Misreading In The Waiting Womb

June 4, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone



I could see myself in my womb, reading my body as if it was an article in a magazine, waiting for someone to call my name. My womb is waiting room... only the wait weighs as heavy as eternity.
After writing about the dream I had about Elijah and his baby sister, the symptoms progressed.

I began to ache in the breasts. 

It didn’t make sense as to why my body was going through all of these “symptoms.” I was still holding onto the fact that my period ended not too long ago. 

Days after these tender breasts, veins appeared. These dark green veins started from the tops of my breasts, leading to the nipples. 

The excitement grew. 

The last time these kinds of veins appeared on my breasts was when I was pregnant with Elijah. I have never seen them at any other time since then. 

I could feel the fullness and heaviness of my breasts. They felt different. They even had a slight lift. 

And since I knew that I was able to produce milk (after stillbirth), my naive heart thought my breasts would easily “start up” again in the early weeks of a second pregnancy. 

My husband even made suggestions that maybe I was pregnant. 

But my mind kept tugging at me. 

I was just fooling myself, misreading the signs like I always do, which then leads to this massive heartbreak all over again. My mind knew that my heart was too fragile and to believe that I could possibly be pregnant again is a set up for disaster. 

Still, if I was pregnant, I didn’t want the beginning to start off in disbelief. I wanted so bad to be confident and sure and happy. 

And that is what happened. 

The past week-and-a-half, I was confident that I was somehow magically pregnant. 

I was feeling extreme fatigue that I began to take “naps” once I got home from school. I slept for hours from the afternoon until evening and it was this way for a short while. It was like how I was so tired when I first became pregnant with Elijah. 

The swell of my abdomen started to look like I had a “dip.” I could feel the distinct lines and edges of a swollen belly. I would look into the mirror and wondered about the possibility of twins. I even googled “early pregnancy symptoms and twins” because I knew that most women who are expecting twins tend to have signs and symptoms very early in pregnancy (because of a higher level of HCG). 

I looked and felt pregnant and it felt real. 

That magical, blissful bubble of hope started to deflate when Thursday came. 

On early Thursday morning, I woke up from a dream that I had a miscarriage and had a pad full of blood. I remember hearing myself praying, with my eyes still closed, “No, please stay. I AM pregnant. This is not a miscarriage.” 

I held onto my belly and got closer to my husband. 

That morning, I went to school with this feeling of grief. Tears started welling up in my eyes before starting class and I thought that this was going to be a heavy, terrible day. I didn't want to be in school feeling like this. Yet, somehow, I persisted and made it through four hours of socializing and learning. I guess going for a 15 minute walk during my break time helped. 

But deep inside, I knew something was wrong. Again, I was only fooling myself, pretending to be happy when I really wasn’t. 

That Thursday night, I took a bath and cried. I had no idea why I was crying, I just cried. Later that night, I started getting these back pains, kind of like the back pain I get before a period. 

Still, my heart wanted to believe that I was pregnant. 

By Friday, the breast pains came back, only it hurt more in the armpits and later in the night the back pain returned as well. 

We still had yet to get a pregnancy test. 

That whole week, I kept going on google and calculating the due date. If I was pregnant, I would have been about four weeks and these symptoms would be the earliest. I mean... I remember having these symptoms when I was pregnant with Elijah. Still, they resembled so much to signs of a coming period. 

But how could it be so? These symptoms started a couple of weeks after my period ended. If the calculations were right, I would have been feeling the symptoms after conception, which is still somewhat believable (some women do feel symptoms soon after conception).

How could my body give me symptoms of my next period so early? It just didn’t make any sense. 

I woke up early Saturday morning. I had to pee so bad. 

When I wiped, I saw this bright red streak of blood.

At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I still had sleep in my eyes. I looked again and my heart started palpitating. 

I wiped again and more blood appeared. 

I wanted to panic. 

I wanted to cry. 

For a minute, I thought if this was a miscarriage, it would mean that I was pregnant. The thought of “was pregnant” was enough to experience some bit of joy because at some point I “was pregnant,” instead of never pregnant. 

I would rather have a miscarriage than to not be pregnant at all. 

