How One Miscarriage Changed Everything

Gavin DeGraw is my favorite musical artist. I see him in concert any chance I get. When I moved to Florida, it took 3 years for him to come around. So when I heard about it, I begged by boyfriend to “let” me buy tickets for myself and my soon-to-be 2 year old. (She loves Gavin too).

My day began with the normal excitement on Gavin Day. His shows are often so intimate and sharing that experience with my daughter was making my heart glow. In my Facebook memories, a post comes up from November 4, 2017 at 9:07am, with crazy excitement about taking my baby to her first Gavin concert.

I was 6 weeks pregnant.

Not many people had been told yet. I knew it was going to be my last baby, and maybe that added to my glow. I also felt intense gratitude that I was again being blessed with pregnancy, when for so many years I battled infertility.

Was the timing great? Probably not.

Was my home life great? Eh.

But I was 39 and time was ticking. I was not going to let anything detract from the joy of becoming a mother to another miracle. I was a strong woman and would figure out whatever I had to in order to have this baby.

I was in the master bathroom getting ready with my little girl, blasting Gavin in prep for what I knew was going to be an amazing night.

That’s when the cramping started.

Soon after came the bleeding. I sobbed uncontrollably. I knew what was happening. I contemplated what to do. I was home alone with my daughter and my boyfriend’s daughter would need to be picked up from school at the end of the day. Should I go to the ER or just accept that I was losing the baby and go on with my day? (Yeah, this is how crazy I get sometimes)

I messaged my boyfriend to tell him I was going to the hospital to get checked out. I had flashbacks of going to the ER three years earlier, with his daughter in tow, where I learned about my ectopic pregnancy. I was anxiety ridden as I recalled that experience in which I lost one of my fallopian tubes.

What if this one was also ectopic?

What if I lose the other tube?

I’d definitely never have another baby. The flow of tears wouldn’t stop.

I sat there numbly as the nurse performed the ultrasound. Nothing but a cyst on one of my ovaries. Empty uterus. Beta numbers were extremely low. This was never a viable pregnancy.

One of my boyfriend’s friends came to sit with me and help with my daughter. I tried to hide my pain from everyone. I tried to play it off and act like it was no big deal.

Hey, I already got to have a perfect kid, right?

Hours and hours passed. I asked to leave. What the hell was the point of sitting there once they told me that I was miscarrying? I might as well salvage what I could of the day and go to the concert. They kept me there waiting, releasing me just about the time that the concert started. It was in Miami, about a 45 minute drive from the hospital I had gone to.

I knew I was going to miss most of it but I felt like I needed the distraction and Gavin’s music soothes my soul. I wanted my daughter to have some fun after sitting in the ER for all that time, being the great kid that she is.

This story is definitely about the pain of this miscarriage and the anniversary of what may end up being my last chance at having another child. Make no mistake that it is a sad day for me every year. I’d still be breastfeeding that precious baby right now if I was able to carry him or her to term. My life would be a lot different than it is today.

But this story is going to take a turn that you’re likely not expecting.

“I guess I won’t be buying you any more concert tickets.”

He said a lot of the standard things you say to someone who has lost a baby, none of which were comforting (think “at least you have Scarlett”), but this is the thing that I will remember forever.

It was horrible. It was cold. It was dismissive of my pain, and a punishment for having a miscarriage – something that was not my fault. He also said some other shitty things like “We really can’t afford another baby, so maybe this is for the best” but nothing hurt as much as that one statement.

I wish I was making this up. It was a conversation that turned my stomach, and my head back on straight.

It would have been easy for me to say that he “just doesn’t understand” or he is “just being a guy”. In this moment though, I said “he’s being a heartless asshole”. Because that is exactly what he was being.

My eyes became WIDE open, like that moment in The Sixth Sense when you realize what is actually going on with Bruce Willis’ character.

I suddenly saw the controlling, gaslighting, and being used. I honored my gut (who did tell me often that my role in this man’s life was not what I had hoped for), and the reason didn’t matter. You see, for a therapist, it’s difficult to do anything but believe in people’s capacity for change. You don’t give up on your clients, so you don’t give up on others….to a fault.

