Thursday, July 9, 2009

...and the curtain closes.

Scene 1

DR. BABYMAKER (sitting in front of an ultrasound machine): I got your email. I wasn't sure that you would want to know.

PATIENT (lying on table): Thank you for understanding. Part of me just really needs to find out.

DR. BABYMAKER: Well, let's take a look.

DR. BABYMAKER lubes up the magic ultrasound wand, positions it carefully, and begins to search the screen.

PATIENT (looking intently at the screen): It looks like it stopped.

DR. BABYMAKER (leaning closer to the screen): Yes. I think so.

PATIENT breathes a sigh of relief.

PATIENT (to no one in particular): Thank you.

DR. BABYMAKER: It's strange, usually people at this moment are praying to see a beating heart and stop the procedure. And I'm desperately searching to find one for them. But this time is so different.

PATIENT: I know. But I'm happy it stopped before today.

DR. BABYMAKER (gently): I understand.

The lights go out.

Scene 2

PATIENT (lying on a table): Did you find what you are looking for?

DR. KNOCKOUT: You have beautiful veins.

PATIENT: Yes, I've been told. (Rolling her eyes.) You've been hunting around that arm for quite a while now.

DR. KNOCKOUT (staring intently at PATIENT's arm): I think I've finally narrowed it down to the perfect one!

PATIENT: Oh? That's usually a pretty quick process...

DR. KNOCKOUT: This one. right. here.

Jabs PATIENT in arm with giant needle. PATIENT winces and flinches.


DR. KNOCKOUT continues to twist the needle in around in her arm. PATIENT grits teeth while holding breath.

DR. KNOCKOUT: You flinched. I think the needle went through your vein and I won't be able to save it. (cheerfully) Have to try the other side.

PATIENT (to self): Oh? Great.

DR. KNOCKOUT examines PATIENT's other arm.

DR. KNOCKOUT: You really do have beautiful veins. I wish all my patients had veins like yours.

PATIENT (beginning to get a little weirded out): Yeah, yeah that's wonderful. Really special. I guess?

PATIENT: HOOOOLY CRAAAP!!!! (tries hard not to flinch.)

DR. KNOCKOUT: Ha! Got one. That is one beau-ti-ful vein!

DR. KNOCKOUT threads the IV into her arm.

PATIENT (to self, or not, as the IV starts to take hold): Oh, boy.

DR. BABYMAKER enters the room.

DR. BABYMAKER (speaking gently): Ok. All ready?

The lights go out.

DR. KNOCKOUT's voice in the distance: Beautiful, beautiful veins...

Scene 3

PATIENT slowly enters room. Shuts door. Sits down gently on bed.

She carefully peels the bandage off her arm and reveals a red and purple bruise larger than a silver dollar. She shakes her head.

PATIENT (to self): I look like a freakin' junky. Beautiful veins, my ass.

She opens her laptop as reads her email. Nods. Picks up her cell phone, listens to her messages and checks her texts. Softly smiles to herself. Tears start forming in the corners of her eyes. She places the phone her bedside table and
curls up on the bed.

PATIENT (in voice over): I know I am lucky. I have so many wonderful friends and a fantastic, loving family. A beautiful little boy that many people, who have struggled with infertility, would give absolutely anything for. And with this pregnancy, I knew pretty early on how it was going to turn out.

Many people go weeks longer, months longer, and have no idea. Until one day when they expect to see their beautiful baby waving at them on the ultrasound, or get their perfect test results, and they are met instead with the solemn, almost frightened, face of their doctor and then, the same bad news. But their dreams were bigger. More real. Almost touchable.

And there are the people who make it to very end. Who endure the pain of childbirth, only to be sadly met by the same solemn face and the same horrible news. Or the people who actually are able to touch and feel and laugh with their child, only to have it all end tragically with that one prematurely, final beat of their child's heart.

In the scheme of things, my story is not that sad.

Do I really have the right to mourn a child who was the size of a sprinkle on a cupcake when his heart stopped beating? Is my sorrow completely self-indulgent?

Am I even mourning the actual child... or just the dream?

Both. I am mourning both. The child that struggled so hard to live and... the dream.

The idea of the family I wanted.

Of the tinkling sounds, of children laughing together, coming from the other room while I made dinner.

Of being tackled by my children, and happily crushed by their hugs, while they giggled conspiratorially together.

But also of a life that has been left unlived...

...and of a chapter that is being closed in my own life.

It might be small, in the scheme of things, but it is mine. And I will mourn this loss in my own time, and in my own way, until I feel healed.

She hugs a pillow and lets the tears flow, for what she hopes will be, one last time.

The lights go out...


Rebekah said...

An amazingly told story and one that moved me. a warm hug through this to you from me.

Diana said...


Erin Drez said...

You have every right to mourn - that was your baby, no matter how small he or she was! Take it one day at a time and take all the time you need to process this. It took us 2 years until we were ready to try for another baby, the grieving process can be long but it does get easier. One thing I did every year was release a balloon on July 7th, the day our first baby was supposed to be born - it helped me remember and honor that baby. We also have a Christmas ornament in honor of him or her that again, helps us remember the life that we had hoped would be. Take care and know that you are being thought of and prayed for by someone who understands.

Marcela Beatty said...

Wow! This post is so sad and so beautiful. You are such a strong woman! I can't imagine these feelings.

You do have a beautiful boy! And you are a beautiful family!