I waited longer than usual to write today’s blog post because I was scheduled for my six-week appointment this afternoon and wanted that to take place first.
Being there was hard, but not as hard as it was three weeks ago. I’ve discovered that it’s very difficult for me to return to places where I have strong memories of being pregnant. The first time back is really challenging. The second time back, it’s much easier. It hurts, but I don’t feel like I’m going to burst into tears at the drop of a hat.
I kept my eyes on my phone the whole time in the waiting room, so as not to come into contact with any pregnant women. Sometimes I feel like warning them not to count their chickens before they hatch. (Literally.) I want to say, “You might not be taking your baby home from the hospital, you know.”
That’s not a good thing to say to a pregnant woman. So I kept my eyes on my phone.
The midwife I’ve been seeing since Lauren died is also pregnant, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me coming from her.
We talked for a little while, and I told her I’m doing okay. I think she believed me this time. (She didn’t seem like she believed me three weeks ago.) And she checked my uterus and said I’m healing very well, physically. I think it’s safe to say I’m healing pretty well emotionally too.
We talked a little bit about the test results. Three weeks ago, she’d discussed with us that they’d found that Lauren’s cord was hypocoiled (not coiled enough). Usually, the baby’s umbilical cord is coiled so that it has some give to it if pressure is applied. Otherwise, the supply of blood flow to the baby can be compromised.
This appears to have been what happened with Lauren.
At this appointment, I shared the thought that’s been nagging me for the last three weeks. With tears in my eyes, I said, “As a mother, my natural fear is that she was hungry or suffering in some way…” I couldn’t even finish my thought.
The midwife looked me straight in the eye. “No,” she said. “Absolutely not. We can tell because your baby and the placenta looked completely healthy. We would know if she were malnourished. You can clearly tell.”
“Cross that off your list of things you’re worried about,” she said.
“It was just a moment,” she added. “With cord accidents, it’s just a moment, and they’re gone.”
I felt oddly relieved. It’s a comfort to me to think that all Lauren knew was the womb. She never experienced the shocking trauma of birth. She never knew hunger or pain or fear. She knew darkness, and warmth, and love. And that’s all.
And that helps.