I had a miscarriage.
I haven’t said those words out loud yet. I know I will have to at some point, but for now it’s still unspoken. I don’t quite know how to articulate the story of a spot of blood, an ultrasound with an empty gestational sac, a weekend of intermittent cramping and more bleeding, another ultrasound, and finally, anesthesia, dilation and suction of my failed pregnancy.
Fail. It’s a loaded word to apply to such a situation, but appropriate. I was pregnant. Our fertilized egg made a placenta, a gestational sac, a yolk sac, but no baby. For nine weeks I carried a collection of cells, dreamed about girl babies with blond hair and blue eyes, threw up in the mornings, rubbed my stomach, and picked out names. Then I found out there was never really a baby there. At first I felt slightly better (or maybe just less bad) that my baby hadn’t died because she was never there in the first place. How can I mourn a baby who only existed in my heart?
Because I loved her. Because I wanted very badly to meet her, to kiss her and nibble on her fingers. To introduce her to her big brother. I am part of an online bulletin board for moms, and the women there who have lost babies to miscarriage invariably call them their angels. I can’t think of this baby as an angel. I don’t know when we get souls, if a yolk sac is enough to earn you immortality, or if a mother’s dream is enough to conjure you into existence. She is a ghost, my little ghost baby, and she is real to me. I’ll cry about her loss, I’ll grieve for her, I’ll remember my hopes and dreams for her. And I’ll love her.