When you're really ready for a baby and you find out you're pregnant, it seems like that child springs into being immediately, and the forty weeks of pregnancy are just a formality you have to get through. Almost instantly, you're looking ahead, and thinking things like, "I'll be about four months pregnant when we take that trip in September." And, "When my uncle gets married in November, I'll be showing -- I should think about getting something to wear." Or, "Wow, I'll be huge when boy turns two in January. Better plan a low-key party!" You think about what room in the new house you should turn into a nursery. You wonder whether it's time to get boy moved into a big-boy bed, so you can use the crib for the baby. You look up baby names on the Internet, and you say them aloud to see how they sound with your last name.
When you lose a baby, even early in a pregnancy, you lose every single moment of the rest of the dreams you created. There are moments when I actually almost forget that it happened, moments when I still automatically think about getting out my maternity clothes, moments when I wonder how long I can keep boy on my lap as my belly grows. And every time reality comes back to me, it's like I've gone through the loss all over again.
I go hours, days, without hurting. And then something brings it all back. I looked at my calendar yesterday and I saw that I'd written, "Last ultrasound" on the day we learned about the miscarriage. I didn't know what else to write -- I wanted to mark the day somehow, because ... well, BECAUSE. It was a child we lost. It doesn't matter to me that it was tiny, that it was really more of a collection of tissues that were destined to become a recognizable person. There was a tiny beating heart there, and at some point, it stopped. And you don't just let a thing like that go by without wanting to remember that that little heart had been beating for a time.
I wish I didn't know that this kind of grief is the sort you have to feel in pieces. You can't just feel it all at once for a week and be done. That shouldn't surprise me. But somehow it did.