I have a little story for you, the topic of which is something People Do Not Talk About. But even though we're all our own special snowflakes, most of our lives are not so different. And I am not not talking about it.
So, here goes.
Once upon a time something incredible happens, something completely unlikely and unexpected. Something that you learn, after researching, that there is a 1% chance of happening. You're now the 1%!
Say you find yourself exhausted while doing a green
smoothie cleanse and tired and nauseated for days after. You Google milk intolerance
and ulcer and tropical stomach diseases.
You decide you have an ulcer. H pylori. Who knows? You're going to call your doctor about this.
Before you do so, you run into your friend Meg, who lived in Mauritania and has had schistosomiasis and is thus your local expert on weird ailments.You describe your symptoms.
She suggests pregnancy. Have you taken a test? You fall on the ground laughing.
You stop at CVS and buy a box of three on your way to have your hair highlighted. You might as well rule it out.
You are sitting there, foils in hair, and realize you need to pee. So now's as good a time as any to just get it over with.
"Yes. Cannot talk. At the hair salon."
And then you freak out in your own little foil bubble for the next hour or so. You think about your age. You think about your plans. You think about how tired you already are, and how much the two children you have drive you crazy.
You think about a little toothless baby gumming the side of your face. Or nursing and then sleeping on you, all milk-drunk.
You go home and pee on another stick. Same. You tell your mother, who says, "How did this happen?!"
And you reply, "I cannot actually have this conversation with you."
You realize you have options. You have been staunchly pro-choice your entire life. You would support any woman in her choice to terminate. You think it's insane that anyone - particularly an aging white man on the Hill - would presume to make this kind of choice for another person.
And then, over the next couple days, you realize that actually, you're really excited. Even though you know from Internet research that at age 45 you are basically from District 12 here, and the odds are not ever in your favor.
You get an ultrasound. You hold your breath. There is a teeny tiny heartbeat! This makes you cry! But it, this bunch of cells, this wee maybe baby, is very small. You need to come back in a week.
So you spend another week making plans and taking inventory of stuff and waiting until you can stop holding in this secret that's flitting about inside you, just dying to leap out and sprinkle glitter everywhere.
You return in a week, which was yesterday.
The same lovely ultrasound tech puts the goop on your belly and turns on her machine and you do not see much of anything. Neither does she. She looks very hard. She looks and looks.
She finally says, "I'm so sorry. This isn't a viable pregnancy."
Your little potential human stopped growing sometime in the
past week and now just...isn't going to be.
You can choose to wait up to six weeks for it to go away on its own. You cannot imagine waiting. You can take medication, which should work the same day. Or you can have an operation. You choose door number two.
You cry all the way through your blood test, through canceling your upcoming appointment, through the waiting room, and then you sob hysterically all the way down M Street. When you tell your husband, he asks if people were looking at you and you say, "How would I know? I was crying too hard to notice."
Also, who fucking cares?
Your friend Meg sprints out of work and meets you and gives you a giant hug. She doesn't mind that she's walking down the street next to someone wailing like a banshee.
So door number two means putting four little pills into your ladybits and then waiting to expel the tissue. There will be nothing recognizable, they make sure you know.
The medication, upon examination, turns out to be something they use for ulcers. You find this a little funny.
A third child isn't something you were trying for, or something you ever thought possible, or even anything you would've said you wanted a month ago. At your age? Ha!
But you'd started to think that maybe you could luck into the 1%. That perhaps it was a gift, like when you met your husband seven years ago next week. The universe decided it was time to drop some unexpected joy on you.
But you also knew the terrible odds. So you tried not to get attached. (Because hahaha! you've always been great at not getting attached!)
You say over and over that know have an amazing family, one you did not think you would ever have, and you are so lucky, just the way you are. And adding another human would make everything far more complicated.
So why do you feel such a profound sense of loss? Why are you so devastated?
