April 15, 2002

sad news

My pregnant friends have lost their baby. I don't think I had ever mentioned their
names (well, their noms) here, because I don't know if they had made the pregnancy
public to everyone, though they had told friends and family. And I've seen enough
to be reluctant to mention anyone's pregnancy during the first trimester, or until
I'm sure they've made it entirely publics knowledge.

Even in
heartbreak, there are degrees. I imagine miscarrying is not as bad as losing a
child you have held in your arms and sung to sleep, or, worse, one in whom you
were beginning to see signs of who she would turn out to be. Still, losing the
chance to do and see all of those things has to be entirely wrenching. And it must
be worse for those, like my friends, who have gone to great lengths to conceive,
who endured the wait to find if they had gotten lucky, who were being so, so
careful with this fragile budding life.

I know that miscarriages in
the first trimester are very common; one of the downsides of the technology that
has so greatly reduced child mortality is that we now grieve over the end of a
early pregnancy that would at one time have been only suspected. Still, telling
future parents not to love a child they have worked and hoped for must be about
like telling a tree to grow down instead of up. It could happen, but it's not
bloody likely.

The worst part is that my friends aren't together
right now to comfort each other; he's out of the country for another two weeks.
She has family nearby, and I've told her (as I'm sure others have) to call on us
for anything, but it's not the same. It's their grief, not ours, and outsiders can
only help smooth the rough edges. We can't touch the core.

I don't
know what to hope for my friends, or what to say to them. I don't know if they'll
try again. I do hope they find some comfort in each other, that this draws them
together instead of apart, and that the shared sorrow becomes a very tender memory
that shapes instead of blighting them, like a tree with a branch cleft by
lightning that keeps growing, with new branches twining around the old scars.

Posted by dichroic at April 15, 2002 12:06 PM
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