Some days I’m not sure my heart can take it. I want to turn it off. On the radio I hear of a mother who left her child to die – simply neglecting him. On Facebook I see another story of parents accused of abuse. A friend tells me of her own child who, before she adopted her, was sexually abused by her biological father as a toddler. Biology has allowed these people to have a child, yet me, not.
The other night I was at a work event and remarked to a coworker that I was drinking my first glass of wine in more than a year. She asked if that was by choice. I guess I’d forgotten that she didn’t know. I don’t have any problem discussing my history with people – friends – that see me every day. I told her that no, it wasn’t really by choice. I was pregnant last spring, then on fertility medication, then pregnant again, until recently.
I’ve just had my second consecutive miscarriage, one year apart. In April I only see showers. Dark clouds roll in and the rain that follows washes everything I hope for away.
Physically this miscarriage was much more difficult than my last. In both cases I required medical intervention, but I chose to forgo the D&C this time in favor of pharmaceutical assistance. The pain and bleeding lasted much longer than I’d anticipated – six days – but emotionally my brain shut it down. It flipped the switch, sort of knowing what to expect. I’ve talked about this at length in therapy since, and I find it pretty remarkable what our brains can do. While I was more emotionally invested in this pregnancy, I transitioned quickly into a protection mode. The day of and following the diagnosis of a collapsed sac (when one week prior everything looked very promising) I was in disbelief. But the acceptance of another miscarriage happened within a few short days. My brain sort of said you know what happens now, and you’ll make it through.
And I have. I still experience the waves of sadness and fits of anger that I do not have the child that I desire. Some days are better than others. Today my heart and body hurt from another loss. But tomorrow may be better. My brain is pushing me forward.
I spent much of 2015 in a very dark place with my depression over my miscarriage. I didn’t say the word aloud very often for fear that I’d well up in tears. When the situation called for it, I’d often say my surgery. It spared me, sometimes, the few moments of remembering what I’d lost.
This year had more promise. I found out I was pregnant for a second time while in my hometown visiting my family and meeting my then-six-week-old nephew. I told him he was going to have a cousin, and then quietly sang him “Dear Theodosia” from Hamilton, thinking that before year’s end I could sing it to my own baby.
When this April ends I’ll begin IVF. I am 20 percent hopeful, 40 percent scared of what it will do to my body and brain and 40 percent resigned to feeling like all of those other people have a privilege that they don’t deserve.