My, but the days do fly by. It’s been six weeks today since we lost the triplets. Six weeks since we held them, staring into their dark, tiny faces with bewildered adoration. Six weeks since we had the tremendous privilege of knowing two of them during their brief lives.
The technical words are brutal. A pregnancy loss before 20 weeks is still called a miscarriage. The consent form I had to sign called it an abortion. I hate both of these words and I reject that either one is what happened to us.
Questions remain; of course they do. Questions, and little snippets of guilt. Did I work myself too hard that weekend? Would things have gone differently if I wasn’t unpacking by myself, or if we hadn’t moved at all? I tried to rest often and not lift the heavy boxes… I don’t know if I’ll ever shake that residual doubt, though. Did it all start because of an infection? Because of the extra discharge and other things during the days leading up to the beginning of the complications, I have come to suspect that I’d developed bacterial vaginosis and that’s what led to Archer’s weakened placenta. They didn’t test for it, and I didn’t research it until too late, but now I do believe that’s what happened. Did I miss the warning signs? Could I have caught it in time? I’ll never know, but at least I can be more vigilant the next time. Were the doctors right about the chorioamnionitis? It was such a comparatively slight amount of pain that their recommendation to deliver was based on. We chose not to have an autopsy – I couldn’t have taken it if we’d found out they were wrong, that even after poor little Archer’s cord prolapsed, Collin and Beatrice might still have been okay. That they might have gone on to be given other names.
Honestly I don’t spend so much time struggling with these thoughts any more. In those first days, they were overwhelming. They are still out there floating around, no longer oppressive, but occasionally one will pass close by and bring me chills. Still, I’ve mostly made peace with the blunt fact that there are no answers to any of these questions that will change what happened. Not at all.
Today is more than just a measure of the growing distance away from my pregnancy, though. Six weeks seems to be the generally agreed-upon time that a postpartum woman’s reproductive organs should be approximately back to normal. There’s a lot of doubt in that sentence, and with good cause. The last stringy, peach-colored remnants of lochia do seem to be drying up, and I’ll be thrilled to see that disappear. As far as the return of my cycles: I will be no more or less surprised if I ovulate tomorrow or if it takes another six weeks.
There is one definite significance about today’s date though. The embargo on the Southern Territory has been officially lifted. Today is the magical day when I’ve supposedly healed enough to resume normal sexual activity (even if it’s more recreation than procreation for a little while). Yay! How’s that for ending on a positive note?