Would I do it again? Would I take away the grief? The pain?
This question came up on one of my babyloss message boards. The answers are split. Some say yes- they would take it all away. Go back to a time before they were pregnant and erase it all. Never have had the experience. It’s just too painful. Some say no- they wouldn’t erase the grief if they could. Their pain honors their child.
My heart aches reading both their responses. If there were anyway I could make this hurt less, I would try it. I would. I would easily give up this pain if I knew how. I hate how I feel everyday. I hate the tears when they come and I hate the ache and numbness when they don’t. The worst part is I know I have to feel this pain. It’s necessary to move. It’s awful but important. I think I am in the second camp. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone- to have a much desired pregnancy and then given a difficult diagnosis, to go forward with tough choices only to be handed tougher ones, to be given a baby to grow and feel and love, only to be told she might die, to hold their child knowing she is battling pain, hungry for air, to choose the moment their child will die, to hold her body as it goes from warm to cold. And then to go forward with everyday life. This is more than one person should be given.
But there is too much I don’t want to forget. That moment of excitement and joy seeing the positive pregnancy test. Seeing the flicker of a heartbeat. That moment when I learned my baby had Downs Syndrome and she had a chance at life. The ultrasounds showing normal anatomy. Feeling the first movements. Lying in bed, feeling kicks and saying to Chris- I’m going to miss this when she’s born. The time in the hospital when I exuded pregnancy, finally really enjoying my time with my baby. The pride I felt when her heart rate never waivered, contracting or not. That first moment when I saw her face. The sound of her cry, the only time we heard her voice. The warmth of her body. These are things that I don’t think I could erase. These memories are a mix of pain and wonder.
When I’m hurting, sitting alone at home, I have to remember a few things. I am grateful I could be pregnant. I’m grateful I could labor. I’m grateful I could push my baby out and bring her up on my belly. I’m grateful I could meet the being that I spent months growing and feeling. I’m grateful I could be there and hold my daughter for her last moments.