I don’t know if you have ever been stood up before. I know I have, though I cannot remember by who. A friend, I guess? You know how you are excited about a meeting, and you cancel everything else, shower before, get dressed, and leave the house early enough so you arrive at the meeting place on time?
And then, that person stood you up.
You wait, your make-up melting in the evening heat by the seconds. You wait, your shoes starting to pinch your toes. You wait, starting to feel self-conscious that passers-by are actually snickering at you, your uneasiness so apparent and it was naked that you were waiting for someone who chose not to show up. You wait, making up scenarios and excuses every second. You wait, trying not to get furious even though you feel like wringing somebody’s neck right there and then. You wait, even though you wish a hole will appear in the ground and swallow you up and save you from all that anxiety. You wait, thinking of all that time you have wasted preparing for this meeting. You wait, thinking maybe you should have gone to that poem reading instead.
I kinda experienced that stood-up feeling again last night.
We said we will try again. I am waiting for the egg to fall, and hopefully we catch it. (Of course that is just the beginning. A myriad other things need to come together and it will be another 9 months before the verdict is out whether you are indeed going to have a live, healthy baby.) The egg has not fallen yet, maybe in another 3 or 4 days.
But, just as I am gearing up, and thought that my dance partner is preparing too, I suddenly got pulled aside.
And i was asked the question, “Why do we want to try again? Have you really, really thought about it?”
Yes, he repeated. Why do we want to try again? That is my question. Why? Why do we want to put ourselves through this whole thing again? There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, NO GUARANTEE. I cannot take another loss; I cannot have that feelings of devastation and despair again. I am still wounded and I cannot endure yet another strike. There is no way to replace Ferdinand, so why do we want to do this again?
I could not believe my ears. What is he talking about?! Is he mad?! Gosh, he even talked about getting himself sterilized. In other words, no more taking any chances. No more putting ourselves out there, right on the chopping board, and waiting for the knife to fall, or not.
At first I said, I want a fourth child. And he replied, I can understand this instinct that comes from deep inside of you. but have you ever thought rationally about it?
I blurted that the girls really want to have a baby brother or sister.
And he countered that we can get them a dog. Not. the. same. thing.
Inside, I screamed, “Because I want to prove to myself that I can do it!! That it was just a freak incident and that I can have a healthy living baby that kicks and screams when he is born!! Because Ferdinand will come back in a different body! Because I long for a baby! Because I long to breastfeed a baby who is mine, mine, mine!!!!”
And I almost wondered if i am insane? Really? Do I want to live for 40 weeks in anxiety and in the madness of not knowing what the outcome is going to be? What if we have another full-term loss?! Then what?
And what about the thought of going to live in a cave for the entire pregnancy, until I can hold a breathing baby in my arms again? (I have been seeing pregnant women around, people I do not know, and they seem to walk so carefree, showing their bellies to the world, yelling at their other kids that it is time to leave the park; and I hammered into my head this notion that I can never allow myself to be seen in public again while pregnant. Because getting out again after Ferdinand died was so difficult. I felt like a walking failure and bad-luck-cum-shame on two legs. I wanted to die just thinking people are going to ask, “So! Where is your baby?”)
Yes, why do we want to try again?
Maybe we are not numb yet? Maybe we can still feel? Maybe another loss will do us in for good and prevent us for good trying to add to the world population.
Why, why gamble? Certainly we are no longer naive. We have absolutely lost our innocence, whatever was left of it.
So, why try again? Why tempt Fate? Why go through it one more time, with hell in your mind all the time? Why live 40 weeks in anxiety, getting ready to mourn all over again any second?
I don’t know. Why?
I hate the thought of driving to the OB’s office and waiting forever in the reception area and then waiting again in the room, in order to be seen for 5 minutes. (And hopefully during that 5 minutes he or she would not have to tell me, “I am sorry but… …”) I hate that I cannot enjoy a pregnancy again. I hate that from 32 weeks on, I need to be monitored twice a week, so we make sure the baby has not died yet. I hate that every week for two times I await a sentence- yes, you are doing good keeping your baby alive! or, Sorry but you suck and your baby has died again! I hate that the girls are going to ask me, “Will this baby live? Will this baby die?” I hate that there is no longer any certainty for me. I hate that I have to stop taking things for granted. I hate that I have to know how this feels.
Where is there any good that will make two people crazy enough to try again?
When our lives will be in limbo; when we cannot go on certain vacations because, dang, this time we got to be extra cautious. For nine months, no brie and sushi for me. For nine months, not knowing at the beginning of each day if it is going to end in devastation and pain. For nine months, anticipating bad things to happen any second.
And, there’s more: if all goes well, a nerve-wrecking labor because now you know babies can die during labor too. (And of course, the OB reminded me, “Because of your loss. You need to be strapped and monitored. So, no laboring in the tub. it will be better.”) And, after baby is born alive, still live with a noose around my neck because now I also know that life is extremely fragile and can be heartbreakingly brief. Sometimes just an inhale and that’s it.
I almost talked myself into getting my tubes tied. Right the next morning.
So, at least we are limited to one heartbreak. Which is enough to last us to the end of our lives.
I don’t know what two heartbreaks will do. I really do not want to know.
But I cannot not try again.
Even though I want to wrap my heart many times over and put it in a box and tie the box in string and put it in a high and secret place to protect it.
I cannot not try.
I don’t know. Somehow I feel it is for Ferdinand. To say that I am not giving up hope. That this time I will try to do everything more right. To say that, yes, mama will brave it again and maybe your soul will come to me again.
I also think I am crazy and I am scared to death and am totally nuts and cranky just thinking of it, and I truly cannot think of a real good reason, but I am just compelled to try again. And hope very, very hard. And hopefully I am still sane at the end of it.
Almost 8 months after and still sore and raw as hell, and we are going to try again… …
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