Thursday, March 27, 2008

March 27-April 5, 1998: Mom visits

(Sorry, I don't know why I can't get any spacing between the paragraphs...??)

My mother arrived for her annual spring break visit via train at Toronto's Union Station on a very mild Friday night, March 27th, at 9:35 p.m. She could hardly contain her excitement & happiness when she saw & hugged us. (I, on the other hand, could hardly keep my eyes open.) As we waited for her luggage to arrive, person after person came up to congratulate me. "What, did you tell the whole train??" I asked.
Almost as soon as we got home, I went to bed. Earlier in the day, I noted in my datebook, I had had more spotting and felt a "stitch" in my right side.
The next day, there was more pinkish spotting, although no cramping. I can remember being upset, & my mother saying something along the lines of, "if it's meant to be, it will be." I pored over my copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" to see what it had to say, & finally decided to call my family dr through his answering service. He called me back right away & reassured me that spotting was normal & told me to just take it easy.
BIL & family came over that night, bearing congratulatory presents -- a baby's cap and small stuffed toy. Our two nephews, then 5 & 9, had already said they hoped the baby was a boy, but inside the card, the older one had carefully printed, "[We] will love the baby very much, even if it is a girl." lol
Later we went to cousin/neighbour's house. They gave us a card & their 4-year-old had drawn a card for us -- me & dh (complete with glasses) & a baby inside my tummy, labelled "Baby" (which you can see at the top of this page). It's one of my favourite keepsakes. Another cousin came over & brought us another tiny cap, sleeper and baby socks. These are some of the very few baby things that I have as keepsakes from my pregnancy.
There was a big thunderstorm that evening and, as it cleared and as we stood on the front porch, we spotted a double rainbow in the sky. What else could that be but a sign that all would be well in the end?
Sunday, I had more brownish-pink spotting & some mild cramping. My mother was keen to check out the local Sunday flea market. I decided to stay put, so dh drove her there while I took a nap. When she returned, she had a bag full of goodies, including a few children's books, an Anne Geddes baby photo album, and a denim-look India cotton dress in an extra-large size that she thought would make a good maternity dress for me.
I had taken the next week off work to spend time with Mom. Monday, we stayed at home & baked cookies. My family dr's office called to see how I was doing (he's really great that way). I still had some brownish-pink discharge in the morning.
Tuesday, we went to the local mall &, as I had suggested to my mother, hit the maternity wear shop. I knew she would love the experience, and besides, I couldn't believe it, but my pants were already feeling tight on me. I remember buying a two-piece silky navy pantsuit with matching top (which I tried on with a pillow underneath to simulate how it would look on me in the next trimester), & an ivory coloured blouse from the sale rack -- my first maternity clothes. I also bought a pair of drawstring palazzo pants at Fairweather's -- navy with tiny white & yellow flowers on them, size XL. (I wore these even after my pregnancy, until I got holes in them -- they were incredibly comfortable.)
Wednesday morning we got up extra early & took the train into the city. I had tickets for us to attend a taping of "Cityline," a daily talk show -- something we often did when my mom came to visit. I don't remember a thing about who the guests were, but I remember I wore the new denim dress my mom had bought for me. It was cold & rainy & drafty -- probably not the best choice of activity. We did a lot of walking ("Walking is good for you when you're pregnant," my mother said -- even though my instinct was to curl up on the couch & not leave for the next nine months) and I still had some pinkish discharge, but I noted in my datebook that I was otherwise feeling good.
I took my mother for lunch at the elegant art-deco Arcadian Court on the top floor of the Bay (formerly Simpsons), where we both had their famous chicken pot pie, & then we went to an afternoon matinee of "Titanic," which had just won the Oscar for Best Picture. (I can't believe I sat through the entire 3+ hours without having to duck out to the washroom.)
Got up early again the next morning, as I had a 9:30 appointment with my family dr to get my beta checked again, & also my thyroid levels. (Shortly after coming off the pill, I learned that I was hypothryoid & needed to take levothyroxin. The blood test indicated I needed to increase my dosage slightly.) This time, my mother decided to stay home & sleep in, so as soon as I was done, I pretty much turned around & caught the next train home again.
I noted that I was still having some discharge in the morning but was feeling good; however, not so good later in the day -- tired and drained. My dr told me he'd discussed me & my spotting with the ob-gyn he was referring me to, but Dr. OB said spotting was normal & he didn't need to see me until my first scheduled appointment with him on May 19, when I would be approximately 14 weeks along.
Friday, we went back to the mall & then out for dinner at the Mandarin, a local Chinese restaurant. More spotting in the morning -- red, which unnerved me a little.
Saturday morning, April 4th, my mom left to return home, again by train. I had more spotting -- dark brown -- and, as we waited for the train, I felt some sharp cramping on my left side. I walked alongside of my mother, sobbing, as the lineup moved toward the escalator, onto the escalator, up to the train platform & out of sight. Even though I was 37 years old and about to become a mother myself, I wanted my mommy.
But I knew I wouldn't see her until the summer. If all went well, I planned to fly home for a week or two in July or August, as usual. I was particularly anxious to see my grandparents & show off my pregnant belly to them. This would not be their first great-grandchild (one of my cousins had already beat me to that honour when he was barely out of high school & unmarried -- his daughter was now almost 12 years old), but I was the oldest of their four grandchildren, & had probably spent more time with them than any of the others. I knew how lucky I was to be 37 & still have both of them around. My baby might not have any memory of his or her great-grandparents, but I was determined that my grandparents would know their great-grandson or daughter. If it was a boy, one of his middle names would be my grandfather's.
I didn't know that the next time I saw my mom would be when she walked through the door of my hospital room on the afternoon of August 7th.
I went to the washroom immediately after my mother disappeared from view, & there was a lot more dark brown discharge/spotting, which was upsetting. I remember being exhausted -- but not too exhausted not to feel hungry, lol. We got bagels & headed home. I went upstairs & had another nap.
The next day (still with dark brown discharge), dh & I drove up to BIL's, & from there, SIL & I went to a baby shower for one of dh's cousins. I wore the new navy floral palazzo pants with a white short-sleeved Gap turtleneck & a black blazer. All of the aunts & cousins on dh's mom's side were there, & I got fussed over almost as much as the honoree. The colour scheme was pink & blue, & we joked about whether I should eat off a pink or blue plastic plate. One of the cousins asked if I had been pregnant the last time she saw me, at their aunt's 65th birthday party. "I guess I was," I said, "but I didn't know it at the time." I wondered what kind of a shower they would have for me.
The next day, I headed back to work.


  1. What a precious picture - definitely a treasure.

    I'm glad you and your mom got to have some fun during your pregnancy. I clung (and still do) to every good memory I had. I wanted there to be some joy mixed in there with all the sad and fear - particularly if it ended up being all I got, just memories.


  2. it's nice to have some good memories too. but the anniversaries are so hard. thinking of you. ~luna

  3. The detail in these posts is amazing. You're a wonderful writer. I know you have come to terms with what happened, but I still want to say I'm sorry for your loss.