I was a mother… but I never got to hold my baby.
My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for a year when we visited the doctor. Our whirlwind of fertility tests started with a blood test. A few days after going to the lab, I got a call from the nurse. “Your blood test shows that you’re pregnant. Congratulations!”
I responded by telling her my name and that she must have called the wrong person. She hadn’t.
The next day, I was avoiding sushi and caffeine, understanding why I was exhausted and trying not to get too excited.
When my spotting started, I found support in forums that it could be normal. Seeing our baby’s healthy heartbeat a couple days later made it easier to believe that everything was okay. When my intense cramping started and the bleeding picked up, there was no more denying that our baby wouldn’t be making it into the world.
Even though I wasn’t far along, miscarrying has been hard. I’ve gone through every emotion from guilt to relief to despair. I’m terrified and will be until the process is complete. I feel that I’ve let my family and my husband down. And worst, I feel that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do as a mother.
We didn’t tell anyone other than our parents, so I have to act normally. I pretend I missed work for the flu and that the pain pills I’m taking are just an antibiotic. I smile when pregnant women talk about their cravings and “like” the posts of their healthy ultrasound photos.
I’ve watched my husband cry and I’ve been woken up with cramping. I avoid looking at the toilet when I use the restroom for fear that I’ll see anything resembling the little person that my body didn’t seem happy to support. My life has become a bit of a horror movie when I thought I was starting a fairy tale.
Miscarrying is lonely, depressing business. But, as I sit here looking at our story, I know that this loss is not the ending to our story. In three days, we went from thinking we couldn’t conceive to knowing that we could. Our very small child changed my life and renewed hope I’d started to lose. Even though we aren’t strong enough to try to conceive again soon, this is just a step on the way to our happy ending—whatever that may be.
Photo by APW Sponsor Gabriel Harber