Monday, April 23, 2007

My Journey - Part II

I lost 15 kilos (about 35 pounds) with the help of the acupuncturist. Today I know I’d be able to loose the same amount of weight if I followed the diet without the needles stuck in my ear. Apple juice and mushrooms were my staple food. Oh yes, now and then a minute piece of steak, a tiny wedge of tomato and some lettuce.

After the 3rd visit, I felt comfortable enough to tell the acupuncturist why I was trying to loose weight. He threw his hands in the air and scolded me for not telling him earlier – he had the perfect solution!

Two months later, on that awesome day in January ’95, the elusive 2 pink lines appeared at last! The ultrasound only showed a bump on my uterine wall at 5 weeks, but it was there. We were pregnant at last!

(Just a few sobering thoughts on the acupuncture thing and getting pregnant. Looking back I don’t think it was the looooong needle in my ear that triggered the ovulation, but a combination of things. You don’t know how many times I’ve looked up the name of a local acupuncturist since then. Maybe, just maybe it would work again. But then logic surfaced and I put down the phone.)

Our families were ecstatic with the news. It would be the first grandchild on both sides. I bought a little turquoise elephant – our baby’s first toy. My mom gave me a pair of yellow crocheted booties. I still have both of these in a box on the top shelf of my clothes cupboard.

I’ll never forget that day I went to the loo and everything was red.

Our GP came to our house later that afternoon and gave me a shot of something. The start of a routine he followed for the next 5 days. He said not to worry, just don’t get off the bed; we’ll save your baby. What made me feel less alone at the time was the knowledge that my niece and hairdresser-friend were pregnant too: all 3 of us at 7 weeks. And they were spotting as well.

My mom came to stay with us 3 days into what I now think of as the red zone. She was the angel I needed. She soothed my fears, hugged my tears away, and told my husband to get the car ready when she realized everything was over. She accompanied us to the hospital and cried with me when the doctor confirmed our worst fears.

The next morning when I woke up after the D&C, J was sitting in a chair at the foot of my bed. It was the first and only time I saw him crying about our baby. Thereafter I never knew or understood his way of handling his emotions about our struggle with Infertility.

A few days after the miscarriage I received a snail mail letter from my best friend from college, B. It was a photo of her newborn baby girl telling the world she had arrived. I was sitting in my car when I opened her letter. Up till then I cried every now and then, but tried to be positive and upbeat because everyone expected it.

The dam wall burst and the tears came. J found me there in the car. He didn’t say much, just took me inside and made me some tea. I knew what the people in my life would say, so I didn’t talk to anyone, seeking neither understanding nor empathy.

They would’ve said something like: It’s over. No use mulling over it. Get up, be strong! You’ll get pregnant again; you now know you’re able to. Chin up, get on with your life, be positive and before you know it, there will be 2 little lines again! No harm meant, just their honest if misguided way of trying to offer consolation. (No comment needed on this paragraph, we all know how we feel about it!)

I buried all the heartache deep inside my soul. For a long time I cried secretly on 1 February every year. I’ve lost contact with my hairdresser-friend, but I know her baby-boy was born on the same day as my niece’s son. Whenever I see him, my heart cringes to think my child would’ve been the same age.

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