In the films there is always a red tide, spreading over fabric or through water, silent but for anguished screaming. The moment is sudden, tragic, murderous. How shocking to discover my body's own calm indifference to the tragedy unfolding within it. Is it in denial, stubbornly clutching onto that which it has sworn to protect? Or merely ignorant, oblivious? Quietly proceeding with normal, unpregnant life. Except I'm still with child. Except it's a dead child. A dead foetus. Silently bobbing about, seemingly forgotten by its container.
One week into my never ending wombpocalypse (thanks infertile bird), I've hit a low. There is no structure to this disaster, no punchline. I'm segueing in and out of the brace position, flinching in expectation of a blow that never arrives to punctuate the continual low moan. I can't begin to recover until this is over...but when will it be over? When I've passed the foetus? When I wake up from surgery? When, one week later, I have the scan telling me everything is gone? Or when my body has recovered from the blood loss? Or only when I'm pregnant again...or when I give birth to a healthy baby? Or only when I stop trying to have more children? There is a creeping slippery feeling that this will never be over. That I can never awake from this nightmare. Over time its colours will fade,to be intermittently refreshed by new events. The colours will fade, the edges will blur, but this is my reality now. My path. I am now a lifelong member of the community 'living with loss'.
I don't think I feel it as grief, in the normal sense of the word. I don't sense a person lost. It's a biological malfunction that I feel, that has taken away my confidence. There is grief for lost opportunities, for loss of control, for a lost future. A future that, 14 weeks in, had seemed within my grasp. Of course worse things happen, far far worse. And I am so unbelievably lucky to have been gifted one perfect healthy little miracle already. My generation are so accustomed to ordering our lives with informed choices, to being consumers of the menu of different life paths, keeping options open, maximising our utility, that it's easy to forget that we are mere pieces of flotsam, eddying about in the currents of evolution, of history, of brute indifferent chance. Life can't really be planned out, controlled. It Just Happens. And that's okay.
Is it weird that I'm writing about this? Speaking the unspeakable, on the same pages where I critique philosophical accounts of the metaphysics of pregnancy no less. Me and Mark Zuckerberg. I don't know if I'll regret disclosing so much. At the moment I don't care. Writing is how I learn what I'm thinking. How I figure things out. So I'm sorry if I didn't tell you personally...its hard to know how to put it in a text or email. I'm sorry if you didn't want to know. If it makes you uncomfortable talking to me in the future, if I fail to meet your eye at the next conference or playgroup where we meet. I'm hanging out my dirty laundry because I can't bear the smell inside any more.