I had such high hopes for this blog. I was going to share all these great stories about how I was making strides. You know, “getting a life” and “getting in shape” and “getting out of town”. Even in all my aspirations, life happened. And happened. And happened again. It’s been months since I posted here. So much “life happened” that I didn’t know how to clearly articulate it here. I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to articulate it here. I think I have to do this to continue. I’m finally ready to begin again.
“Life happened” on a Friday…
I took lunch around noon. I’d been putting it off for days, but I was so anxious I couldn’t wait anymore. I had a digital test from months before, so buying another one was unnecessary. I followed the instructions, placed the test in a cup on my washing machine, turned off the light in the room, and gave my dogs their afternoon walk.
The same anxiety that drove me to take the test, drove me to prolong our return indoors. I gave the dogs an extra lap around our apartment complex before returning home. By the time I reached my door, my heart was beating out of my chest. I took the dogs off their leashes and walked back to the room where the test was waiting for me in the dark. I say “test,” but it was more than a “test”. This was my future. The start of my life. A New chapter. Something I have wanted for each of the eight years of my marriage. The thing that put me under the knife to remove fibroids and out of work for 6 weeks. The thing that sent me to a reproductive endocrinologist last October.
I was hesitant, but I couldn’t prolong it any further. I had to go back to work. Just look at it…
I looked. And I saw. And I shouted. And I cried. A “plus” sign. A PLUS SIGN. A PLUS SIGN!
D______ has been my friend for 20 years. She has heard me lament and sigh and cry and wonder aloud if I’d ever be a mother. She understands. She was the first person I called. I could barely catch my breath. Hyperventilating. Crying. Pauses. I scared her. “What’s wrong?!!!” I told her. She scolded me and then congratulated me.
“Does W____ know?”
“No. Not yet.”
More details followed by “I love you, Sissy” and “goodbyes.” It felt unreal. I told him that night over dinner. He was shocked. And thankful. And hopeful. We were happy.
We arrived at our OB/GYN about a week later for our first ultrasound appointment. I’d downloaded the Ovia Pregnancy app. Each day I received new alerts about our baby. According to my count I was seven weeks along. I was excited, but tried not to be too excited. This was our first pregnancy and I am “high risk”. No guarantees.
W____ is quiet. Probably just nerves.. Our doctor walked into the room smiling ear to ear. Upbeat. He’d been as much a part of this journey as is possible for a doctor. Crying with me. Praying for us. Loving us.
The ultrasound technologist couldn’t find our baby at first, but I wasn’t discouraged. It’s still early right? Finally, after a little more probing, a small, dark image appeared on the screen. I looked at our doctor. There was worry behind a smile.
“And when was your last period again?” I told him.
“There is a chance we’re counting wrong. Let’s revisit in two weeks.”
New appointment is scheduled. We are quiet on our walk to the car.
“What’s wrong?,” I ask.
“Nothing,” he says.
He’s lying. He was worried. I can tell, but I’m confident.
It only took two days and a few Google searches for my confidence to flee. A paralyzing anxiety took its place and formed a painful ball in the pit of my stomach.
W____ got ready for work and I got ready for my day. He’d been gone for an hour before and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to say something. I had to warn him, my body had failed us. Or at least that’s how I felt. I dialed his number. I was a bit relieved when he didn’t answer.
I cried a bit and my phone rang. It was him. I reluctantly answered.
“What’s wrong?,” he said.
“We’ll talk when you get home.”
“No. What’s wrong?”
“There’s something wrong with the baby.”
We prayed on a three way call with a pastor’s wife who is also a nurse. I didn’t feel better.
Cramping and spotting began later that day. I called the “after hours” line for my doctor’s office to ask if I was losing our baby. The doctor I spoke with wasn’t my doctor. He didn’t know me. He hadn’t cried for me or prayed with me. He didn’t soften his words to ease the blow.
“That does sound like a miscarriage, but come in first thing Monday morning.”
I cried as I got dressed for church the next day. W____ was silent during the drive. We arrived early and sat in the empty sanctuary. I thought we could make it through the service, but within 5 minutes of sitting in our usual section, I got up and walked back out to the car. W____ had ventured off somewhere, perhaps to find our pastor and our doctor (he also attends our church). Before I knew it I was back in my car, seat reclined back, sick and sobbing, troubled by overpowering cramps reminding me my baby had died. We drove home and laid in bed. I was tired of crying and questioning and crying some more, so I hopped out of bed, dried my tears and resolved to move on. I had to be strong, right? I’m not the only person this has happened to, right? And I should just move on, right? That’s what people do, right? I found out it wasn’t that easy. At least not for me.
Putting on a face at work was difficult. Everything seemed so small in comparison to what I was experiencing physically and emotionally. It was hard to focus and hard to care. The same was true at home. Sleep became my friend. I escaped through funny YouTube videos, political podcasts, and keeping busy with distractions and hopes of new opportunities.
I couldn’t bring myself to post here. I didn’t come back at all until today. The days it gets too hard, I let my sorrow, seemingly overwhelming, wash over me like a tide, praying for it to erase everything, so I can forget how hurt I am. Or how hurt he is. Or the questions we both have about whether we’ll ever carry a baby to term. Or how we’d worry every day if we ever conceived again. And my questions about what exactly I was suppose to learn from this experience. Perhaps it was a lesson in powerlessness and dependence. I’m still trying to figure it out.
I didn’t want to talk about this, but I did want this blog to be an honest. I didn’t want an overly curated version of my life. Because of that, I couldn’t begin posting about anything else without first sharing this part of my 2017. I stopped blogging because “life happened,” but I want to continue blogging because life has to go on.