“I just don’t feel pregnancy anymore,” I said with what he thought were premature tears trickling down my cheeks.
“So much can change in early pregnancy,” he said. “I’m sure you’ll be nauseous again soon.”
Soon didn’t happen.
“Soon” turned into hours and I still didn’t feel pregnant.
I never understood it before this moment. I never understood how people could say that they just “felt pregnant.” Without feeling the baby kick you in the ribs, how could you feel pregnant?
Likewise, I never understood how you could stop feeling pregnant. But, in those moments, I learned the feeling. I just didn’t feel pregnant anymore.
I was no longer exhausted.
Nausea was gone.
I could eat a full meal again.
I didn’t feel like I was on the brink of tears anymore. Although, truthfully, I felt on the brink of a whole new kind of tears. Now, I was anticipating the grief tears that make you feel like someone has ripped your heart out.
A day later, my husband (who remained full of optimism) packed me in the car for the mile drive up to the emergency room.
I held my breath and he stroked my hand while we waited for the ultrasound tech to make her way into the hospital. I felt like someone had cut off the oxygen to the entire building. I felt like there was no more hope in my heart or my womb.
“Cathie.” The tech finally arrived.
“Let’s go see the baby, honey,” he said. Still filled with so much hope.
I didn’t want to go. Time stood still in that moment. I was happy in that moment. I was pregnant. For all we knew, the baby may still have a chance. If I followed the tech, I knew it was over. There would be no more baby. No more excitement. No more dreaming.
I put on that little paper dress and laid back on the table. I didn’t want to look at the screen because last time I had looked at that screen the baby had a heartbeat. I liked that view. Those were happy tears to cry.
It didn’t take long for the ultrasound techs demeanor to shift. There were no more pleasantries. No more hospitality. No more smiles.
I don’t know if you felt it that day, but the world stopped turning. She left and I had to get myself dressed and show myself out. What had just happened to my life?
Somehow in the middle of sobs, my husband grabbed ahold of me. After a long embrace he put his hands on my face and tenderly held me. Grabbing my cheeks he said, “Promise me. Promise me this isn’t going to change us.”
Strength entered into the recesses of our brokenness. Bawling, I promised. That commitment forged the trajectory of our grief.
Baby-less, but hand-in-hand, we left the hospital. Knowing not what was ahead of us, but we knew we were in it together.
The weeks and months ahead were excruciating. If you’ve loved and lost you know what I mean.
While we grieved with different intensities and at different times, I was confident in one thing: we were committed to unity and to growth. That truth allowed me to grieve assured that nothing would rock the foundation that was us. We were going to be okay. It may be messy and far from perfect but we were going to be a better version of us at the end.
Allow me to ask you a question: what are you committed to? In the midst of your grief, what have you and your partner committed to?
If your brain has just gone blank, let me encourage you to sit down with your partner and commit to doing this dreadful season together. Commit yourself to growth. Commit yourself to unity. Commit yourself to the intimacy that is grieving together.
Don’t waste this opportunity to strengthen your relationship during this difficult season.