The thought that I could never be pregnant again haunts me every day. 

My mind registered this bleeding as a period. It was too early to be miscarrying, right? Or, maybe it was a missed miscarriage?” 

Once in our bedroom, I sat on the floor on my rug and got onto my period app. My period wasn’t due until June 7th, but this thing was never really accurate anyway. 

I sat there staring at the screen in disbelief. And I didn’t know what to do. What was there left to do?? 

Calm down... 

But was I supposed to just move on with my life, like nothing had happened? 

At that moment, my husband woke up and saw me on the floor - confused. He motioned for me to get back into bed. When his hand touched my pad, I couldn’t face him. 

I felt so ashamed of myself and so stupid. How could I let myself believe this, again? 

I tried so hard to fight back tears. I didn’t want him to see these stupid, foolish tears. 

And then he asked me to turn around and I couldn’t. I didn’t want to turn around and let him see how stupidly heartbroken I was. I didn’t want him to see how vulnerable and obsessive the hopes of pregnancy had made me. I didn’t want him to think that I was a stupid woman who was desperate in wanting to become pregnant, to be a mother. Yet, I was, I am... 

When I finally had the courage to move the front of my body, I started trembling and let out this emotional monster that I had kept hidden for days. The moment he touched my back, I cried onto him, but still couldn’t bring my face to his. 

I know that he loves me, but for some reason, I didn’t think that he would love me through this. This yearning for a pregnancy that will probably never happen. 

There were times that I have wanted tell him that if we were not meant to have children, then why would I have such a strong desire for a child? Why would God put this desire in my heart, but not give it to me? 

Why would God give us a son, then take him back?  

If I could, I would give this desire back to God because it hurts too much. It hurts to lose and hurts even more to want something that others have, so bad. I don’t want the yearning and the hope anymore because it hurts. 

While my husband held me, I had thoughts in titles:

“My last war with God.” 

“The last time.”

“The final.”  

“The end.” 

And then a song played in head.

'Cause this is a battle, and it's your final last call. 

Battle by Colbie Caillat

This past Saturday, we decided to go out to eat and then head to the flea market. Unfortunately, the period cramps didn't hit me, until we got into the car. I knew that I should have taken Advil before we left, but I was too upset to do anything with myself. My husband then grabbed me some later.

But even after taking an Advil on the road to the flea market, the cramps heightened when I started walking. It was the worst cramping I have ever had! It felt like I was rammed in the back with a bus and I was struggling to walk with my back straight up. It felt crippling. I was also feeling "pressure" through the butt area, like I sat on a hard point of a rock.

My walking at the speed of a turtle was so painful that I just wanted to cry. Even sitting on a bench was rough.

The thought of a miscarriage ran back into my head. Was it possible that I had just experienced a 4-5 week missed miscarriage? It would explain all of the symptoms starting a little more than two weeks ago, including the two past dreams I had about the baby girl and the miscarriage. 

The cramping made the possibility of a missed miscarriage more real; it was a cramping that I have never experienced before.

The sad part is, I never had the chance to know if it was a pregnancy. And yet, I feel as though I had lost something or some part of myself. 

~

Every month, it is like this - this whirlwind of hopes and emotions. It's exhausting to be on this ride. It's exhausting to have nothing left, but hope. It's exhausting to see so many others living the dream I have always wanted. And it's scary to realize that I may never see myself as a mother to a living child.

Every month, it is amazing how it is either that I take a pregnancy test just days before starting my period or that my period had arrived before I had the chance. It's like I never had the chance to become pregnant anyway, so why did I even bother stressing over buying and taking pregnancy tests?

Every day, it is a struggle with God, with my body, and with myself. It's a battle that I'm not sure I could ever win.

The moment that I thought I knew my body so well, is the moment that I hop onto this ride to battle. Battling the hopes and fears that perhaps God has or has not reopened my womb.

And then, I'm in the waiting room. Waiting for the bleeding to end. Again. Waiting for the last call, hoping that it will be me. Hoping that this is not another failed attempt and the final battle.

Is the heart really capable of so much pain?

All I can do is wait in the womb and muster tears of a broken dream.

Must Read: 
 Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

Photo: unsplash

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