When I had my first miscarriage, life was the darkest and most empty that it had ever been. I remember it with a dark cloud branded upon every corner and tiny fragment of my life. I felt alone and unsupported, like a seventeen year old girl playing house and so terrifyingly in over her head.
The entire thing consumed sixteen nightmare days of my life. I wouldn’t “pass the fetus” and so every time I produced a blood clot bigger than a crab apple I was to head into the emergency room. The thing about the emergency room though, was that they never shed any light on my heartache or the situation at hand. As it should have been, (though as a naive child I didn’t understand it) they were so clinical.
Chw… He wasn’t ready to be a man. He was 19 going on young and scared out of his mind. How does he react to vulnerability and fear? He gets mean. He got mean and hateful. After 9 trips to the ER and three follow up ultrasounds with my ob-gyn, he held a party on the night that I actually lost the baby. I thought I wouldn’t forgive him.
I married him anyway. I compartmentalized my resentment well. When I got pregnant the second time, I was this bundled up nerve of fear and excitement. Would I lose this baby? Would he/she live? Would my husband stand beside me?
The day I started spotting, I felt like everything I’d known was coming- had arrived. I called Chw and he stopped by a consignment shop to purchase this vintage storage set I’d been eyeing, for the baby’s room. He came home a bundle of nerves, but so optimistic. A man, providing for his wife and child.
Regardless of the ridiculous (law suit worthy) events over the following two hours, the point of this post came after that. In our bathroom, where I ran in (him trailing behind) to find my sixteen week fetus resting oddly in the crotch of my underwear. As long as I live, I will never forget the feeling just before it. The feeling of somthing, like a suffocating pressure, falling upon my head and causing a rush of water to drop, like an opening floodgate, to my toes. The true horror though, was not my baby in my lap. It was not that severed connection from mother and child. The truly horrific part of this frozen moment, forever etched in my heart and mind, was my husband. There screaming, tears practically shooting from his eyes, as he lay broken at my feet. He thrashed about, in broken hearted agony, slamming his head against our porcalain bath tub. The pain he felt, and displayed, destroyed me more than anything else ever could. I forgave his absense the first time around. In it’s place, I established my own self loathing form of resentment. One that shouted about how I’d failed my basic duty as a woman to birth a baby. One that repetatively reminded me I’d cost my husband fatherhood.
Eight years ago I had a complete hysterectomy. I was never right up in my girly regions. No babies for me. By the day the doctor yanked out my woman-ness, I was anything but upset. Seven baby losses, horrendous menstral cycles and cramps that make the idea of a gut stabbing seam like a trip to candy mountain- I was ready (at 24) to be done.
I went to counseling. I worked through it. I have a beautiful little girl via God’s handy work and so much maternal love for others that I have no baby hole. (ok. A little baby hole. Somedays it’s a huge, achingly abyssimal baby hole) But I’ve done good.
I’m no stranger to severe illnesses and complications stemming from my vagina. As crude as that may sound- it’s been hell and I’ve earned the right to be as frank about it as I want. Today we came home from spending time with some really cool people we are so fortunate to know (you know who you are!) and I felt really crampy. Assuming it was gas or something else, I go into the bathroom to find that I’m bleeding. It’s light. I was terrified. Chw was at the store (he’d dropped me off because of the cramping, you see) I called his cell: “No need to panic, I don’t think,” I said, “But I’m bleeding. A lot.”
He, also being no stranger to this area of hell, didn’t question the possibility of any other injury. He knew exactly what “I’m bleeding” meant. He came home.
And then, in his wonderfully innoscent and comical way he said it. IT.
“Maybe it’s our miracle. Maybe it’s a second chance uterus and we get to have a baby.”
He was joking. And even reading it, I realize how utterly stupid it sounds. And he doesn’t hold anything against me, (he is far cooler than I am, at this) BUT- that moment in the bathroom came flooding back, from 14 years ago. That feeling that I’d robbed his heart from him and left everything else shattered and broken.
I know i haven’t… But thanks for letting me blog this fragment of my sadness anyway.
And I’m pretty sure I’m ok. I’d bet it’s just my 32 year old, post-menopausal body going on 70 having it’s fun…