I went for my 3-week post-operation visit with my OB yesterday. He says I’m healing well and am cleared for any and all activity [hooray!]. As far as baby #2’s pathology from the labwork: there weren’t any findings of significance. The baby looked completely normal and was chromosomally sound. The only thing they could find that was different in any way was a two-vessel umbilical cord.
Most babies’ umbilical cords have three blood vessels: one vein, which brings nutrients from the placenta to baby, and two arteries that bring waste back to the placenta. But a two-vessel cord has just one vein and one artery — that’s why the condition is also referred to as having a single umbilical artery. [thebump.com]
The condition doesn’t usually cause issues in-utero and therefore my doctor says that he doesn’t envision concerns for subsequent pregnancies. He says that it’s really up to Ben and I as to when we want to start trying again. The fact that there was nothing really wrong with the baby makes Ben and I feel both happy and sad. At least we know for sure that the baby didn’t have an issue that could be detrimental for future babies. But why, then, did she die?
I don’t know that there will ever be an answer. And I’m beginning to be okay with that.
One of the things I’m learning about myself is that I don’t always like unanswered questions. I’m a DOer. There’s definitely value in the unknown and (I am absolutely still working on) being present with my emotions and feeling everything as it comes, but I’m finding that I am personally much more organized internally if I have something to focus on. And I like being internally organized. Maybe too much.
In all of my recent scatteredness I’ve been trying to figure out where to take my writing from here. I’m so glad to have been able to express my sadness and grief — and I’ll continue to do so as it comes up — but I am now feeling more forward-looking. I feel a bit more prepared for whatever the Universe is gonna throw at us.
So, I’m gonna take a few baby steps. I’m planning to do a three-part series on what life is like for me in this moment, and how I’ve been trying to heal and moving forward simultaneously.
I have to say that I feel that there’s a legitimate difference between releasing the experience of our miscarriage and releasing the memory of our baby. Being able to disconnect those things has been difficult for me since everything happened within the confines of my body, but coming to the understanding has been profound for my healing journey. It’s incredibly freeing to allow myself to let go of the baby’s body without having to feel like I am abandoning her spirit.
In the past weeks, I’ve also done a few other things that continue to make me feel more at ease about our loss.
- One of the most wonderful things I did for myself was to start writing again. The outpouring of support that came from that first post about our miscarriage has been beyond meaningful for our entire family. I’ve been getting private emails from women who read that story and want to tell me how much they get it; I get hugs in the middle of the supermarket from friends of friends who read our story and have held us in the light for weeks.
- Being so transparent about our situation forced me to accept the offerings that have so generously been sent our way. Our family has had cooked meals, fresh fruit, healing opportunities, valuable time spent and gorgeous care packages sent our way from all over. I’m not usually very good at receiving help, so this was a huge learning period for me as I was able to surrender and simply thank people for loving us so much.
- I’ve also been working on allowing my body to physically let go of the past. I’m a huge believer in the connection between both emotional and physical healing, and therefore I’ve been working on restoring the balance that was once sustained by my body and mind. This has meant lots of healthful foods, nutrient-dense teas and soups, and of course responsible movement as it’s felt right for me.
Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when I feel like I was the only person who ever really knew this being [the pressure to keep her spirit alive lies solely on me]. But I’m learning to be okay with the process. I will always be grateful for the experience and my body’s incredible capacities. And while I look forward to our family’s next chapter, I am also learning to be okay exactly where we are right now – somewhere between our past and our future.