Something happened this week that happens everyday in every country in the world. When it happens to you it’s not unique, you’re not special. That doesnt matter. When it hits near you or god forbid, you, you’re the first to feel it, the only one who can understand. The fact that it is common is irrelevant.
Tonight the three of us trekked across the street to hang out with our neighbors who were in their yard. Darci and I met about a little over a year ago. She and her husband have a 13 month old, Camille. Last week Darci told me she was expecting, though I’ve know for about a month. She’s thin and tall and I’d noticed a change in wardrobe followed by a precious bumb that had recently emerged. Last week she was 19 weeks; “I would have told you sooner but I’m a worrier.” I told her I understood and gave a heartfelt congratulations. She laughed about getting pregnant while breastfeeding and how the two would be 18 months apart and she “will probably die.” We both cracked up. Cause, yeah maybe.
We were supposed to get together this week and go to the pool with the kids but her husband had been home Tuesday, then yesterday and again today. She hadn’t mentioned that he was on vacation so I kept my distance while keeping an eye on the ins and outs of visitors. Odd for the middle of the week.
When we approached the yard I saw Darci sitting on the other side of the deck, somewhat hidden. She stayed for a good 5 minutes while we chatted and Nate and Cami went off to eat mulch. When she came around to the side I noticed she looked like Hell, in hindsight I could have figured this out. Her face was broken, her tummy, missing, a bandaid on her wrist from the site of an IV. She was moving slowing and sat carefully on the grass, I plopped down next to her. We chatted, the four of us watching our kids act crazy and it was comfortable.
At some point I opened my damn mouth. “Were you able to tell at the ultrasound?” She slightly shook her head and lost it. That was all she could do or say. I started crying and all we could do was share a look and she told me it was “okay.” Well that’s bull, obviously but what could she say? I told Mike to get Nathan that we should go, she asked us to stay. So we did. We didn’t talk about it again, just shared glances of sorrow. We talked about upcoming vacations and about the trials and joys of toddler-hood. Later when Cami wandered into the neighbors yard Darci was with her and she sat at her back patio chatting with them and Mitch started tell us the details. Things I wanted to know but knew not to ask. They’d gone for the 20 week and the baby was gone. She’d had other ultrasounds and heard the heartbeat and all was well until now. I asked if she’d had a DNC, “No, she delivered yesterday. It took 12 hours.”
I know and I’m sure they do too that these things happen. “These things.” Can you be more trite? Even so it is what it is. I let him do the talking so that’s all I know today but if they don’t already know they will learn that something went wrong and the baby wouldn’t have had a normal life. But you know what, that’s what “we” say and “we” know. And what the hell do we know? I don’t know a damn thing other than an great family had their hearts ripped out of their chest, that life sucks and it’s not fair. No matter that everything happens for a reason. I imagine they’d like to flip the universe off and beg for their baby back. The one they got to see and hold and learn the gender after it had died, after a Mother was induced and had to deliver a baby that she would never hear cry. The one they had to say goodbye to 5 months before it’s scheduled birthday.
I know miscarriage is common, three of my six sisters have had one, my Mother had 4 one of which was Heidi’s twin. There could be more to come. Just because it happens doesn’t make it less gut wrenching.
I know that tonight there are mixed feelings of blessings and of loss. Tonight they will kiss their perfect, healthy one year old good night and then a Mother will go to bed, rest her hand on her empty womb and die a little more inside.
Life, often the cycle is all wrong.
My heart breaks for her and her family. I wish there was something I could do other than hold her hand and offer to walk her dog or watch her girl. I wish.