Thursday, November 10, 2011

Loss and Gain

Sometimes life can a be a bit of an old record player playing over and over again. In August I was beyond happy to find out I was pregnant. I had miscarried twice before and this time I was sure it would all be alright. I was hopeful and looking forward. I was traveling in the States, when I found out and it was good to be pregnant in the place I was from. When I came home to Thailand I told my family and everyone was over the moon. We had all been sad to lose the last baby and now we were given another chance.

Babies have a way of pushing you into action and I was feeling some sort of action needing to be taken. It has been 7 years since I have lived in America and the baby was making me desire the comforts of home. Being a stranger in a strange land is all well and good but sometimes you just want to be where you know. Plus it is difficult to make money here and things were getting tight. Maybe we should go to New York. I had missed it so for the last 7 years and it would be a great place for us and the kids. We could start to make some money and I could be back in the city I loved. I could feel the fear starting to trickle in my mind. NY is great but how would we find the money and we have no health insurance and where would the baby be born and how would we afford the birth in America. Would we go to Ireland to have the baby. I had 2 wonderful experiences there with the midwives and plus its free. But we have no home in Ireland. Where would we stay and how would we afford to live there while we wait for the baby to come. Would I go alone? The pressure was mounting and I was feeling overwhelmed. I needed to see the baby and make sure everything was OK. I went for a scan at 8 weeks and I could see my baby. My daughter and husband came with as well but for some reason they weren't allowed in. I was terrified to find another dead baby. They did the scan, and there was my baby with a strong heart beat. I cried with relief. When I showed Feargal the picture he cried as well. I was relieved but not fully. Something seemed to not feel right.

It was time to get back to my meditation and clear my mind so I  could relax and take care of myself and the baby. I started mediation and I began to regain my calm. I was now 12 weeks pregnant and  I woke up early in the morning with the feeling that everything would be ok. It was 430 and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up and started doing the laundry and getting on with my day. I headed to the market and it was bustling. I bought some fresh vegetables and some fresh fruit and even ventured into the meat section with all the pieces of the animals in full view. The smell didn't seem to overwhelm me and I was happy to be able to buy this wonderful array of food for my family. I was feeling so blessed to have this wonderful life. I ran into the woman who works at my Chinese doctor's office and told her I would be calling her later that day to make an appointment to see the doctor. I wanted to have some support during this pregnancy.

Aiko had some friends over that day and we were making homemade pizza. The girls were coloring and Feargal was listening to the rugby highlights on the Internet. I went to the bathroom and there it was. Blood. I screamed and immediately Aiko came running and said "What's wrong Mommy? Is the baby dead?" I guess we all knew. We called the father of Aiko's friends who were over and asked him to come by and watch all the kids while we went to the hospital.

I had been there before, lying there on the bed while the woman doing the scan tries to look hopeful as she sees no sign of life in my uterus. "Is the baby ok?" I say. "I'll look again." she says. "I haven't found the heart yet." Maybe the baby is in a funny angle and can't be seen properly. Even when you know, you still want to believe its not true. "I'm sorry." She says. "You can try again."

I am wheeled out and asked to wait to speak to a doctor. While we are waiting an American woman sitting close by begins to talk to me. She is  4 weeks pregnant but has recently had a miscarriage. She has come to seek help in trying to avert another miscarriage. "This doctor is wonderful", she says "Maybe he can help you." but its too late. My baby is dead. She and her husband are missionaries and she asks why we are here. And then asks"So how did you two meet?" I am completely shocked and stunned. I don't know what to say. Just then She is called away to see the doctor and I turn to Feargal and say,"what a nut case." and with such compassion he says, "she is just so nervous about losing her baby. She didn't know what she was saying." Wow, he was right. I understand. Miscarrying is like some horrible little secret you must not talk about. Women are supposed to not tell anyone they are pregnant until they are sure the baby is ok and then if its not, then what? The response, that it's natures way, does not cut it. As we are about to leave the woman approaches us and asks if she can say a pray. I don't want to make her feel bad so I agree. She talks about Jesus and asks him to take care of this little baby that is in heaven now. It is somewhat comforting. I don't believe that souls die but in that moment I am glad for an acknowledgment of the pain and loss.

I return to pick up my children and carry on with their play date. I must try and keep myself busy and wait for the full miscarriage. It is a surreal day and I must go forward as if everything is ok. I miscarry the next day at home and we bury the baby at the base of the coconut tree in front of our house. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that we never really die, just our body. So what was it? What was this soul was trying to help me learn? As I bury this baby I realize that if this soul was kind enough to come to me then I must appreciate what I had wanted to learn from this experience and not to take for granted this other being's journey that had been made for me. I must see myself in truth and without judgment. I spent a long time thinking about it and after much thought, I came to see that the baby wanted to help me to learn that I was not just here to give life to others and take care of them but I must give life to myself and take care of myself. The baby was right that's what I had done most of my life. I had thought that if I wasn't taking care of others and taking care of myself I was a bad person. Now I understood that there was a balance and with that I realized it was time to get back to creating for myself not anyone else.

And so with that I begin the book I came here to write. I will pay attention to the child inside me who had been asking me to listen for so long and I will write her words and create a sense of birth of freedom. Which is why we came here in the first place.