We all have choices. Most of the time, this is a wonderful thing. I can choose to eat cold pizza for breakfast, I can choose what lipstick I want to wear, I can choose to be humored rather than horrified by Trump running for president. The choices are endless. Maybe that’s what’s so hard about those choices being taken away from you. Or me. This is about me.
I chose to get pregnant, I was choosing to stay pregnant. My body, however, chose something else. I know, I know. Miscarriage is nature’s way of ridding the body of an unviable pregnancy. It saves you from heartbreak later. Yada, fucking, yada. I get it.
Last Monday was my doctor’s appointment confirming I had indeed lost the entire shebang. I already knew that I had. For the faint of heart, skip the next sentence. It happened in an Alamo Drafthouse bathroom. I had just seen Jurassic World and it was not bad, for those wondering. Yes, yes, I’m sad for your loss. But what movie did you see and did you like it? I would be thinking the same thing. It really is all in the details.
So on that Monday afternoon, after my kind and thoughtful doctor was unable to locate anything left from my pregnancy, I went and laid down on my couch. I continued to lay there, choosing to stay close to my grief. In my mind, by maintaining close proximity to what happened, I was really staying in the place I had been before. The place where I was pregnant. Each day after I put my daughter down for a nap, after we had somehow gotten through the morning, I got back on the couch. I laid down, I watched TV, I cried. I stayed in my grief.
The tears stopped on Saturday. I then started to worry I was leaving my place of sadness. That didn’t seem right to me. Not because it’s bad to move on or wrong to find peace. But because that’s not my style. I hold on to grief and sadness as if they were the last pieces of chocolate or bottles of Bordeaux on the planet. You might say, I live for grief. I worried because it was so improbable that I could feel better so fast. It was much more likely that I was starting the denial phase. I am the poster child of the stages of grief, though mainly just the first four. Acceptance can suck it.
After my dad died, it took nearly ten years for me to say “hey, maybe it’s better if you don’t want to die everyday. Maybe trying to be happy would be easier.” I would like to say that moments after this little lightbulb, I turned my life around and ever since I’ve been a walking ray of sunshine. The optimistic part of me—it seems I do have optimism, against my better judgement—wants to say “yeah, life can still be tough, but overall I laugh more and find the beauty in life on a regular basis.” Writing that sentence made me want to barf. It’s not that I think hope is bad or looking on the bright side of things is morally questionable. But a healthy dose of cynicism never hurt anyone. In fact, being that this is my second miscarriage this year, being armed with the knowledge that I was not in fact immune to miscarriage is in an odd way helpful. I was shocked, yes, but not blindsided. Did I think it would happen again? No. Am I pissed I had to buy Sea Bands and pallets of sparkling water and boxes upon boxes of Cheez-Its to get through the day? Yes. It’s incredibly unfair that I felt so sick, so tired, so pregnant for weeks and don’t get a baby.
Is it sick that I take comfort in telling myself “ but really, when has your life ever been fair?” That may make me sound childish, petulant. I can live with that.
My struggle today is that I want to go back to last Monday. To my Schrödinger’s cat of I both am and am not. Being so close to the event, so close to the sadness kept it real and both not real. Now it’s just turning into not real. But, but, but! Getting space is the only way to move through it! To feel better! I don’t want to feel better. Well, that’s not true. I do want to feel better. But I want this to have not happened. That is the better I want to feel. I want to be nearing the end of the first trimester. I want to be sending Scott baby names to reject. I want to start guilting people into throwing me a baby shower even though this is/was my second kid. I don’t want to start this all over. Again. The further away I get, the less I feel able to stay in my grief. The pressure to be normal and not sad is palpable. Be sure, this pressure is from me, no one else.
At some point this will end. Thank God, you’re probably thinking. That is worst and best thing about life. Unless you’re dead, it goes on. I can’t help that anymore than I can help what happened. Life is both cruel and generous.
I won’t be ending this with some a sentiment of hope and silver linings. Fuck that. As soon as I finish this sentence I’m going to get a brownie and watch Law and Order.