Wednesday, May 02, 2012
A different kind of miscarriage story
Blood results are in
I knew it
I have never been pregnant for longer than a few days without knowing
There was more than one union that night
What an idiot
What day is it?
What went wrong?
How could I let it go wrong?
I am Icarus, without the sea beneath to catch my fall
Now I have to face myself, my hubris, my mistake, with steely nerves
With blinders on
Another pregnancy would kill me
Another baby would kill me
Not an option
I would rather die
I mean that
I’m too old
I get too sick
I would rather die than ever do that again
Those feelings are real
Those fears are valid
Motherhood is not a game
I screwed up
Yet I am clear
My clarity is only muddied by political correctness
by being afraid to be too sure
by being ashamed to be so sure
by seeming cold, unfeeling, ungrateful, irreverent
But that is nonsense
I know my limits
I know myself
Babies are not playthings
Babies are not romantic
Motherhood is not serene or idyllic
Not for everyone
It’s serious, lifelong, struggle.
I am a 45.
prone to depression
I suffer, like a martyr, from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Pregnancy is a living nightmare for me.
My husband is old
Much older than me
He will be 70 by the time the baby was in eighth grade.
I am not embracing this pregnancy
I can not
No. No. No.
I call a friend. She has information. Answers. Solutions. Options.
Counseling. Planning Familiale
I wander off the street and into the palatial stone church before my appointment
Cathédral St. Éttienne
I shiver from the cold
I stand before a rack of pamphlets mounted on the ancient stone wall
In the light of a stained- glass window, my hand chooses a pamphlet
In counseling, I learn my options:
It’s so early
There is a “pill solution”
A waiting period
A pill. Another pill
I feel like a ticking time bomb
I cannot endure this
Life is cruel
How many women want to feel life inside them?
Why does life grow in unwelcoming wombs?
I lie down on my bed and cry, like Oprah, into my ears
This cannot be
Can. Not. Be.
The tall, dark doctor with the long fingers says it’s too soon
He can’t see anything
“On ne voit rien.”
He tries the wand thingy, the inter-vaginal probe
That tiny black speck on the screen, that might be it...
But... it might not be...
It’s too soon
Come back in a week
I go home to wait
My daughter sits at the kitchen table and draws a mango seed, with a perfect baby inside it
Does she know?
She tells me they are studying La sexualité at school
In response to being asked what she knows about babies, she and her friend draw a baby in a belly and put an X through it.
“Babies are cute,” they say. “But I don’t want to make one.”
“Je ne veut pas faire.”
Swimming with the girls at the indoor pool, there are young mothers and babies all around me.
There are also old women, old men, a bus full of handicapped children-- all in the water together
Later that day, standing at the kitchen counter, it happened
I felt it
Hot, dark and sticky between my legs
Oh my God!
I went to the bathroom
It had soaked through to my jeans.
I’m laying a bad egg.
Nature has intervened
Nature resolved this
Put an end to this nightmare
I felt only relief
As if I’d been rescued, given a stay of execution
I've been holding on to this for over a year now. Not sure why I chose to share it today, or ever, but there it is, in black and white, with lots of gray in between the lines. And I post this with the vague hope that it might make some women feel a bit better about their experiences since we only ever hear about the elation of conception and the grief of miscarriage. Anything else, it seems, is taboo. I am, herewith, challenging this taboo.