“A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had. But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.” – Barbara Kingsolver
This is where my story of motherhood starts. My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and I had split up, and I was an absolute wreck. I don’t mean just sobbing constantly, I mean crying so hard I was throwing up. I felt a pain that you feel so deep inside you that you can actually feel your heart breaking into tiny little pieces. I was slowly slipping down a rabbit hole and no amount of Ben and Jerrys or sappy ass movies was going to save me. This was not me…I usually have it all together. After my dad left when I was 13 I told myself that I wasn’t going to let a guy shatter my world…..but that is exactly what had happened. With all of this going on plus always having irregular periods, I hadn’t even realized that I had skipped two cycles.That was until I found myself eating a bowl of ice cream paired with oreo cream filled soft baked cookies and pickles. I looked at my tummy that had gotten bigger, but I figured that was due to my new found terrible eating habits. I found myself maybe thinking my period could be late since I was under so much stress. I went and got a test anyway and it was negative. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was up so I tested again…..and again….and again….and again. I took 10 pregnancy tests and every single one of them came back negative. I kept throwing up and I knew something wasn’t right. I went to the hospital and they ordered a blood pregnancy test….and I was told to wait for their call.
Thursday, July 3, 2014, I got a call from the hospital. The nurse on the other line told me that I was indeed pregnant, but my HCG levels were not doubling the way they needed to be, so she wanted me to come in that day to make sure things were okay with the baby. So I went in and they performed an ultrasound. I was 6 weeks and 6 days along, my due date was February 20, 2015, and they found my babies heartbeat. We scheduled another appointment for the following week to check my levels and they were rising but weren’t where they needed to be. My next appointment was Thursday, July 24. On the 21st I went to bed very crampy and I knew something was wrong. Tuesday, July 22 I woke up at 6:30 with excruciating pain in my lower abdomen. I felt wet when I started to sit up in bed and when I looked down it is something I will never forget. There was so much blood. I went to the bathroom and more blood. I knew. I called the hospital, got dressed and drove myself there. It probably took 30 minutes from the time I got up to the time I got to the hospital and it was all a blur.I laid down on the bed and I was still bleeding. The bed was colder than I remember. I felt everything. What felt like an eternity was only 10 minutes. I could tell just by the looks on their faces. And then it was almost as if in the same instant that he said, “I am sorry, but there is no heartbeat” that I could feel the tears rolling down my face. The room was so quite…I went numb. On July 22, 2014, at 9 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I lost my tiny little peanut.I was given the choice to let everything pass on its own or to have a surgical procedure. I chose to let everything pass on its own. I felt like my body failed the little life I had growing inside of me and so my punishment should be that I have to feel everything…..and I did. For the next week and a half, I bled more than I think I ever have. I remember feeling so hollow. I got the happiness of knowing I had life growing inside of me for 20 days…..and then it was just gone. I sank so far into a deep depression that the only thing I wanted to do was drink.
At this point, I was so far gone, that the only thing I wanted to do or could do was drink. And so that is exactly what I did. I became so lost in myself that I wanted to numb every part of my body. I didn’t tell Jake because I knew one of two things would happen. 1) People would think I was lying to just get back together with him or 2) He would feel pressured into getting back together with me just because I lost our baby….and I couldn’t stomach either one of those, so I suffered in my silence. I would go to work during the day and drink at night. On the weekends I would go for the whole weekend and drink with my girlfriend. I met a guy and he helped numb the pain, but I was only dragging more people into my hell. I remember that I kept telling myself that I just wanted to forget. I NEEDED to forget. I drowned my sorrows at the bottom of any bottle I could get my hands on and I found that nothing took away the deep stabbing pain that now encompassed my heart. My world was spinning out of control and I was officially at rock bottom. On August 29, I texted Jake because he was going to take our dog for the weekend and he told me he wanted to talk about things. I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell him, but I decided to have him come over to talk.
He sat down on one couch and I sat on the other opposite him and we talked. He told me that he wanted to work things out and I decided in that moment that I would tell him about the baby. As I worked up to it, the lump in my throat that had started out as a pea grew into what felt like an apple lodged in my throat. I could barely utter the words, and as I did I saw the color from his face completely dissipate. The look of absolute devastation consumed his face. I was relieved because I finally didn’t have to carry the weight of what had happened alone, but at the same time it was like I was reliving it and that all consuming pain came rushing back. I had told him that I never got to figure out if it was a boy or a girl, but I had soooo many dreams that it was a little boy. Like the flood of emotions that I was feeling, my tears came pouring down. And then as if in one swift moment he stood up and grabbed me in his arms and I felt a calm inside my soul. In that moment I fully let myself break in his arms. I had not let myself grief because I was too stuck in the world of alcohol to numb everything so I didn’t have to feel.
In the months that followed, Jake and I had gotten back together and we were working on our relationship. I would find myself scrolling through my timeline and seeing pregnancy announcements, or seeing babies in the arms of smiling moms, and I found myself hating them. They had what I desperately yearned for. My stomach was empty and a part of me was forever going to be missing. There were days where I didn’t even want to get out of bed and I prayed that the next day wouldn’t come because I knew that every day that passed by, was another day I didn’t have my baby and another day closer to my due date. But it still happened….the next day always came and in the blink of an eye is was February. And then is was February 20th, and I replayed July 3rd. Those 8 words echoed in my head. “I am sorry, but there is no heartbeat.” “I am sorry, but there is no heartbeat.” “I am sorry, but there is no heartbeat.” Those words were like a twisting knife. Those words took a piece of me that I will never get back.
Time has now passed. I know a lot of things now that I didn’t know then. I know that it happens to a lot of us; heartbeats stop, babies are taken away from us. I know that the pain will never go away. I know that even though I never got to hold my baby, that I will love my precious angel for the rest of my life. I know that it wasn’t my fault and that there was nothing I could have done.I know that it wasn’t right for me to hate those moms that I saw so happy with their babies. I know that there is always more than what meets the eye. I am forever changed. Jake and I are now engaged, we have a beautiful almost one year boy with us and we are happy. Although many wouldn’t see it looking at me now, but I still cry. There is still a pain that is in every fiber of my being. It has faded yes, time has that effect on things, but I will never forget. I don’t want to forget….because even though I never got to meet my baby……that baby was mine and I can’t forget that. I wish more people would tell their stories. They are excruciatingly painful, but it is so important to know you are not alone in this. I would have given anything to have known I wasn’t alone when that black screen didn’t have a heartbeat and everything stopped. Today my little angel would be 1 year, 11 months and 4 days old…..and there is not a day that goes by where I don’t miss the sound of that little heart.