This was one of those weeks where you just can’t help but remember.
I went to visit my family doctor for the first time since we lost Elim today for some general prescription refills. She did the right thing and asked how I was doing since the loss, if we were trying again and then reminded me that at least I know I can get pregnant.
She sent me off saying that she hoped she saw me again soon with good news.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t exist in perpetual fear of another loss. Some days I wonder about losses that I don’t know about.
But, in that appointment, with our conversation, I realized that watching someone type those letters and numbers was bizarre.
In medicine, we have what I liken to a secret code when it comes to describing women and pregnancy. G means gravida. Number of pregnancies. P means para. Number of babies born after 20 weeks. A means aborta. Number of babies delivered before 20 weeks. Some expand it to GTPAL with G being number of pregnancies, T term deliveries, P preterm delivieries, A induced abortions or miscarriages and L live children.
When I learned this system, I found it awful. I found it really tough to keep straight and was forever getting my Gs and Ps mixed up. Plus, it bothered me that A was for both induced abortion and spontaneous abortion. People often specified, but both caused pain and one can have repercussions on future pregnancies if recurrent.
The system bothered me because you could look at those numbers and see joy or pain or fear. At least I could. My heart broke for people who had more Gs than Ps. I hated to ask about losses because I didn’t want to bring up that pain. For me, there was always something devastating about pregnancy loss. It was always something I worried about.
On the other side of the desk, knowing what it means, it still sucks. I think my fear of bringing it up with women was a bit excessive. I was uncomfortable then because it bothered me, not them. I mean, it is a fact of life and it kills me more when people ignore the fact that I had that loss than when they ask about it. I guess I needed to see that for myself.
I was grateful that she cared enough to ask how things were and where we were at.
Still. Seeing it on a screen was weird. Especially when I have thought it before. And knowing that really, months before Elim, there could be another G and A that I suspected, but never confirmed because it all happened so fast. It could be G2P0A2. But, I won’t know in this lifetime. And I think I’m okay with that because I never really knew for sure.
What if those numbers never change? What if the Gs change but the Ps never do? What if I match my Gs for Ps from here on out?
I can’t predict the future. I wish I could sometimes, but I can’t.
The things I do know are that I am healthy, that God is good and that there is so much to this life that I don’t understand. I know how much good has come out of our journey so far. That I have grown in leaps and bounds in my faith. That we have been tested as a couple and as individuals and keep coming out the other side. The experience has helped me to love other people in ways that I might not have otherwise had the opportunity to do.
I don’t talk about it a whole lot. I has become easier, but I miss my little A1 every day. Maybe I’ll tell you more about that one day.
It freaked me out to see the letters and numbers on the screen. Sometimes the letters and numbers in your head seem not so real until you realize someone else acknowledges the reality of the situation. In another sense, it made me feel better because it is only one, it is real and it is normal.
God is good. His timing is perfect. I am trying to hope in Him and not my future children (or job or spouse).
Letters and numbers don’t make me whole. They don’t save me from myself. They are just statistics. There are bigger things.