Until yesterday the LP and I owned a beautiful horse named after a character in a television show from the 1990s. She was named after I gave birth to the Miracle Baby but we bought her as a baby while I was pregnant. Yesterday afternoon we found out she was very sick. The day before, she’d been out galloping and showed no signs of illness. Later yesterday afternoon, the LP called me and I knew the news had gone from very bad to devastating before he said those two words you never want to hear about anyone you love. She died.
We have shed many tears and I have cursed everyone and everything for not saving her, for not knowing something was wrong, for having no better explanation than “we think it’s pneumonia – shipping fever”, because she’d just been shipped from one location to another last week. Veterinary care for horses is expensive (she’d been taken to a vet clinic yesterday when she first showed signs of laboured breathing; she never left). So the LP decided not to request an autopsy. I am upset about this but given our ART-related debt I did not press the issue. So we may never know what happened or why she died so young (she just turned 4 and was otherwise a very healthy, extremely fit, talented and beautiful, spirited animal).
I oscillate between raging against the universe for dealing her – and us – this cruel blow and bone-shaking sobs as I mourn all that she meant to us. We bought her in Kentucky (we don’t live anywhere near there, we travelled for this purpose) as a baby when I was pregnant with the Miracle Baby. We named her after a character in a t.v. show because we went through a phase of watching old re-runs of it while I was feeling nauseous during pregnancy and exhausted with a newborn. She won an award last year (top 3-year old filly). And she had a special place in both of our hearts and huge promise for the future – we planned to keep her and breed her and let her live out her life as an old-lady horse. We loved her and we miss her so much already.
This was no ordinary horse, at least not for me (and to some extent for the LP). For me, she very connected to the only successful pregnancy I’ve ever had (when you’re batting 1 for 7 that means something). She was special, too, and a bit high-maintenance at times. She was wound quite tightly and could be excitable (not unlike me). She sometimes needed medication to calm her nerves (not unlike the LP and I). And she benefitted from having a pet goat as a companion when she was younger, to keep her calm. I had a pet goat when I was a kid, too. Suffice to say I felt connected to her and so did the LP. And our grief right now feels very deep and raw.
I know this post appears unrelated to our fertility challenges, but somehow it is not. Not for me. For me, it is connected in a visceral way I can feel, even if I can’t capture it or don’t want to spell it out in words. This horse for us has always been connected to us and connected to our one great triumph on this journey to grow our family. And now she is gone. In the early days of the cycle in which we hope to return home pregnant not “until proven otherwise” but until I birth another healthy child we raise with love in our home. It does not seem right It is not fair. This is not how life is supposed to unfold, damn it. Ever. But especially now.
I don’t know if this portends some more terrible news. I hope it does not. The LP thinks it’s unrelated, but I can’t shake the feeling that for me, this horse has always been part of this world for me. Of course it could be worse – things can always be worse – but the stark reality today is that it is not good. It is awful. I feel awful. The LP feels awful. The Miracle Toddler saw us so upset last night and kept trying to comfort us – saying “sad” and “hug” (giving us each hugs) and “what happened?” no matter how many times we said that this horse had died. Blessed are the little ones who have no concept for death and no sense of what it means.