The hardest part for me right now is making sense of what happened. By all measures, this was an exceptionally healthy pregnancy: the high early betas; the fact that the risk of miscarriage falls to less than 5% after that first ultrasound showing the heartbeat; the initial integrated prenatal screening results that were, in the word of my OB, “excellent”; the fact that I was feeling so wonderful; the ultrasound just four weeks ago (scant two weeks before the baby died) showing everything bang-on target.
Unable to make any rational sense of it, my mind wanders to superstition. What did I do to call down the gods? If only I hadn’t spent all that money last Monday on five new pieces of maternity clothing – all of which I washed or wore, of course. If only I hadn’t skipped some of those prenatal vitamins. If only I hadn’t kept going to the gym on Saturday mornings. If only I hadn’t told Tristan’s teacher that very morning, dropping Tristan off for school on the way to my appointment. If only I hadn’t changed my blogger profile just this past Sunday evening – after willfully waiting and waiting and waiting to do so – to include reference to the baby. If only I hadn’t asked Farley Mowat to include Baby in the inscription on my book. If only, if only, if only…. if only I could find that time machine and skip back to Sunday night and take it all back.
Even in this time of sadness, though, there is joy. I was waiting for the phone to ring, expecting it to be Beloved, who still didn’t know about the baby. Instead, it was my brother, who greeted my tentative “Hello?” with a blissfully oblivious, “It’s a girl!!” His daughter, Brooke Laurel arrived yesterday morning at a perfectly healthy 6 lbs 14 oz. A first granddaughter for both sets of grandparents. Doesn’t your heart just break for my poor mother, trying to take in all this in a single morning?
Many years ago, Nancy gave us a set of “boo boo bunnies”. They’re little terry-cloth bunny heads wrapped around a block of plastic-encased liquid. You keep them in the freezer and apply liberally when there is a boo-boo that needs soothing. The boys love them, and request them for all manner of bumps and bruises.
When the boys burst through the door late yesterday afternoon, their boundless energy banished the ghosts of sorrow and dismay and anger and loss that had been swirling around me all day. They’re my boo-boo bunnies, full of kisses and burbling laughter and boyish silliness that heals even the deepest wounds on my soul.