Sharing this is healing for me. So if your bothered by sad stories or TMI then don’t read it because I refuse to apologize for finally acknowledging my feelings.
I have suffered two pregnancy losses.
My belief is that I have not properly acknowledged these losses. Which if you knew me wouldn’t seem that surprising. When it comes to pain, sadness, loss, or vulnerability I tend to push these feelings deep down where no one can see them. I pride myself on being strong, level headed and rational. For whatever reason I categorized my pregnancy losses into the ‘frivolous emotion’ category and down they went into this box in my body where I keep everything that makes me uncomfortable.
But I am not sure I can hold it in anymore. The problem is holding in some emotions means they just manifest into other emotions. For me its anger, bitterness, jealousy and for those who don’t know what I went through I look like a psychotic bitch.
So it’s time to tell my story…
I met the love of my life when I was 15. I’m a lucky bitch right? We have now been together for 11 years, living in sin for the past 7 years, and I wouldn’t change a thing (but don’t tell him that).
We like most couples want to start a family, we also wanted to be a younger family, so we started trying to conceive when we were in our mid twenties. A couple years of trying and nothing was a bit discouraging but I could agree with the old adage “a baby will come when the time is right”.
I believed that was true so when one Friday morning before work I realized my period was pretty overdue I took a pregnancy test. It was positive….
If you have ever been pregnant I am sure you will understand when I say I was a mother the moment I saw those two little lines. Because in that moment everything changes. You want to be the best person you have ever been so that you can give the best to the tiny life growing inside you.
It was my 26th birthday.
I went to work made up an excuse to go get a quick blood test to confirm that day. I was already acting pregnant. I spent the whole weekend pretending nothing had changed when in reality EVERYTHING had changed. I celebrated my birthday with my friends and family all the while glowing on the inside believing next year I would have a new little person to celebrate with.
Unfortunately that wouldn’t happen.
I waited to tell my fiance because I wanted it to be special. I set a camera up, threw a couple of blue and pink paint swatches on our extra bedroom wall. When he came home from work I asked him what color he’d like to paint the walls, his face was priceless when I pulled out the positive test. We took the next day off to relax and enjoy our new reality. We shopped for the best pregnancy food and I made my first prenatal appointment.
Everything was perfect.
Almost a week after my birthday I woke up to pain in my abdomen and some medium bleeding. I rushed to google (which I wouldn’t recommend) to confirm what I already knew was happening. Panic set in because I hadn’t even met my Dr yet how could this even be happening. I hid in that extra bedroom with the swatches still stuck to the wall while my fiance got up and unknowingly started his day.
After his shower he found me on the couch in tears. I couldn’t even look at him when I told him what was happening. I am the strong one, I am the logical one and I didn’t want him to see the fear and embarrassment I was feeling.
Yes, my first reaction to my pregnancy loss was embarrassment. What kind of woman was I that my body couldn’t keep this baby alive. I assured him I would be ok I called the Dr office and they said I could come in right away. But I wasn’t ok and he wouldn’t leave so he called my mom. She didn’t even know I was trying to have a baby let alone that I was pregnant. I hadn’t had time to tell her I wanted it to be special. Instead she found out she could have been a grandma from her future son in law while her only daughter broke to pieces in bed unable to speak.
Some of the best things about my mother is that she knows when to just be there but not say too much. Her being there for 10 minutes reminded me that I wasn’t raised to lay in bed and cry. I was raised to get up, get it together, and get some answers.
So my mother took me to the Dr who confirmed what I already knew. I listened as she told me she was sorry and what I needed to look out for as my body ‘passed’ the pregnancy. I made an appointment to get my blood drawn in a week to confirm my body was returning to its pre-pregnancy state.
As usual I acted like I was fine. I told the Dr as she said for the third time how sorry she was that ‘it’s fine’. I went with my mom when she suggested getting some food and going to a nearby mall. Mostly because I didn’t want to go home.
So I never let myself fall to pieces. I couldn’t because I told myself these typical things:
You are young, you have time.
Well at least you know you can get pregnant.
It’s not like the pregnancy lasted that long.
Other women have it way worse.
Don’t tell anyone. They will only look at you like a victim, like there is something wrong with you.
That was the BIGGEST mistake.
The lack of acknowledgement, the lack of grieving has festered and made me angry. I can’t find joy in others pregnancies or even their children. I get angry so easily around people who treat their pregnancies like the easiest thing in the world. Like it has somehow enlightened them to a place I could only understand if I was a parent. I cringe when people bring up having babies, especially when they refer directly to me having children. It’s not their fault they don’t know. But it hurts, every time, and that is why I wrote this.
Here is something I want everyone who has ever been pregnant to know: we became mothers the moment we became pregnant. Motherhood didn’t end when my pregnancy did. Nor did it the second time this past February. Motherhood is creating a life and knowing in your deepest heart that you would do anything to protect that little light inside you. Motherhood is grieving that little light when it is gone too soon.
One day we will all be able to hold our light and watch it grow. But until then I want everyone to start treating pregnancy with a little more care. You don’t know what your friend, sister, cousin or co-worker might be going through. Some words that seem harmless can be extremely painful to someone who has experience a loss like this.
We are fragile. I am fragile and I am no longer embarrassed to be.