I went to the support group last night for parents who had experienced loss and were either pregnant again or considering pregnancy. The group meets only once a month. The last meeting was before my 20-week ultrasound and I was a wreck. I cried through most of the meeting and could find few words to express any joy or happiness. Instead, I felt like the dark cloud in the room of parents who were trying to find light.
This time was much different. There were three of us in very different places than we were before. All around the same gestational age of 22-23 weeks, all three of us had been “before” that mid-pregnancy ultrasound last month, and past it this month. We had all lost our babies at a similar gestational age as well. There was still worry, still fear… but past a big milestone for the three of us. It was quite a different mood. I found myself more lighthearted. I didn’t cry. I said their names. Nelle. Iris.
I learned that the hospital has a NICU that is qualified to treat premature babies born after 24 weeks. Other hospitals are only qualified after 32 weeks. That explained why the Maternal Fetal medicine doctor had set 24 weeks as a benchmark in an early appointment. “Let’s just get you to 24.” Barely the cusp of viability, but now makes more sense. I’ll be there in a few days.
At the end of the meeting, the moderator asked us to each say something that made us happy or brought us joy, even if only for a minute. I started listening to the book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg on Monday. After her husband’s unexpected passing, a friend said to her: “When Option A is no longer available, kick the shit out of Option B.” I shared this with the group. I also shared one of my favorite quotes, from Megan Devine, quoted in Option B: “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”
This morning I woke and realized that at the late hour when I got home, I had forgotten to inject my blood thinner. I panicked – what if my stupid mistake caused another loss? I quickly listened for the heartbeat with my monitor. Then took a deep breath. I had been previously instructed to skip a dose before my amniocentesis, so clearly missing one dose would not have irreparable ramifications. I was able to calm myself.