I can probably count on my fingers the number of good nights of sleep I had these past 2 years of losses. Ever since my first pregnancy – which started with intermittent bleeding and doubts – I’ve suffered with insomnia, restless sleep and bad dreams.
I won’t say they’re nightmares, because they don’t involve monsters or other paranormal entities, but they certainly leave me with bad feelings lasting from hours to days. Some I haven’t forgotten about and jump back into my mind when I least expect.
I had such a dream again recently. It woke me up too early and made it impossible to fall asleep again. It hasn’t left my mind yet.
It was about my very dear friend. My best friend from here, where I currently live. The friend here whom I trust most, to whom I tell my deepest, darkest feelings and fears. My friend who is about 18 weeks pregnant with her second child. A child she conceived in the very first month she tried.
She told me about her pregnancy during the two-week-wait of my second IVF cycle. On the afternoon we were supposed to be celebrating my birthday. I knew she was trying and was expecting the news, just not that day, at that time.
The moment she told me I just froze for some seconds. Too many seconds, most likely. All I could think about was: I’m going to get pregnant from this cycle, then I’ll loose this baby and I’ll get to watch her baby grow week by week, always wondering how far would I be, how my baby would be, never being able to let go. That was my biggest nightmare. And it came true weeks later.
Since my miscarriage we haven’t seen each other much. My fault. I’ve been avoiding social interaction in general and her company in particular. Which is totally unfair, as she has done nothing wrong.
In the dream, we were at their place one evening. I was making small talk and so asked how was the baby doing. Her husband then replied, very nonchalantly: what baby? I got confused and looked at her prominent belly, trying to make sense of it. He continued: there’s no baby, don’t you know? My friend then said: we had another scan. There was no brain, so there’s no baby. I’m getting it removed. *
At this point, I was very confused and sad. Her husband kept repeating ‘there’s no baby’, so I told my friend, don’t listen to them, it’s your baby, it’s ok for you to love him like a baby and feel sad. But my friend looked at me as if I was crazy and said, don’t worry, it’s not a baby. Trust me, I have a baby, I know (referring to her first born). Then I woke up.
I know at first this dream seems to be about jealousy or if I wish bad upon my friends. I really don’t think it’s the case.
I think it’s about how so many people have downplayed my early pregnancies as ‘nothing’ that don’t deserved to be loved. How I struggled to let myself love my babies, no matter how early they died, whether they’re viable or not, chromosomally normal or not. I heard too many times from different people, it’s not meant to be, most likely the baby was not healthy and the miscarriage is a good thing. With the ectopic I also heard how lucky I was to survive it, I could have another baby later. With this last loss, many doctors repeated that there was no embryo, just an empty sac. In other words, there’s no baby, stop making a big deal out of nothing.
I listened to those advices before, with my first and second losses. It didn’t help me move forward faster, on the contrary, it only made me suffer more. I suppressed the grief and the love I had for my babies. So much love, I didn’t know what to do with it. So much love, but everyone kept insisting there was nothing to love.
I imagine I still have unresolved feelings on this matter, otherwise my subconscious wouldn’t be disturbing my sleep with such horrible dreams. There’s no unresolved feelings towards my babies, though. I love each and every one of them, and I don’t care if they had the right amount of chromosomes or not.
* I’m very very sorry if you have been through a similar situation, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have a termination for medical reasons. I really hope I’m not offending anyone, it’s really not my intention, I’m simply recounting the dream as I had it, but it certainly doesn’t represent my option on the matter.