Missing Hope: A Trio of Miscarriages, and What Happened After
I have been afraid most days of my life, which is what anxiety is, and the months of this pregnancy have been the most anxious of my life.
My previous pregnancy had ended at nine weeks, just after my husband and I saw and heard the heartbeat for the first time, but we didn’t find out about it until our thirteen-week appointment, and I had only bled the day before we went in. Mingled with grief and fear that first time around was another emotion: embarrassment. How foolish, to have gotten my hopes up; to have carried a dead thing inside of me for four weeks without my consent, my knowledge. I wouldn’t be betrayed like that again, at the very least. I wouldn’t miss a sign. I wouldn’t allow my hope to outgrow the circumstances. My vigilance paid off that morning, when, in a small bed and breakfast I had retreated to with my mother in the small Northern California fishing village of Mendocino, I saw the brown smudge of blood on the toilet paper, and I knew.
mis-carry,missedinside your own body.
Thank you,It’s over.
They don’t tell you about the feelings, the progesterone that can create joy in some women and depression in others. They don’t tell you about the guilt you will feel—how you worked so hard for this pregnancy; how you wanted it so badly; how you were, in fact, depressed without it, and now that you are depressed within it you wonder if you were ever sane. The sickness, they say, will pass, so you wait until twelve weeks, then thirteen, then fourteen, and you find yourself sicker than ever, going back to the hospital for fluids after throwing up, vomiting so profoundly that you pee yourself every time, eating the same brand of Think Thin chocolate brownie protein bar because it is the only thing you can keep in your stomach. Sick is a feeling as much as a state of being, and it makes you feel Victorian in the worst way, like a woman sent to bed for being weak, which is an especially tough blow in a culture where your value is predicated on your professional productivity.
You don’t understand,He will never be here.
Cleft palate, heart defect, increased anxiety in the child, what kind of mother would take that chance, what kind of mother would put her own well-being above her unborn child’s, what kind of monster are you.
It is so worth it.
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“I know I am about to be afraid, and I am also about to be just fine. This is controlled terror.”
More in this series
I hope the voices of people who haven’t necessarily had the words when they needed them can also be heard.