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Considering It: The Togetherness In Which We Are Held

Saturday night we met up with a large group of friends for a food and game night. During one round of “The Newlywed Game” the following question was asked of the husbands: “What does your wife have too many of?”

Most of the husbands answered ‘shoes’ or ‘clothes’ but one gave this response: dilemmas.

Hysterical. Also? Easily applicable to me. I was relieved when The Husband answered ‘shoes’ for me. (Not true, by the way.)

But isn’t that just part of the female condition? That we are such experts in the conducting of careful analyses that our male counterparts may misidentify our thoroughness? Or maybe it’s just that our analyses are more verbalized than men’s are?

Or, I don’t know . . . maybe we just have more dilemmas.

* * * * *

It has been two weeks since January 17th, two weeks since Dr. Bigger Picture said to give my body a week or two to miscarry.

Nary a spot and I could count the cramps on one hand. With fingers, plural, left over. Not counting my thumb, either.

I haven’t been in any hurry to call for the follow-up, thinking ‘nature’ may just be taking her time. Thinking maybe I’m wrong about comparing my uterus to a little old lady wrestling with a purse snatcher. Maybe I’m wrong to be telling my belly “LET THE PURSE GO, GRANNY!” At least I’m not doing it out loud in public. Yet. I did text it to one friend, but that’s not exactly ‘out loud.’

Also? One time my eighty-year-old grandmother (or maybe she was seventy-eight at the time?) wrestled with a purse snatcher. So, you know, hereditary fiestiness. And genetic not-let-go-iness.

* * * * *

On Monday I bit the bullet, called to schedule what I figured would be a late week morning appointment. Late week on account of probably they’re not in any bigger a hurry to see me than I am to see them, what with me being a not-success and all.

“How about Tuesday afternoon at 2:30?” she asked me.

Then I realized that the ball was no longer sitting idly at my feet, but rolling swiftly down the hill toward an unpleasant choice.

I accepted the offered appointment time.

Said a quiet prayer that my body would relax, let this baby go.

And took off after the ball I had set in motion.

I didn’t mention the appointment to any of my close friends. I don’t know why.

* * * * *

Since November, most of our appointments have been on Tuesday/Thursday mornings, with an occasional random Sunday thrown in for variety.

In mid-January, a ladies’ Bible study on Colossians started on Tuesday mornings. I wanted to join; wanted to dig into another book that I’ve only superficially read before. But the first class meeting coincided with our January 17th appointment. And then the next class meeting coincided with my need to be quiet and still in my own home.

When our appointment this week was scheduled for an afternoon, I presumed that my morning was being held open purposefully and that it was up to me to make good use of it.

And so I met up with the ladies studying Colossians.

Just in time for a reminder about from where the ‘togetherness’ of the last few weeks (months) has come.


It hasn’t come from me.

My attempts to hold me together after our previous losses were dismal experiences.

I am a terrible bus driver.

I do much better when I take a seat and just sing.

Not that my singing voice is remarkable. Or even in tune.

But at least I’m not singing me off any cliffs or anything. Can’t say the same about my bus-driving days.

* * * * *

Yesterday’s ultrasound showed that the baby’s heart had stopped and he had not grown any more since he measured 6w3d at our last appointment.

Do you know what that means?

I got to witness some of his very last heartbeats.

I am glad I didn’t reschedule that January 17th appointment.

Had I waited another day or two, it is not likely I would have seen those precious last beats.

As it is, I was keenly aware of every single day of that baby’s existence, from the day his cells began to divide to the day his tiny speck of a heart slowed to a stop.

And I’m going to keep referring to him as he.

* * * * *

Dr. Bigger Picture gave me permission to keep waiting on nature . . . and also gave me the option not to.

I’ve been here before, the place where I have to decide which is weightier: my need not to take affirmative action to remove a pregnancy I so desperately wanted versus my need to heal and move forward.

A dilemma.

In this context, I absolutely have too many dilemmas.

Just one of these is too many.

* * * * *

Last time I was here I waited five weeks from the diagnosis of the blighted ovum for my body to figure out that the pregnancy wasn’t viable. By the time I gave in and had the D&C, I was 14 weeks “pregnant.” Probably? The Ute would’ve carried that blighted ovum to term.

I cannot do that this time. I am 10 weeks pregnant as of today. I cannot bear another 4 weeks of waiting for the physical confirmation of an end that has already occurred.

I feel guilty admitting that.

Maybe because I know this time there was a baby?

Maybe because it’s just heartbreaking to confess that I am prioritizing my healing over my baby’s naturally passing from my body?

I don’t know.

* * * * *

The D&C is scheduled for noon today.

I spent yesterday making new plans.

Plans to resume training with my pavement-pounding girlfriends for a 10k at the end of February.

Plans to get those shaggy layers and chunky bangs in a few weeks.

Plans to road trip the 460 miles to visit my Other Valley Girl.

In all of the plan making, I didn’t mention today’s appointment to any of my friends. Not to anyone other than my mother and mother-in-law. I don’t know why exactly.

Maybe I was holding open the possibility that I’ll do a last minute flip-flop. I’ve done that before. (This is scheduled to auto-post while I’m in pre-op, so if you’re reading it I didn’t flip this time. Or flop.)

Or maybe I just couldn’t put it all into words more than once.

I don’t know.

It doesn’t really matter, though. I feel completely certain that every one of those girls would be quick to wrap me in assurances that they would make the same decision. To tell me this isn’t a betrayal when the baby has already passed away.

My Other Valley Girl told me that exact I-would-make-the-same-decision thing at least three times in December/January 2009-2010, first as I scheduled the D&C, then as I cancelled it the night before surgery, then as I rescheduled it five weeks later.

Maybe knowing just how supportive my support base is has freed me from the need to ask for the support. I just know it’s there.

And instead I can do other things. Like make road trip plans.

So thank you, friends.

See what you didn’t even know you were helping me through?

In him all things are held together.

You probably didn’t even realize your role in his togetherness holding.

I do.

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