I had said that I wanted to start blogging more because I actually have stuff to share, then I fell off the face of the earth again. But I’m back to share more (old) news with my nonexistent readership: I’m pregnant! Not exactly “news” since I’m more than 5 months at this point. But I feel like for the first time in a long time I actually have things I’d like to articulate to the world. (Oh YES!! Another mommy blog, right?!) Wrong. I feel like I have some kind of unconventional thoughts on pregnancy and parenting, and although I’m sure they’re not THAT unconventional, compared to most things I read or people I talk to, they feel a little weird.
Gosh, it’s hard to write blog posts when you know nobody reads them and you also kind of have this feeling that you probably won’t follow through with your resolution to keep up with it. But here’s to trying and failing, I guess.
Last year was a piece of shit. My dad died from lung cancer after a very long two years. My mom was alone in a far-flung house in a depressing area of the Poconos, I had a miscarriage. A friend of ours committed suicide. And I generally had a pretty raging mid life crisis going on. But something kind of magical happened – I came out on the other side relatively unscathed and having a much more positive outlook on life. Maybe it’s something in the water, because Greg was just telling me yesterday that he has been feeling really happy since the spring, happier than he has in a long time. There’s something reassuring knowing that you can go through some bad shit and not have it break you.
So first let me talk miscarriage. As far as miscarriages go, it was really no big deal at all. It wasn’t even a “real” miscarriage, because apparently what had happened was that I sort of started to get pregnant – the test came back positive, the gestational sac developed, but no embryo. I was only about 8 weeks or so, not enough time to get too attached to the idea. And truth be told, I wasn’t ready. Sure, we had been trying for a few years, but that moment in time really wasn’t the right moment for me, I was in rough shape emotionally – it was August and my dad had passed in June, and I was still in the middle of wrapping my brain around the fact that things were changing, and I needed to grow up and put away childish things and become a parent, because I was 34 and way too old to be going out getting shitfaced with my younger coworkers all the time. But I just couldn’t face it at that moment. So when I took that test, I actually sat in the bathroom crying, and cried several times throughout the day. When I told Greg that night, he seemed more weird than happy. There was also the little matter of not even feeling like I was pregnant – I had no morning sickness and had been getting my period, just a tiny bit of breast tenderness, which is what made me take the test in the first place. In the three or so weeks I had to wait before going to the doctor (can you believe they won’t even SEE you until you’re at least 9 weeks?! It felt like an eternity!) I wasn’t even really convinced it was real. I even said that to the doctor when she took out the ultrasound wand. I assured her that if she didn’t see anything, I wouldn’t freak out. And then I didn’t. And a week later I went back for a procedure that took 5 minutes and was much less painful than what they’d warned me about, then Greg and I went out to breakfast and talked a lot about everything and then I laid on the couch watching Twin Peaks for the rest of the day. It was almost an enjoyable day off.
I’m talking about all of this because before you have a miscarriage, you don’t realize how common it is, because people don’t like to talk about it. But once you tell people, you get a barrage of stories from other women about how it happened to them, and these are usually women who have kids. I know my mom had one before me, and Greg’s mom told me about hers, and I know at least a few other people who have had them. But again, on the surface it’s a depressing topic that people don’t want to talk about, but I try not to make a big deal about telling people so they know for themselves that it doesn’t mean anything, or that they’re not alone if it’s happened to them. And obviously I don’t want to downplay it because for some women it IS really bad – I know someone who recently had a miscarriage at 5 months, which is scary as shit, and another girl who’s had a bunch of them and was never able to get pregnant, so it’s not a joke. But for the most part it’s not indicative of any overarching problem, and for me at least it wasn’t this horrible tragedy that it had always been in my mind. The whole time I sort of just naturally felt like, “Hey, I’m halfway there.” When I told my mom what had happened, she didn’t even blink before she said, “That’s wonderful! That means you can get pregnant!” I think she was more excited than upset.
And now here I am, a year later, feeling balanced and content, and as an added bonus, watching my belly grow every day.