It has been 5 months since my ectopic. Although the emotional and physical pain that was caused is less searing than it originally was, it still hides deep down inside waiting for the perfect time to remind me of just how horrible it was. I have yet to find the proper words to describe the extreme sense of chaos that I felt at the time.
Every once in a while, my thoughts drift back to our baby. Not as often as you might think, though. I think all the medical drama that surrounded us, preceded heavily with thoughts that the pregnancy was doomed from the beginning made it hard to connect that there actually WAS a baby involved. Even when I was pregnant, my mind was always focused on the future. "We are going to have a baby in June." "Won't it be fun when our babies get to play together?" I don't remember thinking about the baby in the present tense. Even though I made statements beginning with "this baby", it still felt like I was saying, "this pregnancy." It wasn't until a few weeks after my second surgery that the reality started to set in. I lost a baby. Not only that, but I was assured by my physicians that it was a "healthy" baby, simply too restricted to survive.
I have tried so hard to move forward, but I am finally realizing that I am going through phases of this grief. The first part (which has taken nearly the entire 5 months) has been to deal with the medical fall out from this experience. I still have nightmares about waking up from the anesthesia, and sometimes flash back to the mindless, heart-wrenching pleas that I expressed after the first surgery. I remember hearing my husband, father, and best friend cry. I remember the sweet kisses that my Dad so loving placed on my forehead, when I was hardly awake enough to appreciate them. When I remember these things, it is hard for me to realize that those horrible screams, and those begging prayers came from my mouth. I remember the sheer pain, and overwhelming sense of urgency that echoed in my voice. But it is just that. A voice. There is such a disconnect. I am dreading the day that my mind connects to my heart, and I am forced to deal with those emotions. Today is not that day, but I felt a glimpse of what it will be like.
Today a woman with the Perinatal Bereavement Department from the hospital called. It is the second time they have called, but it has been months since I last spoke to her. I missed the call, but later listened to her message. Before the entire 1 min. 20 sec. message had finished, tears were streaming down my face. She said nothing offensive, and expressed genuine concern for how my husband and I are doing. But I think what got to me was her wording. "Hi, this is W. R. calling from the Perinatal Bereavement Department at the University just calling to see how things are going since the loss of your baby..." Her tone was gentle, as she offered to put us in touch with support groups in our area, or to just be available if we needed someone to talk to. It took me off guard. No one talks to me about what happened. Aside from this space, I hardly talk about what happened, and when I do it is with such lack of emotion, you'd think I read about it in a book. I think subconsciously I have tried very hard to forget. Or at least to not feel connected to it. Something about this message made my skin crawl. It was a reminder I didn't want. Her acknowledgment of the "loss of [our] baby" made it hurt again. I started hearing my voice plead with God to "please let this be a dream!", and before I could finish the message, my memories drowned out her words.
I have decided not to return her call because quite frankly, I don't know what I'd say. I don't want today to be that day. I want to just let my mind push this experience down to join all the others that are too painful to feel. I'm just not ready.