Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Joy and Sorrow

Written May 1, 2008

These past few weeks, my heart was filled with a quite joy I shared only with those nearest and dearest to me. That which I have been longing and praying for has finally been granted. I was going to have another baby.

I started to dream for this baby again, just I dreamed for my little Maia, another baby I lost two years ago.

But my dreams were quickly shattered when at almost nine weeks, we learned that I lost this little one too. The depths of my sorrow could be equaled only by the heights of my joy as I happily anticipated holding another baby in my arms.

Early embryonic demise. No cardiac activity. These words appeared in the ultrasound report. But I did not have to read it to know. Watching the face of the doctor who did the ultrasound told me everything there was to know. My heart went cold. I could only cry for another baby I will never come to know and love … another baby who would have completed our little family even more.

What followed was a blur of indecision, of me adamantly refusing to take the drugs to induce the expulsion of my baby from inside me, of refusing to consider a D&C, of wanting the process of losing this child to take its natural course … to accepting the drugs when a follow-up ultrasound confirmed my loss, to wanting a D&C and then not wanting it … and finally, to admitting that the waiting was taking too much toll on me and my family … that emotionally, spiritually, physically and psychologically, I am drained to the core of my being.

I am having my second miscarriage as I am writing. I started bleeding as cramps wracked my body last night. This came as a welcome relief to my weary soul.

I was on denial when I had my first miscarriage. I refused to accept my baby’s death even though pain tore through my body day after day. I fought hard by imploring God to give life to my child. As long as I had hope in my heart, I refused to let go. I was willing to do whatever it took if it meant life for my little one. But as fate would have it, my baby and I lost that battle.

This time around, I put up no fight at all. Maybe the past made me more resigned, more accepting of the undeniable fact that losing a child, one that seemed so improbable and so incomprehensible before, has become a recurrent reality in my life.

But while I accepted my third baby’s death, I still refused, and continue to do so up till now, to have a D&C. Only when the choice is taken out of my hands will I submit to that procedure.

But while I still have that choice, I choose for my little one to leave me as God had intended. I want to wait for nature to take its course. But without medical intervention, I realized that the waiting could take so long. And it started to take its toll. Everything in me grew weary from being suspended in a state where I was neither here nor there … where my body felt pregnant yet with no growing life within it … where I grieved and not grieve at the same time. Finally, all that I ever wanted was to reach closure, to be able to move on and open myself up to my family again.

So I finally sought medical aid. I took the medication that would induce the expulsion process. When the cramps came, I welcomed them with relief. There is no use holding on when there is nothing more to hold on to.

I have been asked why I did not want a D&C. I said that going into surgery scared me and that I did not want to expose myself to the risks accompanying this procedure.

But I have been less than honest with these answers. While I do feel this way about D&C, the real reason behind this refusal is my desire for privacy and dignity, for wanting this miscarriage to happen just between me and my child, not in a roomful of strangers where my baby will be referred to as tissue or product of conception and handled in much the same way as medical personnel would handle a surgically-removed appendix or cyst. So cold. So distant and uncaring. So professional. I do not want my baby to leave me that way.

When my baby will finally leave, I want nobody else except me touching it … where it will be held with love, tenderness and great respect.

With Mama alone, this baby will be spared from becoming the subject of cruel jokes by dispassionate medical workers. The first baby I lost suffered that fate. Cheerful lab workers, oblivious to my pain, talked about urinating on the cup containing my poor little one right in my presence.

That is not going to happen this time. This baby will be spared from that kind of indignity and disrespect. This time, my child will receive nothing but all the love and respect it deserves as another one of God’s creations.


RTS said...

Dear Olga,
As I read this my heart is breaking. I will send an email because I can't put my feelings on this would take more time and space then this provides.
Take care.
Robert, Cathy and J.P.

mamdulz said...

i also have a fertility prob. I thank God for my daughter. I'll share Our Story in my next post. God is good!

Jesse & Shannon said...

I just miscarried for the 2nd time in a year.. your posts have offered some comfort and help me with healing. i will pray for you and for god to continue your healing and to grow your family in his time.