Saturday, September 1, 2012

Walls, emotional and uterine

I thought I needed to hide from people and discussion of Heather's miscarriage, but I was reminded that I started blogging because I needed to talk myself through something that was-- even in lighter times-- pretty crummy.  And while the only person who's really in it with me is Heather, there's only so long you can talk to the other person in pain about how crummy that pain is.
That was my first instinct after the ultrasound: no one can understand or say anything that helps except for Heather, and the idea of sympathy choked us.  I texted people we're close to but specified that they shouldn't respond.  I couldn't stand to hear it.  What else can anyone say other than, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.  Is there anything I can do?"  And what else could we say other than "Thank you"?  I told my dad-- who e-mailed against my wishes-- that we would accept either $20,000 or cupcakes.  Not surprisingly, it was the cupcakes that came through, and, no, they didn't make me feel better.  I mean, I totally ate them, but I wish they'd been spiked with tranquilizers or babies.

Heather has done better.  She was numb at first, and then philosophical.  Her stoicism was all the more valuable since, when we came home from the ultrasound, her visiting cousin was sitting on the couch, waiting for a field trip to the zoo.  I refused to accommodate the social situation, first hiding out, then sobbing openly on the couch in front of Rebecca, while Heather said she really thought I should go with them to the zoo.  Fuck that.  Rebecca was very lucky that Heather was functional, and we were very lucky that it was Rebecca there instead of some demonstrative whore who might have tried to hug us.  No hugs.

(When I made it back to work, a couple close friends hugged me and I immediately started crying, so it was for the best that I didn't give many people the chance.  I also skipped eyeliner and mascara; that seemed like asking for disaster.  If there was going to be an attempt at comfort, it needed to be in the form of drugs or food.)

The trick to being a bleeding-heart liberal is that I am both completely in support of a woman's right to choose and completely grieved at the idea of women having to make that choice.  The semantics of an embryo's development aside, I can only say that what was inside Heather's uterus was the holy grail of creation, for us, even if it only grew a little bit.  And I guess when you try so fucking hard to get any cells to divide in the uterus, those cells are the most precious thing in the world, and the pace and degree to which the cells divide becomes in some ways the way you measure your happiness.  We measured our happiness in a small black blob's contents, so whatever happened to those contents was, if not something actual scientists would describe as death, the death of something both ephemeral and profound.

That's a lot of words, and a lot of hedging, but then again it's hard to process how something that was supposed to be the size of a blueberry was not the size of anything.  Those cells fought to attach and grow, and they just couldn't.  The argument Heather makes, very reasonably and kindly, is that the embryo was weak from the start and never grew at a healthy rate, even with all the scientific manipulation money could buy.

So we've got a year of childless adventure ahead of us.  Trips and junk food and occasional substance abuse.  All the things we weren't supposed to do over the past few years.  Fill the hole, fill the time.  In a year, we'll do it all over again.

1 comment:

  1. I am thinking of you both and am a stranger that is defiantly in your cheering section.

    I'm glad you thought again about posting something. I know it's never easy to let people inside your private life, but I thank you for doing it. Enjoy each other as you let things be for the time being. I wish I had 20k to give you girls and I'd bring along cupcakes to scarf down with you.

    Please if you find it fitting, take time to keep all that follow you posted. It should be getting cooler there soon and that makes good for some cuddle time :D My wife and I live in FL and have to crank down the a/c to get that (I HATE HEAT).

    You guys will remain in my thoughts!