Friday, December 6, 2013

My worst day

Ten years ago today, my general feeling of "something's not quite right" was confirmed when I miscarried after 8 weeks of pregnancy.

Ten years ago today was a Saturday. The sun was shining. Abby was four. Eric was at his parents' house helping his father with a project. Abby and I had planned to go to the craft bazaar at the local Methodist church (which we did) and then to the store to get a wreath holder and candy canes (which we did). I felt terrible. I did my best to ignore it.

Of course we ran into all kinds of people everywhere--my friend Mara's parents, acquaintances I'd only talked to via email for my column--and everyone was in the mood to chat. By the time Abby and I were back in the car headed home, I couldn't ignore the fact that I was basically in labor.

So I breathed in and I breathed out between contractions, took Abby to my mother-in-law (who met me at the door and told me to get the hell off my feet), and came home and died. Well, not literally. And then Eric came home because his mother found him and told him the news, and he let me cry and that was that.

Ten years later, I feel blessed. This morning, as I was taking the girls to school, listening to Johanna plan her birthday slumber party and Abby talking about her sucky basketball team, I wanted to pull the car over for a group hug. Ten years ago was the worst day of my entire life. Exactly one decade later, I have two healthy, lovely girls. I can remember the kindness of my sister-in-law, who came to sit with me because she didn't want me to be alone, without cringing from remembered pain. I know when I can't be strong, Eric can be strong for us both. I know that people really love us.

I've been rewriting this next paragraph all morning, and it's still not perfect, but here's what I want to tell you: Please don't be afraid to talk about miscarriage, whether it's your own or someone you know. So many of us have experienced this, and it's comforting to know that you're not alone--and to know that you will live through it. And I can tell you firsthand someone going through a miscarriage isn't likely to forget they are, so you won't be jarring them to reality if you ask about it. It's uncomfortable when people veer away from the topic, actually--it's all you're thinking about, and being able to freely express your sorrow / feelings / whatever is a relief. Um, that's all.

Oh, and P.S. On December 8, I saw a doctor to confirm that I had miscarried--which I had, completely--and exactly one year later, that was Johanna's due date.  I tell you what, people, coincidence or divine intervention, I don't care. Johanna is our own personal miracle.

P.P.S. This was a hard post to write, and I normally don't share quite so much of myself on the blog, but I felt it important to do so. My next post will be happier, I promise.

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