Two pink lines. Some women have the privilege to know exactly the moment they become pregnant. And she did. They already had a perfect daughter, young and vicarious, not even alive for a year, when she was told she was going to be a big sister. Mom and dad were nervous. “Did we have enough alone time with our first daughter? Can we afford this? Why didn’t the protection work?” They weren’t ready for this, especially the mother.
Lainey was in love with her young child, but a cloud followed her everywhere. A cloud that nobody told her about. She was called for a follow up and the doctor noticed the dark cloud. Post partum depression. “This is a thing? Why me?” she asked her husband. She didn’t get out of bed. Made sure her little one could get to the food she needed and the juices she loved. Showers weren’t important to her. Add in those two pink lines. Her cloud grew bigger.
The first doctors appointment for the unexpected pregnancy went as well as any other appointment. Yet, Lainey still walked out of the office, sad, confused, and in a world full of people, she felt alone. She couldn’t figure out why her heart just wouldn’t allow her to get attached to this new addition growing inside her womb. She wanted to get attached. Maybe it would lighten the dark cloud and make the rain feel less painful. For weeks she would try to smile through the uneasy feelings and upset. Her husband had come around to the idea of another sweet blossom in the family. Names were thrown out. The what will it be’s? A little sister? Finally someone to carry on the last name (family full of girls wont get a last name very far). Still, the mothers heart was not in it.
The second ultrasound was scheduled and there was a thickness in the air. The tech looked and looked in silence. Lainey finally felt a little attachment, at the idea that something could be wrong. “What is it? Why wont you even look at me?” She asked the unempathetic technician. “I can’t say. Ill get the doctor when I am done” Still not looking at her. What seemed like an eternity was only four minutes. Four long minutes for Lainey to realize this IS what she wanted. She wanted to feel kicks. She wanted to hold her new child. “Hello Mrs. Richards. How are we today?’ Numb. She was numb. “Well it looks like we have a second little one in there. Here is one heart beat. *whoosh whoosh whoosh* And here is the second.” She couldn’t hear the second but she could see it. “The second heart beat is a little faint, but that’s to be expected this early. There is also a slight hematoma (bruise) between the placenta and uterus. That should subside.”
Lainey walked out of the office for the second time. This time the dark cloud felt lighter. The idea of not one but two more children, scared her tremendously. But it was a calming feeling to her now. For the next 24 hours she called everyone in the family to share the news. With every phone call full of happy shrieks and shrills that pesky cloud grew lighter and lighter. She would have loved to do one of those cute surprises but her excitement was too overwhelming. That night Lainey tucked in her spunky one year old and settled into the couch for a relaxing moment. But she couldn’t get comfortable. The back pain was a lot. But it wasn’t a constant pain, just a sharp pain about every 3 minutes. She had no idea what it could be. Her tummy turned hard and she felt nauseous. “Maybe I should just go lay down and everything will be okay in the morning.”
Tossing and turning with no comfort insight her husband rolls over “can I rub your back?” What a sweet man. She instantly replied “Yes! I’ll get the lotion!” As she stood up, it felt as though her womb fell out from underneath her. Blood covered the shorts she was wearing. Onto the floor. A flood of sticky red, panicked the both of them. The most blood they had ever humanly seen. He rushed her to the bathroom as fast as he could while watching the most graphic sight. Globs of clots wouldn’t stop coming and she felt cold. The shaking set in and he realized the only option was to drive her a block to the hospital. Wrapping towels around the bottom half of her, he gathered their daughter and rushed them as fast as he could. By the time the staff of the hospital was able to get to her, the two tiny embryos (because everyone refused to call them babies) were laying in a pool of blood in her saturated Playtex liner. And all she could do was cry for the children she had just begun to love. The two tiny babies that had finally made the thick dark cloud disperse and she could breathe again.
As if it weren’t enough, that dark cloud turned black and returned with vengeance. She was never going to be the same.
She was stuck. She was ashamed of the way she felt again. She couldn’t fathom how a mother could have the most beautiful little girl, and weep for babies she didn’t even know. She didn’t understand how she tried as hard as she could to love and attach to the idea of having another baby, she eventually did, just for them to be ripped from her womb. How could she mourn for something she wasn’t sure she was okay with for the longest time at the beginning? But she did. The mourned the loss of what could they have been? She mourned the idea of her daughter being a big sister. She mourned the idea of her husband holding another baby.
Once the acceptance set in and took over the mourning, she could feel her heart mending. She spoke to women who had experienced the same tragic losses. She reached out to professionals who helped her through the biggest black cloud she had ever felt in her presence. Her husband was the stiffest, most sturdy tree among the storm. And she leaned on him as much as she could. Eventually she became herself again. Lainey was the mother she yearned to be.
Written By:Nichole Potter