My sister called me last week, complaining of cramping and some very light spotting. My stomach twisted at this news, but I tried so hard to think positively. My husband always reminds me that I am too negative when it comes to pregnancy, that bleeding doesn't always equal the end. She already had an OB appointment scheduled for the next day, so I urged her to put her feet up and drink some water.
At 3:30 on Friday, I got a text:
We're waiting for u/s. Couldn't get baby's heartbeat. Disappointed, I really wanted to hear it. [Husband's name] is here with me.
I knew that this wasn't good. She was supposedly 13 weeks pregnant and the doctor's doppler should be able to pick up the heartbeat by then. I called my best friend and cried with her on the phone. I kept trying to convince myself that this was all okay.
At 4:30, my sister texted me again:
I lost the baby. Please don't say I told you so.
My heart wrenched, both at the fact that my sister's baby had died, but possibly even more because she thought I would actually say something like that to her. I tried to call her, but she didn't answer. I left a message, letting her know how sorry I was and that I would love to come down and be with her or to help in anyway possible. A few hours later, I got another text:
This is all too fresh right now. I will call you when I am ready to talk.
I completely understood and respected her need to process and grieve on her own time, but I'll admit to a twinge of disappointment. I wanted to be able to help her, to ease her pain, if only the tinest of bits.
I sent her a long e-mail on Friday night, telling her how sorry I was and offering any help that I could. I sent her all sorts of reference links and told her that I would always be there for her. I thought about sending her the link to my blog, but decided against it. I need to keep this space free from my family, plus there would be the matter of a few posts that I would need to delete if she was going to be reading it.
Friday night was rough. As you know, I had some not-so-charitable thoughts regarding my sister's pregnancy. While I never would have wished this on her, never in a million years, it was hard for me to hear her flippant disregard for her pregnancy. While I was pleased at the prospect of being an Aunt, I also had some definite jealous moments of "why is it so easy for some people and hard for others?" In fact, on Thursday, I was telling M that I needed to work on my attitude for her pregnancy, because I hated that I was feeling the way that I was.
Saturday morning, we finally got to talk. She is devastated and openly admits that she is fearful that this was God's way of answering her prayers because she didn't really want this baby for much of the pregnancy. She was just starting to get used to the idea and be excited and now it has been snatched away. Like all of us who have lost babies, she is analyzing everything she did and didn't do while pregnant, convinced that she somehow doomed the baby.
I was able to talk to her about her feelings and it felt good. Well, not good, of course, but hopefully you know what I mean. It was the first positive talk we've had in a long time. And we even talked about my feelings in regard to the pregnancy and she said she had wondered if I would feel that way and that was why she told me over the phone, so I would have time to collect my thoughts before seeing her. I guess I never really thought of it from her perspective and what it would be like to find yourself pregnant very quickly knowing what your sister had been through in TTC.
I wish with all of my heart that my sister had never experienced this pain. I am so sad for her and my brother-in-law. I fervently hope that they are able to conceive without issue and carry the next pregnancy to term. And I hope that my own attitude is better next time around. I really hate that infertility makes me react to pregnancy the way that I do. It's a lasting scar from my IF battle and not one that I am proud of.