** Warning, this is long. I’m sorry. If you make it all the way through bravo. If you don’t, I won’t be mad at you. **
You are all familiar with my two most recent pregnancies (Blueberry Bean and Spring Baby). Blueberry Bean is still the most painful of my losses, and I think that’s because I was so sure he was going to make it. I was so certain he was going to be the live baby that made this whole journey worthwile. Since the loss of Spring Baby (and it’s similarity to my other four pregnancies), I have been thinking a lot about my first four babies. And since this is my place where I talk about infertility and pregnancy loss, I thought I’d write out what I’ve been thinking about.
My first pregnancy was in July 1995. Yes, 1995. I was 15. This was my only “accidental” pregnancy (as in we were using BC). G & I had been intimate so few times, and at such infrequent intervals at that time that I can remember the exact encounter. It was also memorable because it was the one and only time in our relationship that the condom broke. My periods were very irregular even then, so I wasn’t concerned when my period was a week late, I wasn’t even too concerned when it was two weeks late. But by the time I was three weeks late, and my breasts hurt like AF was coming any second and I was crampy like AF was coming any second I thought something was wrong. Of course, at 15 that’s how you think of pregnancy, as being wrong. The day that I was going to ask G to take me to Planned Parenthood for a test, I started my period. It started with a sharp cramp and lots of blood. There was also something I hadn’t experienced, yet, lot of clots. Huge clots. I spent three hours in the bathtub that day, too scared to tell anyone what was going on, too scared to get any help. After three hours the cramping and the bleeding slowed down. I rode the bus downtown to Planned Parenthood, by myself. I was afraid to call G and didn’t want him to go (he’s a worrier). They had me pee in a cup and wait. Then a nurse called me back and told me that the test was positive, but because I was bleeding I wouldn’t need an abortion. Even then, in shock and young and scared I was so pissed! Need an abortion?!?! I hadn’t even considered an abortion. Even though at the time I didn’t want to be pregnant. Even though I was sure my parent would send me away to a Christian prison for knocked up teens (yes, they would have). Even though I was 15 and scared to death, it had never occured to me that I would do anything other than have the baby. Granted I hadn’t thought any further than that. The nurse recommended that I take a home test in a week and see if it was still possitive, if so I would need to see my gynecologist or come back. I did, it wasn’t.
At the time I knew nothing about pregnancy or pregnancy loss. As much as I hate to admit it, I was relieved that the pregnancy ended itself. I didn’t want the baby to die, I just wanted to not be pregnant. Of course, I didn’t find out that I was until after the baby was dead.
Now I know that I was almost seven weeks pregnant. I now know that the baby had a beating heart. I now wish that I had been able to carry that child to term. I still grieve that baby. Throughout the years I’ve wondered what life would have been like with that child. Would G and I have stayed together? Would I have ended up in this career? Would we have stayed in Ohio? Obviously, EVERYTHING would have been different. I wonder what he or she would have looked like. I wonder what they would have acted like. I have calculated my due date for that pregnancy as mid January 1996. I would have been 16.
The question that haunts me the most is how would life be today with a 13 year old child? How would I mother a 13 year old? Next year I’ll be thinking about my phantom 14 year old. And that’s what she is (this baby was a she in my mind), a phantom. She is a constant reminder of what could have been.