Pristine and Benjamin greeted me at the door as if in a contest who gets to hug me first. We wrestle and fall down on the sofa and I said, “Awww, my two babies!”
My daughter looked up at me and said, “you could’ve had three, you know?”
Then I remembered.
Sometimes I think if I’m a bad mother for not grieving about that third could be baby. The one I did not see or hear cry. The one I did not hold.
We were trying for years for baby number two and we lost it through forced abortion because of ectopic pregnancy in June 2010. It was FOUR years ago, around this time. It was a surprise pregnancy, just when we were “giving up”. You know that cliche they say about couples who gave up and suddenly get pregnant? Yeah, that was us. I was already happy with one, only because I wasn’t conceiving and this was something I could not control.
It was easier to give up rather than crying over false hopes month after month after month.
I vaguely remember the day Methotrexate worked its way on my body, killing the growing cell inside me. I still cringe at the thought of killing a faultless living thing just because it was not in its right place. Someday I hope there would be a solution to ectopic pregnancies than termination.
I was in so much pain, nausea and vomiting to even grieve about the incoming loss – the fact that there was no baby to hold, smell or touch. Pristine grieved more than I did and even named the baby “Peter” (I don’t have any idea why or why she thought it was a boy). I remembered how she cried and I felt so helpless and weak to even hug her. It was like I was on my death bed.
I went back to work after two weeks, with people telling me sorry about what happened. I just shrugged. I was numb. I didn’t think I’d be numb like that, leaving it to “everything happens for a reason” but looking back, that could be my defensive mechanism so I won’t succumb to crying and breaking down into a million tiny pieces.
I would have loved to hold that surprise baby. What would he/she look like?
I wasn’t allowed to get pregnant in the next six months because of the strong drug that could cause complications. It wasn’t a big deal, I was also scared it would happen again and really, I had given up.
But Pristine still wanted a sibling and I felt it was an “obligation” to give her one. And I didn’t have much time, my biological clock was ticking doubly fast – I went to a fertility doctor and got myself checked and “worked on”. A lot of tests, needle work and one round of fertility drugs later, I conceived in February 2011. Benjamin was born that same year in October.
I totally forgot about our “what could have been” baby we lost in June 2010. Benjamin made me forget because he has given me so much joy and I felt a renewed zest of life as a mom the second time around.
(You should really see this old post with a video showing how Pristine reacted to the baby news)
I have moved on from that traumatic summer in 2010. I am too surprised why Pristine hasn’t forgotten it. She was only 7 years old that time!
* Suggestions like, “Go, have another baby!” not acceptable at this time. Or ever.