The day that was…
I’ve been debating whether to talk about this on here since it happened a year ago today (when this post was actually written). Mostly because how private do I want to be, etc. How many people are reading (that’s A.) and (B.) how many people are reading this that I wouldn’t necessarily tell this to in person? But no one TALKS about this particular topic, until it happens to them and then there’s this inner club of people into which you’re initiated once it happens to you. So I guess I just want to talk about it.
Before my gall-bladder surgery, I was baby-crazy. Couldn’t wait to get pregnant, hated that we had to time it all correctly due to Jonny being in law school and having to take the bar, was wishing there was some way to speed that up a bit. My surgery derailed our original plans, and I was even more bummed about having to wait longer. Initially.
But then surgery came and went and I was laid up for a while and it sucked and all of a sudden I began thinking about how easy my life was. How nice it was that I could rest and recuperate. How I didn’t have anyone (other than Jessa) really depending on me. And then I began to realize just how real getting pregnant was. And not just getting pregnant, having a baby. And not just having a baby, having a child. And then maybe another child. And I put the brakes on and freaked right the fuck out. And the questions started flooding in: Was I ready? Was I too selfish? Would my anxiety be okay? Would I be okay without medication? Would my body be okay? What would I be like after? What would happen to me? Who the hell was I or would I become??
Funny how in the span of a couple of months, my entire outlook changed on the subject. And then in the span of a week, how my real feelings were confirmed.
You see, I decided that I was ready. Ready as I would ever be, anyway. Ready is really just a relative term. It was time. And I felt the excitement creep back in, mixing with my paralyzing fear. I took my mother’s advice about not over-thinking it. I breathed a lot. I listened to my body. I listened to my heart.
I got pregnant.
I was pregnant for a total of four and a half weeks before it was all over. I sensed the pregnancy about five days before I found out. Found out about five days before I lost it. The whirlwind of feelings in that 10 days was incredible. The sheer, unbridled joy and excitement of that positive pregnancy test(s) (we took four total) was something that I didn’t actually expect. I mean, I knew I’d be happy…but it was visceral. It was real. From my heart. From my gut.
The fear set in on day two of knowing, as I worried about the “worst” happening. I also began to worry about how I felt and how I would feel…the weight of the responsibility I had to this new potential life inside me. I couldn’t slack off. I couldn’t not take care of myself. It wasn’t just about me anymore (and I believe that realization is how you know you’re ready to be a parent). I called my mother-in-law and she talked me down from the ledge. But the fear continued into day three. I think I knew something was off.
We got confirmation from our doctor’s office on day four and that brought me back to believing everything would be okay. We scheduled future appointments, nicknamed our growing ball of cells, started talking about the future.
I knew it was over the minute I saw the blood. I was alone in the house and actually screamed out loud the word No! over and over. I kept trying to tell myself that maybe it was just spotting. Maybe it would all be fine. But deep down, I knew. I knew as I called Jonny to come home. I knew as I called my sister and mother. I knew it was done. This was not our baby. This was not a baby at all.
The night was excruciating. We called the after-hours number of our OB’s office and my doctor, luckily, was on call. In her sleepy haze, it was good to hear her voice, even though I knew she didn’t really have any good news to tell me. I just had to keep a watch on it for the weekend and come in on Monday. I got maybe two hours of sleep that night. I shook, I cried, I felt sick, I freaked out. Mostly, I breathed. I breathed my way through it. I couldn’t/wouldn’t take medication. I coaxed Jonny, who was freaking out as well, to sleep. I wanted him to get rest. I didn’t want to make anything worse than it already was. So I breathed and drifted in and out of sleep myself.
Into the morning, it continued. And it was certain. And it was the complete opposite of what I had felt five days prior. I had started a journey on one side and was plunked down, hard, on the other. There was nothing to do but give in.
And so the stories flooded in about this person and that person and how common it is and this person has had one and now has three healthy kids and this person is dealing with it currently, too, and all that. It really is an inner circle. Why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we share it? Why don’t we commiserate? Why do we almost feel ashamed of it? It is private, yes. But it is not shameful.
So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about how we feel about it. I’m going to talk about how I felt, anyway…I was hurt and angry and so incredibly disappointed. I knew that my body, was doing what it was supposed to be doing. But I felt like it was failing me. I felt like I was failing it. I felt like it was my fault, even though it’s pretty safe to say it wasn’t. I felt guilty that I ruined this bliss, this bubble of happiness that seemed to overtake us for a few days. I felt terrified that it would happen again. Everyone kept saying that it wouldn’t affect my overall ability to have babies, but how did they know? It could’ve be the first sign that something was really wrong. And I knew I had to be positive and not think about that…but the terror of even the thought of it happening again was just…I didn’t want to go through it again. I didn’t believe that I could. And there was no guarantee that I wouldn’t.
It took a lot of heart to hearts with Jonny and my family and my therapist to decide I was ready to try again. And it worked. I breathed a little easier each week as we got closer to 12, the time at which your chances of losing it go way down. I prayed a lot. I had to have faith…in my body, in my heart, in whatever. I had to have it and I did. It was scary, but it worked. And here we are today.
Here we are today, a year later. And even though this was a little tiny ball of cells with no heartbeat and probably no shot at ever having lived at all, and I have a beautiful baby girl, I still feel it a bit. This day is a little bit harder than others. This is a day that I think about what I went through and what was and what could have been and what, thankfully (in the grand scheme), wasn’t meant to be. [Written today, currently…] And I thank god that I do have what I have now. This was meant to be. My girl is who she is and who she was supposed to be. And it’s good good good.
If you are reading this far, feel free to strike up a dialog. I’m happy to share stories or feelings or anything else. If I know you in real, non-internet life and you’re reading this, don’t feel like you need to acknowledge or act any differently when you see me next. In fact, I’d rather you didn’t. I just wanted to share my story because I wanted to get it out of me. I needed to write it down. I guess maybe I needed people to hear it. I needed to cleanse myself of this and these thoughts, on this day. Maybe I’m symbolically giving birth, who knows. But as I share it, I remain thankful that I’m here, a year later, happy and healthy and moving on. And I know I have a lot to look forward to.
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- spangley said: Wow, thanks for sharing. I’ve had a similar post sitting in my drafts for 2 weeks. It’s true - why are we so hesitant to share this experience if it’s so relatively common? You’ve inspired me to share as well. Thank you! xo
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- minou said: Brave, you. Thanks.
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- hotblondecocktail said: <3
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