Because there is nothing more life-affirming than being pregnant. You are the Creator. And even when intellectually, you know that your family and your life are great the way they are, and another baby would be exhausting and complicating, when you're the Creator, and then suddenly you're not, it feels like a betrayal of your purpose as a human being.ReplyDelete
I hadn't thought about it that way, but I am sure that figures into it for sure. Big hugs and thanks, my friend.Delete
All the love, Lisa.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lexa.Delete
Sending my love to you. Seriously, you are so incredibly strong for telling this story. <3ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jo. Big hugs to you.Delete
I get you. Totally. Same boat, different river dear.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry. It's a terribly painful boat this one.Delete
Oh Lisa, at the pregnancy sign I laughed out loud. At your moms comment I died laughing. At the first doctors visit I covered my mouth in an OMG move. And then, I bawled. I send you all my hugs and all my I'm so sorrys, because I am.ReplyDelete
Lynn, you are a dear, kind, lovely person. Thank you for all the hugs and sorrys. Big hugs back to you.Delete
oh pumpkin, i'm so, so sorry you have to go through this. i would say "it's for the best", and all the other cliches, but i know they won't help. i will hug you extra hard next time i see you. please take care.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Coleen. I will take the extra hard hug next time, with pleasure.Delete
Bawling. I am so, so sorry sweet Lisa. Biggest hugs.ReplyDelete
And thank you for writing this.
I had to write. I always have to write. Giant hugs to you, Laura.Delete
For what I can offer you imagine this: I am sitting in my lounge room with my laptop reading your post with fingers interlaced and looking at you with heart felt thoughts...ox.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Pauline. You are such a loving, sharing soul.Delete
Oh Lisa. I adore you for always talking about the hard stuff. You and your family are in my thoughts. BIIIIG HUG!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Tia. BIIIG HUG to you and yours!Delete
Because it hurts.ReplyDelete
Sending love from a stranger in Canada.
Yes, true. It hurts. Love back to you, and thanks.Delete
I'm so sorry, and so glad that you have so many people who are there by your side when you need to cry like a banshee (since, really, who among us hasn't been there).ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jaclyn. I have beautiful, incredible people. I really do. I'm lucky.Delete
Oh, Lisa, I'm so terribly sorry. I read this last night and a melancholy settled on me as I contemplated your pain and remembered my own. After the journey you undertook to conceive India, it seems nature can be so unfair, giving you a taste of a happiness you never knew you wanted and then cruelly ripping it away. Sometimes I wished I belived in God just so I could have someone to be mad at.ReplyDelete
My husband said it best when we lost the one we weren't yet trying for: "I feel like something has been stolen from me that wasn't mine to begin with." In time I came to see some blessing in our angel baby's brief life, but it is only time that heals (as you well know) and I'm not sure anything I could say about the experience could help you at the moment, so I'll pass on something said to me at the time that I did find comforting... I'm holding you in the light, my friend.
Yes, he put it very well. Thank you for sharing this. It wasn't mine to begin with, but it was on its way to being mine...and now that possibility is gone forever.Delete
Big huge hugs to you, KB.
Hugs and hugs. I've been there and have many friends who have too. And heck, I have a friend who at 43 got knocked up with twins ("your bleeding episode may be a cyst, or menopause, let's do a quick ultrasound to check... Oh, twins! You're 4 months along!") and now they're two healthy 2 year olds, after a very uneventful first pregnancy, so to have hope makes sense, because, well, no every story ends in sad tears. All the possibilities... Of course you'll get excited. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Lots of hugs.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Carla. I think it is true that hope and excitement are inevitable. And then something bad happens and so are tears. Hugs to you.Delete
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Loong time lurker here, like reading for 7 years and never commenting long. I love your blog and how you make your stories so relateable. I am commenting now because I want you to know just how relateable this post is. Miscarriage can be a very isolating experience because those who have been through it don't talk about it and those who have not been through it cannot understand what you are going through. It does not matter if it was a planned pregnancy (mine was) or a surprise, as soon as you see that positive test you start to think about the future and the possibilities that include that tiny baby. For me it was important to feel like it was ok to cry and mourn the loss because even though it was not "something real" yet it was real to me. I want you to know that you are not alone in going through this and you have every right to feel sad about something ending even if you didn't even know you wanted it. So many hugs to you I know it is a tough time.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your very thoughtful and helpful comment, Molly. Like you said, it wasn't real - but it was very real to me, and from minute one, you start thinking about what might be. And it is isolating. At home I felt like I was going through this alone, even though Nick is kind and supportive, because it was never real for him, and he was unable to relate to how I was feeling. I so appreciate you sharing, and I'm sorry you've been here too. Big hugs to you.Delete
So very sorry, dear friend whom I have never met in person.ReplyDelete
Thank you, LJ. We will remedy that never meeting in person one day. One day!Delete
I'm crying for you too. I was hoping for the 1% for you. Hugs to you.ReplyDelete
Hugs to you, zerodoll. Thank you.Delete
I'm sorry. Sending you all the good thoughts I have.ReplyDelete