Lead Balloon

Harboring a Fugitive
June 14, 2006, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I woke up one Sunday not too long ago feeling pregnant. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. Not like the other mornings I'd gotten up feeling pregnant because I'd eaten half my weight in ice cream and hamburgers the night before, I mean this time I really felt inclined to take a pregnancy test. I knew we had one lying around the house somewhere, because a few months prior we had to buy one, and they came two-fer.

To give you a little more information than you probably want, I can be what some might call *paranoid* when it comes to pregnancy. I don't have regular cycles by any stretch of the imagination, and since The Pill seems to do nothing more than make me crazy, I'm off of it. Hence, why we had pregnancy tests just lying around like candy bowls.

So I snuck out of bed, quietly, and began tearing through boxes in what was supposed to be the guest room, and finally found one. (I snuck out of bed because, while most women want to share this glorious moment with their husbands, peeing on the stick and all, I'd put Todd through this enough times already that I thought I'd just better leave him sleeping.) So I peed on it. And this time, both pink lines appeared.

Seriously, after all the pregnancy tests I've taken, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. Could it?? Noooo…. Surely not. Is it??? I said all of these, among other things, to myself as I paced the bathroom floor staring down at the dipstick lying on the edge of the bathtub. There, wearing my coke bottle glasses, I convinced myself that I just wasn't reading it correctly.

So I went back into our bedroom and shook Todd hard enough to have given him Shaken Husband Syndrome, whispering very loudly, "Are those two lines??? Are those TWO LINES? Wake up!" There I was, completely full-throttle in my highest caliber freak-out mode, and my husband, as beautiful in the morning as he is on his way out to work, rolled over and said, "Yep, two lines." And he was smiling. And relaxed. And happy. 

So I screamed, "GET OUT OF BED! We have to talk about this!"

Downstairs we went. Me, talking in incoherent sentences about debt and unpacked boxes and about how I forgot to feed the dog yesterday and how there's no way I could be a good mother. Him, whistling dixie. We sat on the patio and talked for a while, got excited, and then called my mother. There's something about calling your mother – it makes things real. Her soothing words of encouragement and happiness calmed me down, and while I was still in shock for several hours, I felt better. And happy.

For the next several days, we shared our news with immediate family members and a few friends. Some were so excited that they literally jumped up and down, squealed with excitement. Every time we got that positive reaction, my heart jumped and the excitement within myself began to build and grow bigger and bigger. We wanted to keep a lid on the news for the general public until we'd at least gotten through one or two doctor's appointments, until we were in the "safety zone" with the pregnancy. I think most people do this, and given my exposure to All Tthings Feminine during my 3-year tenure of working for an OB/GYN, I thought it best to keep quiet about it for a little while.

And we were smart to do so. Unfortunately, this weekend we lost the baby. Ha…Typing that makes me feel as if I left it in the Taco Bueno parking lot or something. I wish it were that easy, I wish losing a baby meant that you could go find it again and pick up where you left off. But it's not that easy. It's traumatic. And it's devastating.

The worst part is making the phone calls to tell people the bad news. We made as few as possible, let our loved ones share the news. But the overwhelming support of our family and friends was just that – overwhelming. Lots of phone calls to just see how we were doing — some wanting to pray for us over the phone or just talk. And emails from some of you out there that, I promise, you will never, never know, meant the world to me.

I can remember in college, when I worked for that OB/GYN, seeing an ultrasound for the first time. The mother-to-be was only five weeks along. But seeing that little blob of a tadpole baby, at just five weeks gestation…and seeing that it had a pulse, a heartbeat… I remember that day as clear as if it were yesterday – watching that ultrasound as tears rolled down my cheeks in that room with my boss and that woman who I'd met only a few minutes prior to the procedure. It was moving. I'm not sure where the tears came from, but I think they came from a place inside of me that was struggling with the debate over when life begins. Not the debate over a woman's right to choose, that's a no-brainer. At the time, for me, the debate over when life begins was common in the classrooms of students studying political science but also common amongst sexually active college kids.

I can say that I certainly have my own opinion about when life begins – a decision that I started to make during that first sonogram years ago, and one that was solidified for me this weekend. It wasn't a viable lifeform outside of my body on its own, but it certainly felt real to us. In such a short period of time, we cared for it and we loved it more than I ever thought we could, more than I thought was possible. And we grieved it and are grieving for it. And amazingly enough, through all the hard times, we were blessed by it.


4 Comments so far
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“You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one else will be able to change the way you feel.” John 16:22

There will be an even better time for these kind of blessings. We love you guys. h, d, & b

Comment by Big Sis

There are no words, but your sis left the perfect quote above.

Hugs and prayers to you all, but especially to you, Lauri.

Comment by jen

In my thoughts and prayers. I love you guys.

Comment by Mary

What a beautifully written post. I’m thinking about you guys everyday.

Comment by patrickthehedgehog

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