I don’t know why I am writing this. Maybe because it has been on my mind a lot lately. It happened 2 years ago. 29 October 2014 to be exact. I have never shared this story in as much detail before. I suppose maybe because it’s a side of pregnancy that I never expected or gave much thought to before I fell pregnant. That the symptoms are not the difficult part of pregnancy, and if they are then you are lucky. There are other scary things like miscarriage, birth defects, what they call high risk pregnancies, premature labour and so on. These types of issues are not really something people often discuss.
Don’t read on if you can’t handle graphic information.
At 16 weeks pregnant, I had gotten up again that night for the millionth time to wee, as pregnant women do, and fumbled through the dark and turned the light on in the bathroom. Something didn’t feel right, and as I sat down I looked and just… red. So much blood. Not a little. Not a trickle. A sudden rush of bright red blood. I screamed in absolute fear and my husband came running. I couldn’t talk. I could only gesture and show him. And with much effort got the name of our gynae out and the word “call”. We were told to hang tight and come into her office in the morning.
I’ll never forget lying in my bed pleading with God to save my baby. I told everyone to stay away and didn’t take calls. I wanted to be alone with my baby. I decided that no matter what, he was alive to me, until someone told me otherwise. I lay in bed and told him how much I loved him. I told him about what I most wanted to show him, tell him and do with him with him when he was born. That I am his mommy and so proud to be his mommy. No matter what happened I loved him and would always be his mommy. No one could change that for either of us.
Everything normal seemed strange, but finally the moment came for the gynae to search for our child with the ultrasound machine. The few seconds between putting the scanner on my tummy and finding the heartbeat felt like an eternity. And when I heard it the relief was something like I’ve never experienced in my life before. It’s so difficult to describe, but the best I can think to explain it, is that it felt like this sickness melted out of my body like water pouring out of a sponge. I also remember my body started shaking as sobs and floods of tears escaped me. My husband’s hand on my leg, which I could feel he had been fighting so desperately to remain steady, squeezed me with the joy that leapt in our hearts when we heard his heart beating. He was alive. He was active. He was not in distress.
I can tell you other stories from that pregnancy. But to a large degree this moment shaped it. Everything that happened thereafter was in the context of this moment in my mind. This was not completely a bad thing. I cherished it. I gradually let go of the fear. I am so blessed to get to cuddle my boy and tell him everyday that I love him. I know that. I know how blessed I am to watch him grow.
I remember asking my gynae earlier in that pregnancy when it was safe to tell our family about the pregnancy. She said that no matter what happened, I am pregnant now. That that is worth celebrating. Why let the possibility of loss ruin the joy. If the worst happened it would not take away from the fact that I had been pregnant. Who would I tell if we lost the baby? Why not let them partake in the joy as well rather than risk them only getting to feel the loss.