All that I Know is I’m Breathing

I’d always dreamed of a girl first. To keep the younger siblings in line and cared for. But I knew this was a boy. The long history of both sides of his bloodline said he was a boy. But that wasn’t what made me so certain: it was him. Every cell of his body communicating with every cell of mine. I never knew it could be like that. I never knew I could sense him as more than just a pregnancy symptom. I knew him. And I think… I hope, he knew me too. I hope he felt how much he was loved. while we could.

All that I know is I’m breathing.

Nothing was wrong. I had no symptoms to warn me. But I felt him less. that energy of connection seemed dimmer. I told myself everything was fine. Because everything was fine. A little anxiety is normal. The day finally came to hear that heart beat. 11 weeks and 4 days and I would hear the physical beat of the heart I loved and knew. 

All that I know is i'm breathing
All that I know is I’m breathing

You Know.

You know. You know before they say anything. you can see it on their faces. you can hear it in words like, “It’s usually hard to find this early, let me try a different angle” “Baby is being stubborn today,” “Let me see if we can find it with the ultrasound.”

I don’t remember if I looked in Joe’s eyes while we waited for the O.B. to conduct the ultrasound. I was terrified to see fear there. I was terrified he’d see the fear in me. Look straight forward, shut off all unnecessary bodily functions, especially thinking.

No heart beat.

The second the ultrasound screen came on I knew he was gone. gravity intensified over my entire body. The only true physical feeling I had was the internal ultrasound inside my body and the burning I felt in my eyes. In an instant I realized my lack of dignity.

Why did it have to be like this?

Why did I have to hear this news laying on my back, half naked, with a mechanical rod inside my body. Why did I have a stiff sheet over the lower half of my body like one they’d cover a corpse with… Covering the body of my son still nestled safely inside me. But also covering me. I clutched that stiff white sheet, his burial cloth, and maybe mine too.

“All that I know is I’m breathing, All I can do is keep breathing.”

Ingrid Michaelson

They left the room to give us privacy. We held each other tightly, we cried. I don’t remember what was said, I don’t know if anything was said. It was over.

“All that I know is I’m breathing.”

Ingrid Michaelson

“Oh! You’re not dressed yet!” Sadness moved to anger. They’d only been gone 5 minutes. Of course I wasn’t dressed yet. Every move was agonizing. The hurt in my heart radiated through my whole body. We were the last “patient” of the day. Everyone was waiting for us to leave so they could go home. It showed.

I don’t know why I felt shame as all the eyes in that office watched us leave. With our red faces. How could I answer to the world for losing this precious gift? How could I answer all my burning questions. Questions that sounded more like demands. Demands that would later turn into accusations.

“All that I know is I’m breathing, all I can do is keep breathing, all we can do is keep breathing”

Ingrid Michaelson

Part 1: I Just Haven’t Met You Yet

Part 3: You’ll Be Alright

Part 4: I Tried So Very Hard Not To Lose It

Part 5: Worth It All 

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Ingrid Michaelson’s Song : Keep Breathing

2 responses on "All that I Know is I'm Breathing"

  1. HUGS When we lost our Addison 10 years ago due to an blighted ovum miscarriage it took me several years to adjust to the new normal. When the U/S tech performed my internal ultrasound I knew without her telling me anything. No heartbeat and her obvious panic made it pretty clear. She said she wasn’t allowed to tell me any information and we had to wait until our follow up appointment
    with our doctors and yet another internal ultrasound. The doctor who performed the second ultrasound was shockingly cold about it all. He was incredulous that I could be so sad about losing a baby and actually said with a shrug and a roll of his eyes, “What’s the big deal? This happens every day.” I was so shocked by his response that I let out a horrified gasp. I sure hope his bedside manner has improved over time, I never said anything about it at the time but have often wondered if I should have.

    • I hope that HE regrets what He said and wonders what he should have said differently. There are times to advocate and stand up for whats right. But when you’ve just lost your child the only responsibility you have is to “breath in and out all day long.” (Sleepless in Seattle) I love her name, I’m sure that she and Noah are best friends in heaven <3

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