Thursday, July 17, 2008
Aoife's painted tummy looking pregnant
After Charlotte died, they were everywhere: strollers, newborns, people with children, girls young and old, pregnant bellies. When I saw the ones who were out I would think, "Wow. There's another one who survived the cord." When I saw one who was still in, I would think, "Oh, please. Let that one survive the cord." (I would also, of course, think to myself with a sneer, Do you know what could happen? There was, and still sometimes is, a part of me who just wants every pregnant person to know what could happen, so she will realize how lucky she is when it doesn't happen to her). Even older people seemed like miracles to me: all those years, and their hearts were still beating, where my daughter's only beat for 9 months.
And now I'm seeing it all differently: pregnant bellies, tiny babies, and I look at the mother and I think, It worked for her. I think it's a little different because I actually don't feel truly traumatized by my apparent inability to get pregnant just yet, it's more of a longing and these intermittant pangs of intense fear that it will never happen. And so it is with this new respect, this new intensity of curiosity that I admire these pregnant women and their new young and wonder to myself, will that ever be me again? How do they do it? Why won't my body do it? Suddenly I'm seeing the whole reproductive world all over again, in a way that I was aware was there, but never a place where I had sat. I knew that I felt some connection to my friends who had experienced trouble becoming pregnant, because I had felt this tugging, awful desire to have a child, and had felt that taunting of every stroller that passes. But for me, it was never the getting pregnant part, it was just the getting the baby out alive part. Now I get to try on these shoes. I don't like them.
So now I get to experience not getting pregnant easily, and if I ever do get pregnant, then I will also get to worry my way through the entire pregnancy, pretty sure that the baby is dying at every step of the way. But I really do want another baby. In fact I need another baby.
I called my doctor, to see if they might check me out. I wanted tests. I wanted evidence. I was told I hadn't waited out the year, didn't qualify to be checked out in that way just yet. They gave me some suggestions. I wanted to cry,
Don't you see? I am damaged goods. I have already proven this with one dead baby. Don't you want to try to fix me?
But the words didn't come. Perhaps there was a small piece of me that felt settled by the fact that they can't see this piece of me, this failure to thrive, to produce, to reproduce that seems so evident to me.
There is also a piece of me, a rather big one, I hesitate to admit, which feels as if it might be only fair if everything related to reproduction could just come easily to me after losing Charlotte to the cord. Entitlement. A cranky, simpering way to be, but it feels real at times, and now is one of them.