I feel like I am going insane. This didn’t really happen, did it? Did I dream it – that I was pregnant, that is? This whole experience, how do I make sense of it? I can’t sleep when I lie down to go to bed. And I can’t bear my thoughts — over and over I write emails or have conversations about what has occurred. This lack of sleep makes one mad. I know this. I need to sleep. But just now, I get up to go to the bathroom and then into the kitchen for a few bits of banana and it hits me, this feel of unreality, of now knowing if this is true, of doubting I had ever been pregnant. I feel crazy, unmoored. The experience in the bathroom at work, bleeding while I held my baby in my hands. A baby. My baby?
I need to stop this and sleep. I have lost reason. And with that, I lose hope.
I will get through this. With time and care, this sorrow will lesson. It hurts. It hurts terribly. I did not think it would hurt so much. I did not think it would happen. Oh, I worried about it happening, but as time went on, I let myself settle into believing it was going to be okay. And it was not.
Why does this feel like humiliation? Why do I want to hide? Do I blame myself, my body? Is it because the experience is not the one heralded as the true experience of motherhood — a joyful pregnancy followed by an adoring and contented postpartum-hood and a lifetime of caring and commitment for one’s child? This experience deviates so severely from that narrative, I am left breathless, shamed, unseen, abhorrent. The bleeding, the pain, the silent birthing of a still baby, the placenta which followed, the milk which beaded on my nipples in the bath tonight, milk intended for a tiny, eager mouth.
I feel so foolish grieving over a baby I didn’t know. I feel so selfish and foolish wanting another one, when I have one already: so perfect, so whole.
How can it hurt so much?