Until now, only a handful of people have heard this. Now I feel like it’s time to open up.
When Matt first drove from California to Texas, I was over the moon. I had missed him so much, and we could finally be together. On our journey back to California we stopped for the night at a Best Western in Arizona (couldn’t drive straight through with a cat.) We ate terrible takeout, watched TV, and in the midst of the excitement, unwittingly made our first child together.
We found out when I was six weeks pregnant. As we left the clinic the nurse said, “congratulations!” Though I knew that Matt didn’t want to have kids and neither of us were ready to be parents, we just looked at each other and smiled. We were both very happy and incredibly scared. We didn’t have a home, I had just moved there, we were poor–heck, we weren’t even married. In spite of the fear, I was overjoyed. Of course we talked about our options, but getting rid of it was something that felt foreign–discarding our child out of inconvenience didn’t feel appropriate. We told both of our moms and used it as an excuse to get married at the courthouse a few weeks later. For a last minute honeymoon, his mom sent us to a nice hotel on the beach.
When we returned home, I had a prenatal appointment scheduled. I undressed, laid down on a table, and the doctor started to do a sonogram. After a minute she said, “There’s no heartbeat.” My heart just sank. Time stood still in my head and paralyzed my bones–she couldn’t be saying what it sounded like she was saying…but she took me into a second room full of more powerful ultrasound equipment and confirmed it. Then she took us into her office and sat with us as I cried my heart out, then told us that I had to have a D & C. She scheduled it for later that day.
We went home, Matt went to work, and I called my mom and cried to her. My mother in law took me to the hospital for the procedure, and my husband met us later. All I could do was cry. I had the procedure, went home, and a week later my insurance kicked in, so when I started bleeding, cramping, and shaking a few weeks later we went to a different hospital. My D & C had been incomplete, and my body had been forced to eject the missed material on its own. I was lucky I didn’t have an infection. The first hospital harassed me for a year and a half, claiming that I owed fifteen thousand dollars for a botched procedure that I was forced into. They were eventually paid by the state–the epitome of fraud if you ask me.
Nothing can prepare you for the emotional toll that a miscarriage takes.
Not long after my husband told me that he still didn’t want to have kids–I couldn’t believe it after how excited he had been. I wasn’t given any choices and I felt like I had lost a child, but one that I never even got to meet. A baby I never got to touch or love. That feeling of emptiness and loneliness is overwhelming. I was extremely depressed, so much so that I couldn’t function for a long time. I ate and chain watched TV just to distract myself from the empty feeling inside. My husband was pissed off at me, my mother in law didn’t want me there, and I had just come from Texas, where I was sure my family didn’t want me either. I have this sick thing inside of me, like a sad monster: whatever negative energy it senses being directed towards me it amplifies and feeds on. I felt the animosity towards me and the painful things that were said to me and became emotionally crippled under the weight of it. I was suffocating alone.
I tried to move on, but I was hurting and my husband wouldn’t let me talk to him. I tried to tell myself that it was okay, there was a reason for the loss. I wasn’t ready to be a mother yet, maybe there was something wrong with the baby. I wanted to be better, stronger and healthier for next time. I knew in the back of my mind, though, that my husband didn’t want a next time. He wanted me to go to therapy, and when I tried to process my feelings by talking to him–the only way I knew how–he would snap and scream at me. Finally he started suggesting marriage counseling.
Christmas came, so we packed up and drove to Texas to see my family. We had fun, we felt better getting to go on our trip, and on the way home we made another child. Whoops. I was so afraid that we would lose another child, but we didn’t. Anyway, two years and two full term pregnancies later here I am with my two incredible babies asleep next to me.
That loss was devastating, and I still cry when I remember. Kari really helped me heal a lot, and I wouldn’t have had her if my first pregnancy had reached full term. So I guess all things happen for a reason, even if we don’t understand them.