The worst feeling is suddenly realizing that you don’t measure up. And that, in the past, when you thought you did, you were a fool. ~My So-Called Life
A sweet couple friend had a miscarriage. Reading my friends’ news broke my heart along an old fault line. While their grief is unique to their own experience, I remembered that moment in the ultrasound room when we realized there was no hope. I actually felt the rush of air as the door to the Mommy Club shut in my face. The old broken record in my head that played all through High School telling me I wasn’t enough, hit the turntable again.
What I know, after some time and space between that day and now, is that healing is a slow, non-linear path. You feel bad until you don’t. That’s the life lesson Baby Daddy taught me. He told me to respect what happened and feel it fully, so that I could move on. I am genuinely glad he is my Baby Daddy.
I believe in Ubuntu: I am a person through other people; I am because we are. Besides Baby Daddy, a myriad of close friends and family, two unknown women reached out to me during that time, and I cannot express what they meant.
Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits into this empty place in your heart. ~My So-Called Life
When I had to have the first D&C, for some reason, we got to the surgery center before my paperwork. We were stricken, dazed and hurting. I had to go back by myself for prep. I don’t think it was as chaotic as if felt, but it seemed as though there were all these people touching me, poking me, asking me questions. I could barely speak. My chart arrived. The head nurse looked at it and told everyone in the room to get out. She instructed them no one was to touch me or talk to me without going through her. She pulled the curtain and hugged me so tight. I sobbed. She took me by my shoulders and said, “I want you to listen to me because I have been where you are, and I know some things you don’t. First, you will be a mother. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But if you want to be, you will. be. a mother.”
I just nodded. She was the only one who had any certainty about this situation. And she had an Irish accent. I don’t know why, but that was supremely comforting at that moment. “Second,” she continued, “Don’t push your husband away. This happened to him too. He’s hurting too. Hold on to each other. You’re what you’ve got.”
I went back to take some goodies to the nurses there and thank her a few weeks later, but she wasn’t working that day. I didn’t try again. I just wanted to move on. Unfortunately, I ended up back in the same situation several months later. I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to be worked in because I was having trouble with the second pregnancy. I hadn’t told Baby Daddy where I was, working on the theory that if you don’t say it out loud, it’s not true. He happened to call while I was sitting there. He immediately hung up to rush down to be with me. I started crying. It was humiliating. I was just sitting there silently crying in wing back chair with flowered upholstery.
The woman next to me took my hand. She didn’t even ask me what was wrong. She made me look her in the face and she said, “You are going to be ok. I know because I have faith in God. And it’s ok if you don’t right now. I have enough faith for both of us. No matter what they tell you, you are going to be ok.” About that time, I was called back. Baby Daddy arrived within minutes. We got the bad news not long after. I don’t know that woman’s name and could never say thank you to her for her kindness.
People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even. But every so often I’ll have, like, a moment, where just being myself in my life right where I am is, like, enough. ~My So-Called Life
If you’ve read this blog at all, you know we adopted Monkey Boy when he was a week old. We have a wacky little family. I joined the Mommy Club. Some days I’m certain they (whoever they are) are going to catch on that I have no idea what I’m doing, but so far I’ve got “them” fooled. I don’t know what it feels like to love a biological child, but I can’t imagine being any more in love with a kid than I am with Monkey Boy.
I am not person who easily asks for help. Help had to practically attack me when I needed it. But when I needed it, it was always there. I can’t say that I’m glad we went through infertility. It was awful. What I am glad about is since then, I have been a help and comfort to several friends when they lost pregnancies. I realized I can’t pay back what was given to me, I can only pay it forward.
I have been able to hold a dear friend’s hands and promise her she would be ok, or at least as ok as me, which is sort of comforting. I have gotten very drunk with another friend and cursed faulty uteri. I’ve sat silently and just breathed the same air with another. I have given logistical explanations to friends for what would happen when they arrived for a D&C: this is where you’ll stand; these are the forms you’ll fill out. I have given hormonal advice: give it 6 weeks; for no reason at all, you’ll feel better in six weeks. I have shredded birth announcements in bitterness and jealously. I have been genuinely happy to hold other friends’ new babies in my arms for the first time.
It’s not linear, this life. It takes a path you almost never see coming. If you let people, they will direct and point along the way. Sometimes, like Baby Daddy, they will even hold your hand down the path.