One Sunday in May 2015 my husband and I were sitting around, drinking vodka sodas on the couch and watching golf (go Phil Mickelson) and discussing important topics like dinner and the meaning of life. At that point I was 31 years old and he was 29 going on 45. We had been married almost 5 years, together 9, and we were some of our last married friends without a kid.
I was sick as shit of the question "when are you going to have a baby?" that came from just about our entire universe of friends / family / acquaintances. I used to tell my mother in law that every time she asked I was going to add a year. By my math I would have been knocked up sometime in the next millennium.
Then, genius struck. "Do you know how we can shut these fuckwads up, honey?" I said. "Take your pants off. I'm pretty sure I'm ovulating." What better reason to bring a child into this world that you are not entirely sure you want to have other than to shut people up? Like I said before: pure. effing. genius.
Here comes the sad part to this story. At that time my dad was really sick and had been in the intensive care unit for two months. We didn't think he was going to pass away, but we knew it would be a long, hard road. Then I got The Call from my mom, and about 5 days later we said goodbye to my beautiful Poppa Bear.
I was so distracted by his illness, our goodbye and all the bullshit in between that I totally forgot about the execution of Our Genius Fucking Plan a month prior. I was sleeping on hospital chairs, eating Taco Bell almost exclusively and drinking my feelings away. Being pregnant was about as close to my frontal lobe as a trip to Venus.
We got back from celebrating my dad's life on a Monday. I had begun to do the math re: where the hell my period was. I also wondered why my boobs were annoyed by anything that touched them. I wondered aloud to Kellie (twin sister for any readers who may not know me) if I could be pregnant. On Tuesday I peed on a stick, walked Vinnie (our firstborn, a puggle) and came back into our apartment to find a PREGNANT reading awaiting me. Holyyyyyyy shit. We had unprotected sex one freaking time. One. On a day I thought I might be ovulating. I mean, well played by me, but in reality it was more like: holy shitballs, commence panic attack.
I did all the things I thought I should do. I stopped drinking, ate only rabbit food, cut out the supermajority of my caffeine intake and worked hard to control my blood sugars (type 1 diabetic here). I remember calling my endocrinologist to make an appointment to come in and get screamed at for getting pregnant (my doctor had told me that I had a "hostile" uterus because my blood sugars were high) and I told the receptionist that I had "tested positive for pregnancy". The guy on the other end of the phone laughed and said something to the effect of "It's supposed to be a good thing. Don't you just mean "you're pregnant?" Whatever, prick.
Then, the fine folks at Massachusetts General Hospital had us come in that week and confirmed a heartbeat. The doctor told us that the baby was measuring small but that sometimes things start slowly and they hoped s/he would catch up. Jeff and I are both short so we laughed it off - totally our kid. It was basically only a diagnosis that I had not been boinking the mailman. They sent us packing, telling us I was 7 weeks pregnant and would see us in a month.
Fast forward a month to our next appointment where there was no heartbeat and it was confirmed that I was having a miscarriage.
Do you want to know when I knew I wanted to have a baby? It certainly was not the day I found out we were expecting one. It was not the first time I saw the heartbeat. It certainly was not all the times I ordered water instead of wine at dinner. It was the moment they told me we had lost the baby. I was crushed. I had just lost my dad and I was SURE he was looking over me, ready to make sure I had some kid full of piss and vinegar just like him, just like me.
Miscarriage in pregnancy is incredibly common. I know that. When my rational brain tells me to think rationally, I know that there was something wrong with our baby and nature took over. When my (dominate) irrational brain takes over, a lot of self blame gets passed around. I've done a lot of talking with my friends and family and a great friend of mine pointed out that our whole society is backwards about this baby thing. We should announce to our friends and family the minute we pee on the stick. Rally the troops! That way we can celebrate healthy pregnancies together and mourn the loss of our babies together. Otherwise, it is such an awkward conversation starter. "How have you been?" "Oh, I was really good for like, a month, when we thought we were having our first offspring, but the universe went and took that away from us so now I think life sucks. How are you? Should we order the nachos to start?"
Anyway. That's the story of the beginning of our journey.