I didn’t think I could get pregnant. I never had a doctor or medical professional tell me that was the case, it was just a gut feeling; something I always believed since my early twenties.
I’ve never had a pregnancy scare, an ‘Oh, shit!’ moment like all of my girlfriends in college. At the age when all of my friends started getting baby fever, I started planning my studio-life existence in LA.
I figured my baby maker was broken.
As I got older, I became more convinced. I have cysts on my kidneys and ovaries which can make it difficult to conceive naturally. I also had a bout with cervical cancer and lost a part of my cervix in the battle.
Again, my doctor kept telling me I should be able to get pregnant, but it wouldn’t be easy.
But then it happened
I believed it so completely I stopped thinking conceiving was even a possibility — made even more unlikely by the fact that my doctors had me on birth-control medications to regulate my hormones and keep my migraines at bay.
But somehow, impossibly, I became pregnant.
And then I lost the baby.
The day that I had the miscarriage, I knew it was happening the way you just know something is wrong deep inside.
By midday, the pain and bleeding was so intense, I knew that something was wrong, but I still couldn’t bring myself to say something — to say it out loud.
By late afternoon, I was sweating with pain, and the nausea was like nothing I had experienced before.
By my calculations, I could have only been a few weeks along.
When I did bring myself to look up miscarriages online and call my doctor, the one thing I kept hearing and reading over and over and over again was how normal this was.
Great, I’m not a freak.
But guess what? It still sucks. A lot.
Coping with the loss
In the moment, I was calm and logical. I reasoned that I shouldn’t have been able to get pregnant on my migraine meds.
The baby would have had complications.
My body knew it wasn’t right. That’s what I told myself.
I also understood that I didn’t do anything wrong. That it wasn’t my fault. That I didn’t “cause” this. I don’t drink; I don’t smoke.
I work out; I eat well … it’s just biology.
So I went to bed.
Then hours later, I woke up a crazy person. I kept seeing little hands and toes.
Little hazel eyes that could have been my baby’s.
My thoughts that night were erratic and came in flashes. What could have been, what should have been.
It’s not OK
In the morning I tried to pretend like I slept. I tried to pretend like it was a normal Tuesday. I tried to pretend like I didn’t just lose a little person. I tried to pretend like I still couldn’t get pregnant.
I tried to pretend that I was OK. But I wasn’t.
I held it in because I didn’t know what else to do with it.
My husband seemed so OK with it. He was just excited at the idea that we could have kids. I had one friend who actually showed up at my doorstep with flowers and a card. My mom and dad love me tirelessly, but I just sort of folded it into myself like my depression.
Then I saw my therapist. She asked me if I had someone with whom I could confide, could speak freely. For some reason, I said no.
I was somebody’s mom
I felt scared, and I felt ashamed. I felt like I had let that little human life down.
Then she did the most amazing thing — she sympathized with me. She told me to talk to my child.
She called me a mom.
I had never been called a mom before. She told me to say everything I wanted to say to him or her. So I did.
I told my kid and God that I was sorry. I told them if I had had that baby, I would have wanted them and loved them.
I cried and cried and cried and cried and said that I hoped that I get to meet your little soul again someday in whatever vessel God decides to deliver you to me.
Finding hope…in life
In the weeks that followed, I had many conversations with people about getting pregnant.
Everyone has advice.
I got tips about trying again. Trying right away. Conceiving naturally. Getting artificially inseminated. About trusting God to do his will in his time. About being OK with not bringing kids into this messed up world.
I haven’t made any decisions yet. It’s too soon.
But I’ll say this — there is no right answer. There is no wrong answer. There is no shame.
I heard a beautiful story about a woman who had IVF and how that was her path to her daughters.
I know couples without kids who live amazing lives of travel and exploration.
I know incredibly selfless people who have adopted.
So while this miscarriage broke my heart, it also gave me hope. Hope that for the first time, I actually do have the option to create life.
How amazing is that?