I didn’t want to wake him since there was nothing he could do.
I made sure I closed the door completely before feeling for the light switch.
The brightness was momentarily overwhelming and disorienting as I struggled against the pressure of the cramps to get to the toilet.
Please let this be it. It just hurts so much. I want it to be over.
Nothing happened. Almost nothing. There was a trickle of pee and blood, but none of the pressure was released.
I pulled my pajamas and underwear back up and sunk to the linoleum floor. Going to back to bed seemed ridiculous. The pain was so bad, I would be up again in no time.
I would go to the couch.
How much longer? Last time it didn’t hurt like this. But last time there was…less.
I made it as far as the door on my hands and knees. A massive wave of pain crippled me and reduced me to the fetal position.
I moaned a bit as I rubbed my foot on the carpet of the hallway. The motion of my foot moving back and forth somehow distracted my consciousness from the stabbing in my gut.
I can’t move. Please, Lord. Please let this be over swiftly. Please end this pain.
The cat found me and began to rub his face against mine. I groaned; he paced.
I began to silently cry as I prayed for relief; the cat began meowing and pawing at our bedroom door–trying to wake Cort up…to tell him something was wrong.
Luckily, Cort is a heavy sleeper.
I really didn’t want him to get up, and at the same time I longed for someone to come and take this all away. But he couldn’t, so it was no use having him involved.
At some point during my tears and prayers and mechanical foot rubbing, I dozed off.
My eyes fluttered open and for a fraction of a second, I forgot why I was on the floor of the hallway staring up at the bathroom light.
How did I get here? Wait. I was going to sleep on the couch. Why does my foot hurt so much?
My hand immediately clutched my abdomen as the next wave hit, and I turned my face into the carpet to stifle a cry. I slowed my breathing and began to suck in through my nose and release through my mouth.
My foot started moving against the carpet again, but it hurt. It was raw. I rubbed anyway. It was better than the other pain.
I knew I needed to go back to the toilet and try again. I at least needed to change things and clean up.
When will this be over? Why did I choose to do this on my own? Lord, I am not strong enough. I can’t do this. Will it always be this way? Will I ever have something to hold after all the pain? After all the hurt? Will there ever be a….a…. reward?
The currents of pushing and cramping and praying and crying and panting and crawling endured with me throughout the night. Eventually Cort found me in dusky light of morning passed out in a ball on the couch, shivering.
He gently wrapped me in a blanket and asked why I hadn’t woken him.
It would be too much. Just go to work. I will be fine.
I told him I didn’t know.
We both looked at each other, his eyes asking the questions he couldn’t bare to ask.
I told him, no, not yet.
He told me it wasn’t my fault. He wanted to make sure I knew.
I told him I knew.
The prompt this week asked us to be inspired by the color red. This post has been on my heart for three years. I know it’s not perfect (I went over in words), but it’s the first time I put the actual experience out there. It could be told better…but I really don’t care to know how at this point. If something is confusing though, I do want to clear that up, so please ask.
If you or someone you love has experienced perinatal loss, Unspoken Grief is a wonderful, safe place to share and find support.