It was the photographs. Of course there were photographs. I found the first ultrasound images of Olivia, made around ten weeks’ gestation, probably at the first appointment with my OB. She was just a little lump inside the gap which was my womb. But she was so much more. This must be what my other two babies looked like when I lost them around this same stage of gestation. The questions came up again: why did I lose them? What went wrong?
There were more photos of me and my family taken during those difficult three years, from miscarriage to miscarriage. I looked fine – my hair was nice – Jane in Columbus was my stylist then. I had a stylist because I worked full time and made good money, so I could afford a stylist. I was exercising twice a week. The classes were in a facility right down the hall from my office. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do: push aside my maternal instincts in order to work a corporate job. I did it to support my family and my husband through his career change. It forced me to work on those parts of myself that resisted doing what I hated doing.
Looking at these photos now, I deeply fear that this work-filled period of time consumed my last years of opportunity for having another baby. I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time. I was too busy loving the child I had. And working. For some damn reason the embryos just didn’t hold on. I will be forty two years old soon, and the option of a full term pregnancy becomes less likely with each passing day. This is a reality that is so, so hard for me to accept. I’m the kind of person that likes to keep all my options open. But it’s starting to look like I have to decide if it is time to give in to my body’s failings and call it quits on childbearing.
My friend Iva does spiritual readings. She sent me a message recently that tells me I am not a failure for not having another child, and asks me to release that falsity. She relays to me that after I have moved through this letting go, there will be a gift; a surprise.
I like surprises, but I think I’m going to need a lot of help with this. Time to tap my resources.
I’ll think of a more refined prayer tomorrow. Although I don’t think that’s a requirement, is it?