I need to call a friend back who learned on Friday that her twelve week pregnancy had really ended at 6 weeks. We talked Friday for an hour or so and she sounded okay, very much in the “this is common it means nothing” mood, but I know that only lasts so long. She’s having a D&C on Tuesday. She sounded uncertain about the procedure, but I think 6 weeks sounds like a long time to have it not pass on its own. I told her about the pain of mine – so she’d be prepared just in case it started sooner – but thought she should follow the medical advice. My doc was comfortable with waiting two weeks – or a full month after the “fetal demise.”

I want to call her back today but I feel on the edge of collapse myself. She said that after what happened to us, she feels like a miscarriage is no big deal. Although I clearly mourn Natan much more than my miscarriage, we’re not in a pain Olympics and there’s nothing to feel good about with her loss. She said they’d been trying a while. Despite my own personal hell, I felt like a heel responding that we’d gotten pregnant 3 times over 3 unprotected months when she asked. Goodness knows no one would begrudge me my fertility but there are just so many different brands of suffering in this baby-making race.

I say race not because we’re competing with anyone else, but because time feels so precious with pregnancy. I’m struck this mourning [huh, I’ll leave be that interesting typo] that I went off birth control 2 years ago this month – cycle-time not calendar time. Josh was leaving in early November and we were going to begin trying as soon as he got back or I went to see him. I thought it was very convenient that I’d have a few months to clean the pill out of my system and be on prenatals and folic acid – one small comfort for the forced separation. [Lest we think pregnancy is the only arena where people make idiot comments, no fewer than two relatives expressed worry about our marriage surviving his time abroad! It took great restraint not to comment that theirs probably couldn’t.]

My sister, her best friend, and an old high school friend announced pregnancies in the interim. I admit that, even as I couldn’t have become pregnant in those months, I did feel a bit of sadness that I wanted to be pregnant and had to wait out those months. The very moment Josh said he was ready, I wanted to be pregnant. But I didn’t want to be pregnant alone and in retrospect, thank goodness I wasn’t except for about 6 weeks (I got pregnant while visiting him, he returned 7 weeks later) .

My first due date was in December. Natan was born in January. If this baby makes it, he’ll arrive a bit short of one year after I first expected to bring home a baby. I’ve been waiting even longer. In the world of fertility challenges, that’s not so long. But it has been horrible. It has been more than a lifetime.

I think I’ll cry for awhile now, and then try to compose myself and call my friend. You’d think I’d be a good person to talk to, but I’m fresh out of comfort.

14 responses to “Weak

  1. I’m sorry for your friend’s loss. I’m sure you feel like you are at the end of your rope, in terms of coping with scary and sad stuff right now, so you don’t have extra reserves for others. But even just checking in on her regularly will probably be a big comfort.

  2. That old Woody Allen joke that half of life is showing up is never more true than with people who are grieving. I can understand why you don’t have a lot of comfort to give right now. Could you intersperse phone calls with cards, e-mails, a book, just so she knows you’re still thinking of her – long after other people expect her to be “over it”?
    I like the Pain Olympics. Finally, my chance to shine!

  3. I think we all go through periods where we are too full of our own tremors to be of much comfort to others. That said, sometimes the best thing we can do is simply to listen. I hope you’re feeling a little better after your cry.

  4. More than a lifetime… that’s for sure.

    I am so sorry for your friend. I know you want to be of comfort to her, but it is okay for you to take care of yourself too. I really do think a little goes a long way when letting a friend know you care.

  5. I really meant that I’d just take some time to feel sorry for myself and then call her. So that’s what I did. Not sure if I was comforting about the world in general, but I can certainly answer questions about the physical experience and calm those fears at least.

  6. My BFF had this. She had a blighted ovum, but the placenta kept building for weeks. Read: she almost had a full 1st term of pregnancy side effects with no baby. I don’t know how often it occurs, but it does.

    Geez, you have to take care of yourself first and that includes your new baby. Am I allowed to say that????

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Sounds like (at this point anyway) she’s just like me — majorly into denial.

  8. I’m sorry for your friend. It sounds like she appreciates your support. Take care.

  9. I am sorry for your friend, I can understand why you feel spent in the giving comfort arena. But like someone else said, so much of life is just showing up.

    I have been waiting for a long time for a living child. Not as long as others, I know, but I have basically been waiting since I found out I was pregnant with M. Even though many of those months were spent not pregnant, I sometimes wonder if the waiting feeling adds to the feeling that I am currently in the race for worlds longest pregnancy.

  10. Perhaps Niobe. Or perhaps it’s just that we’re a group of people who like to focus on good things – oh wait – often that’s denial.

  11. You were a big comfort to me today!

  12. I am very sorry for your friend’s loss.

  13. Thanks all. What I mean by comfort is I wish I could promise her it would be alright. That I could see into some crystal ball and guarantee her that this is only a small setback to the day they bring home a live baby. Other people can say that, but any loss creates such a fear in me. But I can empathize about how horrible it is all day every day.

  14. The wait is insane! I have been waiting a long time too, though perhaps not as long as some people. It doesn’t help that R and I waited a long time before we decided we were “ready” to have a family and start trying. I got lucky by getting pregnant so quickly, but unlucky too by losing our precious Elijah. Of course I still worry about actually bringing home a baby, and worry about something happening to the baby once we’re home (sids, etc.). I don’t know what I would do.

    I’m just taking it appt by appt now, which isn’t so bad when they’re every other day… but still tedious.

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