Zoe’s First Story, part 2

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Here is the thing about miscarriage: it strips away confidence.

All the optimism, all the nonchalance I breezed into my first pregnancy with got completely blown out of the water by that loss. So when the second pregnancy happened, and happened so quickly, I spent nine weeks with a mixture of disbelief and dread.  I just didn’t want to go through that heartbreak again.

And even though I knew better, I found myself questioning how “real” this one was.  Did I have enough symptoms?  I didn’t, I couldn’t, I wasn’t nauseous or tired enough.  I didn’t “feel” pregnant.  I felt like I was holding my breath, expecting it to go wrong.  Mike and I agreed not to tell anyone this time, though we did reveal it to our parents.  We pinky-swore them to secrecy.  I had a bit of gallows humor about the whole thing, though I did continue to take vitamins and eat “right”, as defined by me.

I slept poorly the night before my nine week appointment.  Anxiety had me waking up three times.  When we got there, the CNM didn’t spend much time asking questions — she knew I’d had a miscarriage two months before, so we got straight to business.

We started with the fetal doppler to try and listen for a heartbeat.  Not the CNM’s idea, but she was interning a woman that day, and the intern wanted to try.  Nothing.  The head midwife brushed this off — too early, she said.  Then the ultrasound gel got applied, and the monitor came up, and —

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Zoe’s First Story, part 1

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Our lives are a series of stories, some short, some long, some with epic arcs, but mostly vignettes connected with a common theme: our selves.

Zoe’s first story began with an ending: the miscarriage of my first pregnancy.  This will probably be the only time I talk about it because, truth be told, I talked about it enough when it happened and at this point it just feels gratuitous.  Also: it’s done.

But I also don’t like pretending it didn’t happen; that doesn’t seem fair to the kid-who-could-have-been, even if it never grew enough to have eyes or a heart or a voice.

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