The Worst

When I was trying to get pregnant, every time my period came I was so disappointed.  I thought that that was The Worst.   The worst thing possible.  I would see patients, pregnant and not even realizing how great it was.  Then when I became pregnant and had an ultrasound that suspected I was miscarrying, I thought, nope this is The Worst.  I went to work nauseous and devastated, carrying this secret. When we found a heartbeat a week later I was thrilled but had that constant fear of miscarriage in the first trimester. I knew what it felt like to think I was losing the pregnancy and going to work everyday.  I didn’t want that again.  I thought then that living those first trimester months in such anxiety was The Worst.  Then at the first trimester screen, the 13 week ultrasound that was supposed to give me reassurance, I was told that there was something wrong.  I thought those two days of waiting to see if my baby would have a chance at life were The Worst.  When I got the results it was Down Syndrome, at first there was a little relief, thinking at least my baby could live.  But learning the risk of stillbirth made me think that going through pregnancy worried about a 12-20% chance of loss was The Worst.  At 27 weeks, learning my baby’s kidneys were failing and lungs would be compromised and my risk of stillbirth skyrocketed, I thought that was The Worst.  Now that I’ve survived a pregnancy with the knowledge that my baby might die and then holding my tiny, warm baby in my arms as she took her last breathes, I know that that’s not The Worst.  I’ve learned that whatever life hands me there can be something worse.  I’m scared.  I’m scared that I might not get pregnant again.  That if I get pregnant I might miscarry.  That if I don’t miscarry, I might lose the baby later.  That I might lose Chris in someway.

I don’t dare say that losing Mabel was The Worst.  I don’t want to tempt fate that way.  Losing Mabel was and is awful beyond words, hurts in a place deep in my chest that I never knew existed, seems unsurmountable at times.  I wrote earlier in pregnancy that I didn’t dare complain about anything because I was just so happy to be pregnant.  I worried that if I complained, fate or the universe would take it all away.  Well, I don’t think I complained that much and look what happened.  I know that there are so many things we don’t have control over, but it just hurts when you want something so bad, have done everything right, have come so close and you don’t get it.  I tried to be a good person- to plan ahead, treat my body right, to say yes to everything that was handed to me.  Everything.  I thought that if you’re good to the universe, the universe will be good to you.  I’m still waiting for my good.

I’m angry.  Why did this happen to me?  Why do some people have babies they don’t even want?  That they didn’t have to work for?  Angry that I have to watch Chris play so brilliantly with other people’s kids, when he should have one of his own.  Angry that I have all this love, energy and devotion saved up for my child with special needs and medical issues and no outlet for it.  I’m jealous.  Jealous of the people who are sleep deprived because a baby wakes them up at 1am, 3 am and 5am.  I’m jealous of the women who wish they waited more time between their kids, to have the luxury of being stressed about the work of two kids.  I’m jealous of the women who are still pregnant, with the baby in their ribs and pushing on their bladder.  I’m sad.  I’m sad that I had to bury my baby. I’m sad that she only knew life on a ventilator.  I’m sad that my daughter will never see the inside of the home we bought just for her.  I’m sad she won’t snowboard or play in the fort her dad would make for her.  I’m scared.  Sacred to hope things will get better, because hope has disappointed me.  Scared of whatever “worst” life has in store for me.

I’m angry and jealous. I’m sad and scared.  And waiting for my good.


4 thoughts on “The Worst

  1. Hugs…..I know what you mean. I’ve felt angry, sad, and extremely green in the past couple of days. I actually cut back on Facebook because I found myself doing a lot of why her, not me. I feel terrible admitting that but….,it’s true.

    I am praying for us both. There will be a rainbow after the storm. Our weeping will be replaced with joy.

  2. There is so much sorrow and compassion in my heart for you, Chris, and for Mabel… And when my mother passed, I also felt frustrated that sometimes I felt okay, even the day after getting the news. It seems somehow like I didn’t “pass” the grief test, or that others loved their families more to be so prostrated, and that I didn’t measure up. But what kept coming to mind unexpectedly and resonating there was a passage from “Anne of Green Gables” relating to a death in the family.

    “When Matthew was here he liked to hear you laugh and he liked to know that you found pleasure in the pleasant things around you…He is just away now; and he likes to know it all the same. I am sure we should not shut our hearts against the healing influences that nature offers us. But I understand your feeling. I think we all experience the same thing. We resent the thought that anything can please us when someone we love is no longer here to share the pleasure with us, and we almost feel as if we were unfaithful to our sorrow when we find our interest in life returning to us.”

    Mabel was carried beneath your heart, held to your heart upon her birth, and cradled to your heart for her entire life. She’ll be carried in your heart for the rest of your life, in heartbreak and in joy, and all the spaces in between. Little moments of happiness or even “okay-ness” will bring her happiness because you and Chris are her parents who cherish and celebrate her.


  3. Meghan- Just wanted to say that I’m still reading and thinking about you and your Mabel every day. To say it’s unfair just isn’t using strong enough words, but I’m not sure there are words out there for such a profound loss. And I unfortunately can relate in different ways to thinking you’ve reached “the worst” and then finding that, no, it could get worse from here. It’s hard when your confidence in life and fairness and things ultimately turning out for the best gets so severely shaken. But it’s a testament to the mother that you are that you have friends, family, people who knew you in your past and people who don’t know you at all thinking and talking about your beautiful daughter. Sending hugs.

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