Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pondering the Past

Yesterday as I walked to my naturopathic appointment I noticed all around me the signs of spring. Trees budding, crocuses blooming, birds singing. It was with a jolt that I awoke to where I was a year ago. Sometimes my memory works that way - something I casually observe suddenly catapults me back to a different time, a memory buried within that I didn't even know I'd saved.

This time a year ago, I was 5 weeks pregnant.

I associated that pregnancy with spring so strongly. I wrote in my journal about how exciting it was to watch the world blossom around me, and know that something was blossoming inside me as well. I felt so completely in tune with the world and with my body. It was an exciting time. An innocent time.

I didn't make it to the end of the first trimester. At 11 weeks and 3 days, I miscarried due to actions I've since come to believe were entirely my fault. What would have been the second trimester of my pregnancy was spent in spiraling depression and terror that I'd never get a second chance. Chris and I had some of the worst fights of our relationship during this time. Another low point came when I pulled myself together enough to try and attend a self-help group for other women who'd experienced pregnancy loss. The group was seemingly cancelled and/or moved without informing me, and I had the door slammed in my face when I tried to find out where they'd gone.

Last May through July was the lowest period of my life. I was trying with increasing desperation to get pregnant again and was getting nearly hysterical when it didn't happen. I had no perspective whatsoever: I knew that many women took months or even years to get pregnant, yet I was diagnosing myself as a failure after two months and emailing my midwives about the possibility of being infertile. I was completely out of control.

In August, I started seeing a naturopath, Dr. Karen Fraser, for the first time. She had me fill out a form at my first appointment asking what concerns I wanted to address with her. I wrote that I wanted to "stop worrying, relax, and get pregnant." She told me that if I'd been her patient at the time of the miscarriage, she would have advised me to give my body three months to heal before trying again. That the fact I hadn't conceived in those three months did not make me a failure. And that I had some physiological issues which, while not interfering with pregnancy or conception, were contributing to the fact that I was completely miserable and stressed out.

I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started taking supplements to deal with the depression. I gave myself a month off from "trying". I stopped giving myself such a hard time and began to work on remembering what else in my life made me happy, and focussing on those things. It was a happy coincidence that Chris and I headed off on a fun and relaxing holiday the next day - a holiday where, incidentally, our next baby was conceived, quite without intention.

I see all of this as being one continuous pregnancy story. A first trimester, a miscarriage, a missing trimester of depression, weight gain, and fear, then another first trimester. It's all connected, to me, and if there were any lingering doubt then one bizarre fact eliminates it.

My expected due date - May 5th - is the precise anniversary of the day I miscarried last year.

The day I went through a mini-labour to expel a dead baby from my body will now be redeemed by the experience of a true labour to birth a live one. When I ponder that fact, I am simply overcome with the unknowable wisdom of a Being or Universe that would make these circumstances real.


Amberism said...

It'll be like a full circle moment, where the birth of your little babe will be able to take a difficult part of your past and make that time of year a beautiful one.

That doesn't really sound like what I intended it to, but maybe the universe does have a meaning in amidst the madness.

adequatemom said...

Hey Amber, your comment is perfect. That's exactly the way I see it: a full circle moment.


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