Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How the loss of my pregnancy gave me a new insight about disability

I was on a work trip to a conference across the country when I felt that something is wrong. I had taken a pregnancy test right before and did a quiet squeal in the bathroom by myself. Even thought I had hinted at him that I might be, I decided to tell N that I am pregnant after I came back.

At first there was a mix of emotions, mostly I was wondering how this is going to change our lives. Later one day I was holding a baby boy in my arms, and felt the weight of his body, the softness of his hair, the cheeky smile, I knew that I am ready for this.

When I arrived at the conference, I went out for a dinner with my work colleagues and noticed that I had started bleeding. I was 5 weeks pregnant, a 5 hour flight away from home, very scared and very alone because not a soul in the world knew. The doctor there informed me that this might mean I will have a miscarriage or, that it might be ok with about the same tone of voice as when suggesting taking a vitamin to cure a cold. I went back and cried from the depths of my heart. N got a phone call where among sobs I told what is happening. It was not how I wanted him to find out.

After getting back I went to a doctor here. Did the tests that showed that one of the pregnancy hormones continued increasing while the other one had started dropping. The GP prepared me. She explained that most of the time, chromosomes have not mixed correctly and this is my body's way to stop the pregnancy.That if this pregnancy did go full term, there are high chances that there might be problems with the baby later on.

Then I was sent to an ultrasound. I was nervous. So nervous that I couldn't talk because talking would equate to sobbing. I laid down and the technician, unsuspecting the news I was ready for, pointed at the screen where I saw something that looked like a little squid and said "There is the heartbeat, it's a little flicker". She turned on the sound and I heard it. So strong, persistent, determined and beautiful. I had life inside of me. My OB confirmed the news a week later. The baby was growing and the heartbeat was strong.

The following weeks were a bliss. I was filled with a deep peace and I felt so feminine. We told the closest friends and family. Asked them to pray. We decided that we don't want to live in fear but in their prayers. I rested in that knowledge.

The next appointment and the rest of the story are below.

The reason why I write this is that between weeks 7 and 11 I did a lot of thinking and wondering. What went wrong at week 5? What if there are problems with the baby later on? Should we do the tests to check? And in those weeks something I never thought or experienced before happened. It brought a new softness and love in my heart for the disabled. During those weeks I saw a lot of things I never considered before. I knew that the love I have for this baby would be as strong even if there was something wrong with him or her. For the first time, instead of looking at a disabled person and seeing a person who is branded by their disability to the rest of the world, I saw someone's son or a daughter. A person whose mommy or daddy love them so deeply and so sincerely. Somehow, I'd never looked at it from this angle. That brought a new tenderness in my heart for the world around me.

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