murky beginnings

So as I told the story yesterday of the one baby step we’ve allowed ourselves in preparing for our future child, I neglected to tell about the moment that prompted me to write the post in the first place. The post grew too long — as mine have a tendency to do — and then I came to what seemed to be a good ending, but realized I hadn’t relayed the incident that had inspired the post. 

Yesterday, M and I were squeezing the last bit of distraction and relaxation into our weekend and decided to go see a silly movie. (It was dark but silly, in typical Coen brothers fashion.) We were early and had some time to spare, so we headed to one of our favorite local independent bookstores down the street from the theatre. 

I am normally a great bookstore browser, but since I have a shelf full of not-yet-read books, I was not about to buy any more. Yet since I now allow myself the pleasure of building our children’s book collection to begin preparing for our future child, I was free to wander into the beautiful display of kid books. 

So far, all the “preparation” we’ve been doing has been for us — i.e., I’ve read six books and countless articles about open adoption in the past three months, attended four support meetings, two counseling sessions, and this week we begin a four-part workshop. But that is all for us. The books are for our child

“Just don’t go crazy,” M cautioned, as he headed to another section. 

I actually love looking at children’s books, from the old classics to the new gorgeous picture books. (In fact, when we had dinner at a friend’s last month, I got to sit in on story time with their three year old, and was turned on to a very lively, animated reading of “SkippyJon Jones” — an awesome book!)

Anyway, I can usually avoid everyone around me when I’m entrenched in a book aisle, unlike when I have to buy some other type of kid gift at some baby store…

So I thought it was kind of ironic when I heard a guest author reading from her new book at the back of the store. Her voice was being piped through the store speakers. No, she was not a children’s author reading at story time, though she could have easily been on a Sunday afternoon. No, she was some big scientific author propounding on the Big Bang Theory and how all life begins in water. 

All life begins in water.

All life requires water to grow and develop. “It seems so common sense that we don’t even think about our murky beginnings,” she explained. She went on to talk about microscopic organisms that lived in ancient swamps and oceans, and cultures in modern labs. You know what’s next, right? “For nine months, an embryo bathes in fluid to develop and grow into the full shape and function it will become by birth. Life simply cannot exist without water.”

Fuck me.

I can assure you that anyone who has suffered P-PROM has never once taken this idea for granted. So thanks for the reminder, lady. 

That was so not what I expected to encounter when I walked into that bookstore.

It was so bizarre that I had to laugh on our way out the door. I mean, what kind of message was the universe trying to send me? Just as we are feeling so positive about something that involves the end of the idea of a biological child (i.e., adoption), just as I am picking out books to line our future child’s shelf, I am shocked to be reminded in the most random way why my own biological child — the one we conceived and I carried to 21 weeks when he died after my water broke too soon — is not here with me today. Thanks, universe. I almost forgot. 

~ by luna on September 15, 2008.

15 Responses to “murky beginnings”

  1. Blindsided. Ouch. Those are the worst. Not the ones where you’re already feeling cynical and crappy, but the ones where you’re in a rare place of mental peace and clarity.

  2. Damn. I hate when that happens – just so out of nowhere.

  3. Talk about blind-sided. Damn. That sucks!

  4. Damn universe. I’m still pissed at her myself. I can hear her snicker and say, “ya know what? your heart hasn’t bled that much today. Here ya go.”

  5. Yeah, as Kymberli notes, it’s the unexpected blow that smarts the worst.

  6. I hate things that take me back to the most painful memories. I’m sorry that happened.

    On another note, I can relate to that duality of simultaenously mourning the loss and celebrating adoption. It is not always an easy place to be. But, on the bright side, I am so glad that you are not only in mourning. I suspect that the universe could have been encouraging you in some way. Acknowledging your suffering and reminding you that you have made a right choice. I don’t know, that’s just me trying to find the sweeter meaning to a not so sweet reminder.

  7. It could be a slap. Or it could be a tap. Meaning that the Universe is paying attention to you and how this is unfolding. This could be a chance for you to deal with any victim issues from your loss once and for all, to make room for your new presence.

    Really, it could be kind of cool. You must be VERY important for this to have happened.

  8. Oh Luna, I bet you felt like yelling “Yes, I hear you loud and clear. Now STFU.” Lori’s take on is really uplifting.

  9. Wow I hate those pithy, ill-timed reminders. Cringe.

    I like Lori’s theory though — maybe this whole bookstore trip, everything you’ve done, is your metaphorical “water”? And there she was, reminding you?

    Not that I wouldn’t have taken my own bottle and ceremoniously dumped it on her.

  10. Luna,

    you really had me going. i was even dreaming about the someday when i get to shop for my baby. i was so happy, and wham!, right under the belt when you are feeling good! ugh.

    i do beleive that one day these f*cked up moments will be heavily outweighed by the happy ones. i hope that one day we won’t be so blind sighted. i. hope. so.

  11. Approaching the one-year mark of our most devastating loss, the world is filled with reminders of every detail I was committing to memory back then (because I knew it wasn’t going to last). Pumpkins, Halloween, nausea, Thanksgiving, ultrasounds, blood… arrrgh!

    Loving this book collection-building idea, though. It’s something you can enjoy for yourself now, too. Personally, I am a huge Richard Scaary fan.

  12. F*cking universe…

    I’m shaking my head in recognition, then you take the words out of my mouth. Take care, Luna.

  13. Oh, man, that is definitely one of those WTF moments. Never mind, Luna, I assure the universe is lobbing all sorts of crap at people, not just you. I really like the book collecting idea.

  14. I am so sorry. Sometimes, I think the universe is so big that it just doesn’t know who it’s hurting.

  15. Hey,
    I have just found your blog and am so grateful that you’ve put it out there for us to read. My husband and I are going through just what you’ve been through. This past June after IVF we lost our triplets at 19 weeks due to a similar circumstance that you did. After a recent frozen embryo transfer failure we are seriously considering adoption. I really sympathize with this post because I feel like whenever I’m feeling good, having a happy day the universe finds a way to sneak in and mess with me. Like yesterday I had the day off, was having a nice little day of shopping and lunching, then a relative texted me to say that she was thinking about me because it was exactly one year today that we conceived the triplets. Oh, thanks for reminding me and ruining my day! Then later, as I’m holding my best friend’s new born, I get a call that I have to file for our babies birth/death certificates. Great, let me hand this baby back to you so I can go wait in line for an hour to pick up three birth and three death certificates. Ugh, thanks for letting me vent! Thanks again for bringing light to what so many couples go through.

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