I made a conscious decision to “fight back” and that’s why I say it was the beginning of the end.

In his eyes, I had changed and become bitchier and impatient. I was being difficult and ungrateful (because I “got” to stay home with my daughter). But in my eyes, I was remembering who I am and what I deserved. I was reminding myself that if I was my own client, I would be working to strengthen this woman from within so she wouldn’t accept emotional or financial abuse.

It took a year for me to leave after this.

But I did, and never looked back.

It was not easy and I am still putting pieces of myself back together and, the worst feeling ever, putting pieces of my child back together.

What’s the point of this post? It’s a two-fer.

A story about how miscarriage grief exists independent of how many children you have. #Important

But also a story of how the worst day of your life can be the start of creating and living your best life. #AlsoImportant

Today is a sad day for me. I cry on and off all day because of the idea that I may never get to have another child. I love being a mom and I crave the feeling of growing another human inside me, this time without all the stress and BS, and bringing that child into this home full of love. Because that is what I have today. A home full of love, acceptance, respect, and sensitivity.

I’d be lying if I said that I have accepted the idea of that being my last pregnancy.

What if it can’t happen? Today I ask myself that because of my pain.

Tomorrow I will be able to say “Oh, but mama….what if it CAN?”

Go forth and make the choice to grow from pain and take care of yourselves.

Why I’ll Keep Telling You The Things You Don’t Want To Hear About TTC

Hey mama-in-waiting, let’s chat.

Maybe today you took a pregnancy test and it was negative. Or your ovulation tests never showed positive this month. Maybe you’re still struggling with your past loss or losses.

You’re feeling shitty. And then it comes…

“If I can get pregnant, so can you!”

“Think positive!”

and the worst one, “I’m pregnant.”

I feel you, I really do. What’s funny about when you actually get to carry a baby to term after infertility is that you don’t ever entirely forget those feelings. But do you know what also happens?

YOU BECOME ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

I said I’d never do it. I would never say to another person struggling with infertility any of those kinds of things. And yet here I am, doing it and believing that I’m not wrong.

Hang in there with me right now. Don’t let me lose you and be written up as just another hope tossing asshole.

Here’s what I have learned about my new side of the coin.

On the side I am on right now, I am totally understanding of the fact that I was 100% wrong 8 years ago. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I had given up hope and believed that my body was undeniably unable to get pregnant. After all, I had tried fertility treatments and then went on a 6 year no-birth-control-at-all binge –and not even one tiny whisper about pregnancy from this body of mine.

Worse, there was no explanation for my infertility. Everything “looked good” according to my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist).

So how the hell did I end up an over 35-year-old woman who got pregnant THREE times in the course of 3 years? Only one pregnancy was viable but in case you missed it…8 YEARS of prior unprotected sex with not one late period.

Sparing you all the middle, please do tell me how I am not going to shout from the rooftops to all the other women out there that were just like me? How am I not going to go spread hope to that mid 30’s copy of me, going wild trying to find happiness because her dream of a family has been crushed by infertility?

Yeah, I’m not going to stop anytime soon.

The difference is that I’m going to say more than just “If I could get pregnant, so can you.” I’m going to tell you that I know you don’t believe me. I’m going to remember how much I hated all the positive people, because my pain was so overwhelming that I couldn’t hear anything that didn’t validate my exasperation. I will tell you my story and how I created a body willing to grow the beautiful miracle daughter who changed my life in the most epic way.

Because I want that for you, too. And I’m not helping you if all I do is bitch alongside you all the time. Sometimes, yeah, we’re going to bitch. We’re going to cry. We’re going to sigh when another pregnancy announcement comes around to punch you in the gut.

But we are also going to focus on giving you the very best shot you can possibly have at this. For me, I had to eliminate stressors and change my diet. I had to drop a few pounds, and tip the whisky bottle a lot less. I had to put myself in a mindset that changed the way I viewed family and what it meant for me to have one of my own. It’s surprising how quickly motherhood found me when those things all finally crashed together.

That’s just my story. Yours is individual, but likely not impossible.

Reach out to me and tell me your story so we can get to work on how to add motherhood to it!