Closing The Adventures Of Baby-Making
‘It’s 11 am on May 15, 2016. I’m laying on the table in the doctor’s office, legs spread (ladies you know the drill). Meanwhile, the ultrasound technician is poking around looking for our nine-week old baby within my uterus. You know, the teeny tiny angel who is already firmly rooted in our hearts.
We were absolutely sure this time. After all, I had made it farther into a pregnancy than any time before, so it must ‘real’ this go round. We even new in our hearts that the baby was a little girl. Ruby Jean Haywood. Ruby, after Chris’s grandmother, the most-saintly women to walk the earth since Mother Teresa. And Jean, after my mother, the strongest, bravest and most caring woman I know.
Our precious Ruby Jean, we could not wait to meet her, hold her, and in this moment, see her on the ultrasound screen sucking her thumb (or at least, that’s how I had envisioned her).
My beautiful mother and husband, Chris, wait impatiently. Watching. Holding their breath.
And then she spoke…
‘… Hmm… the baby is only measuring at 6 weeks, are you sure you have the conception date right? ... there is just a tiny flutter of a heart beat conducive with a 6-week fetus…’
The rest of the visit was a blur. I felt numb, and then I was a wreck. I barely even remember speaking with the doctor. Aside from the expression of deep sadness on my mother’s face, (and as all mother’s know, the only thing that can bring a mother this much grief, is the grief in her daughters’ heart), otherwise, I just can’t remember.
I cried. And then I cried some more. And some more. Chris held me so tight, and eventually his strength and reassurance began to calm me.
It was such a huge blow.
My heart broke that day, into more pieces than I knew possible. Chris too, was heart-broken. We clung to each other for the next several days like children stuck out in a snow storm with nowhere to go.
We (Chris and I) are extremely fortunate, even in our most heart wrenching moments, in that we weather every storm with complete love, trust, safety, vulnerability and comfort.
I cannot imagine going through this life or any difficult (or joyful) experience without the unconditional support of my king of kings, my rock, my husband.
The doctor thought I would miscarry naturally and easily within 7-10 days. He was wrong. I didn’t miscarry until a little past 12 weeks. Three and a half weeks of carrying a baby that I knew was no longer alive.
The waiting was the most difficult part of the whole situation.
Broken, But Filled With Love
It took just two days after the ‘doomsday doctor’s visit’ for us to decide we would close the adventures of baby-making. It was time to surrender. A decision that was actually quite simple. We have of course discussed that decision at least 15 additional times since then; to check on one another, to make sure it wasn’t rash or born of grief, and just to be sure our hearts were on solid ground.
As with all facets of our life together, Chris and I have a collective ability to function in complete unison. It’s pure and utter magic. Our lives, hearts, minds, love, values, ideals, and ideas are incredibly aligned. As such, decisions like this are as well. This magic is a product of deep heart work, dedication to healing, commitment to LOVE first and foremost, and raw vulnerability.
Our love is a gift, a gift to all really.
I say this not to brag or be prideful, it just IS. A significant piece of our divine purpose on this planet is our bond, our unity, our way of looking at ALL things as an adventure and our joint belief that all is and always will be ‘perfectly, damnably well’. Our ability to take the greatest of grieving and make it about love and connection is divine.
Quite frankly, I felt relieved. Maybe more relief than grief as time waged on. Our decision to suspend our baby-making efforts is the right choice for us.
This last pregnancy was extremely stressful. I was so acutely aware of every rumbling, every twinge, and every sensation, that I was either sitting in meditation so I could have any semblance of calm, or I was thinking in a frantic or fearful direction! Needless to say, I meditated A LOT during those weeks. These days, I’m not a fan of my mind running me ragged and meditation shores me up, body, mind and spirit.
Yet, it was taxing. Frequent questions pouring out of my monkey mind. ‘Should I be eating that?” Should I be walking this much?” “Should I be lifting that?” “Am I calm enough?” “Was that a miscarry cramp?” “Should I go lay down?” “Oh my God, more cramps, this is it, another miscarriage.” And on the madness went for many weeks.
Ugh! Yes, I was extremely grateful when peace had come back into my mind and spirit, even under the worst of circumstances.
After receiving the news that our sweet Ruby Jean was not ‘viable’, we quickly packed up and retreated to Mother Nature, our preferred sanctuary. First, a couple of weeks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And then, like a mystical gift from the Universe, Chris had a bit of work cancel, making it possible to retreat to our favorite piece of paradise, Crested Butte, Colorado, where we held up for about a month… and where the miscarriage actually took place.
Oddly, it didn’t occur to me that a 12 + week miscarriage would be so insanely traumatic for my body, compared to the many 6-7-week miscarriages I had experienced in the past.
Once the miscarriage began, it took an unheard of, 9 days to clear, 1 emergency room visit, more pain than I knew my body could produce, and a husband who could barely stand the sense of ‘powerlessness’ that he felt. Even our pup was a hot mess listening to me writhe and cry out in pain.
About 4 days into miscarrying, and while literally on a client call, I began to experience so much pain that I was passing out. I embarrassingly and quickly ended my client call and called Chris in a panic. He was out running a few errands in the quaint little town of Crested Butte when