I still have the box of leftover prenatal vitamins from when I was pregnant this summer. The baby only lived a trimester.
I had never had a miscarriage before, and it affected me more than I expected.
When I found out I was pregnant, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I’ll be 40 in February and my husband and I weren’t trying to have any more kids.
We already have two beautiful children, a son and a daughter. My oldest is in first grade and youngest just started kindergarten. We were out of the woods, we thought: no more expensive daycare tuition, no pricey boxes of diapers and formula.
We would need a new house, a bigger car. What about my plans of getting serious about writing? Plus, I wanted to lose weight. The thought of it all was overwhelming.
When we eventually told the kids, they were ecstatic: a new sibling to play with, to love. Still, I struggled with being excited. I felt so selfish that I wasn’t jumping for joy.
I signed up to get those weekly pregnancy progress emails, and when I saw pictures of what a growing fetus looks like from week to week, a bit of joy began to break through my apprehension.
I even began to look online at the latest in baby ware and think about possible names.
We traveled to Mississippi to be with family for a week, and my 6-year-old shared the news in an impromptu speech at a dinner party in our honor. Everyone was delighted and began rubbing my belly and wishing me “twins.”
That same night, though, on a Thursday, my body let me know something was wrong.
I was three-and-a-half hours away from my doctor, so I talked to the one on-call. She told me it was likely a miscarriage and that it would have to run its course.
So all night Thursday, then Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and some on Tuesday, I had to let my body relieve itself of the baby I wasn’t initially excited to greet. I felt horrible, guilty and heartbroken.
Everyone offered words of encouragement. Even the doctor said, “Everything happens for a reason.” I struggled with that, though. Why was the baby created simply to die before having a chance?
I just have to trust.
As I thought about all the things I feared I wouldn’t be able to do with the baby coming – freelance, flesh out my book idea, and so on – I decided that I need to get off my butt and do those things now.
So, these days, I get up around 5 a.m. and scribble writings in my tomato red, lineless Moleskin journal, send out email inquiries and whatnot, all in hopes of giving birth to something. I must. I do it for me, yes, but also, I do it for the one I lost this summer.