost one would mean I could never have N - something I cannot bear to imagine without many many tears (as seen streaming down my face right now). By abandoning the wish that the miscarriage never happened, so that I can hold my beautiful daughter in my arms now, smell her sweet smell, feel her soft hair, gaze into those deep eyes full of trust and innocence... have I abandoned my lost one?

Aye, there must be the source of guilt. Have I abandoned that which I loved so much, grieved over so hard, promised I would never forget? In a way, yes. I can no longer truly and whole-heartedly regret what has happened. I can no longer cry out,"Why?!" in anguish, as I have joy in my arms showing me a part of that why. I can no longer imagine a life where the miscarriage never happened, with a child I will never know in person, because I have a life in my arms now with a different path ahead of her.

No, I have not abandoned my lost one. I have abandoned my total grief, but not my lost one. She lives on in my heart and memories, and her short time with me and the lessons she has taught me will live forever in my soul. So, in a way, I do have both worlds, and my life is much richer, and sadder, for it.

Kelly, we shared our grief last April, can we not now allow ourselves to share our joy this April? We will always miss our lost ones, but they are not gone as long as we remember them. Their passing has allowed new joys in our lives - to regret these joys would be to regret their gifts to us - and then we would truly have abandoned them.


Of course, I was to go on to have another loss and two more daughters. Along the way, I needed this note, as for some reason I need it today. I don't always believe it all the time, but I do often enough to find some some comfort.



At 8:58 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger erinberry said...

I'm so sorry for your losses, and also glad that you've made peace with them.

At 9:22 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger KZ the Turtlegirl said...

Thanks, Erin.

I hope that soon you'll be deep in the bliss of morning sickness, stretch marks, and kick counts!

At 1:18 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger erinberry said...

Me too, me too.


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