If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me, Threatening the life it belongs to
– Lyrics from Anna Nalick’s Breathe (2 AM)
I remember waking up on the moment of April 6th and thinking to myself that it might have actually worked this time. I reached into my dresser drawer to pull out a pregnancy test left over from before Greg left for South Korea, reminding myself not to get too excited so I didn’t have to feel the disappointment that I had felt every time before. The results, that digital YES, raised my eyebrows into my hairline as I let out a squeal. Unconcerned with the time change, I called Greg to wake him and get him on Skype.
As I held the stick to the camera and he was able to process the image I saw demeanor change from the strength of a Soldier to the glee of a 5 year old on Christmas morning. As much as we tried to be cautious our excitement got the best of us and within a week we had announced it to the world.
At that moment fetal age was 3 weeks but due to the way the medical world calculates due dates, I was considered 5 weeks pregnant. Because of this our announcement was completely overshadowed by drama as family members stated that it was impossible for me to be that far along, which in our world opens the door to implications that the child was not his. What followed was a world of hurt as two families that were already struggling to unify were completely torn apart. As with every adversity that Greg and I have experienced as a couple, we grasped onto each other even tighter than before and moved forward with joy and giant sized expectations. It was in a way bittersweet.
As the weeks passed, Greg filled his time reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting for Fathers” and I googled everything in regards to development, nutrition and exercise while pregnant. We celebrated all of the milestones, embryo to fetus, heart to heartbeat,spinal cord, facial features, and then tiny limbs. I began closing the button of my jeans with a hair band as my waistline grew too big to close properly. I ordered a slew of maternity clothes from an outlet for a great bargain with all sales final and no returns. A package which is not expected to arrive until next Monday.
Greg was in the field last week and we didn’t get to speak much but when we did it was centered around two things: 1) Clayton’s extraordinary record breaking track week and 2) the pregnancy. Life felt anything but normal. In fact it felt just grand. Perfect.
Then came Saturday. The majority of the day passed without incident until a seemingly normal trip to the bathroom revealed blood. The doctor office was called, doctors were paged, and we were told unless my condition worsened that I was to wait it out at home and be seen in the office on Monday. Statistically 20-30% of women experience bleeding during pregnancy and of those, 50% will go on to have successful pregnancies while the other half will end in miscarriage. We prayed we were on the good sign of the coin. We tried to stay hopeful as we prepared ourselves for the worst.
By the next evening I was stricken with grief as I held our tiny baby in the cup of my hand. With skin so translucent there was no question about it….everything that should have developed up to this point, seemed to have done so. So why then, I questioned as I stared at the tiniest of tiny little limbs? Why did something that seemed so perfect have to die?
I was 8 weeks pregnant. Fetal age was 6 weeks. It was one month to the day since I had the positive pregnancy test. In a matter of 24 hours it was all over. Just like that.