I found out that I was pregnant mid-morning on Friday, February 10th 2017. My husband was flying that day, and so I decided to wait and give him the news in person instead of by text message. I waited patiently all day long, unable to focus on anything else, until nearly 6pm. By the time Dave finally got home, I was pacing the house anxiously. I didn’t have the right card for this type of event, so I used a sympathy card and hand wrote an apology for the lack of sleep in our near future.
The Sunday before, we had been drinking beers at a Super Bowl Party, and I had actually told someone how I’m not really a kid person, and I don’t feel inclined to hold and cuddle with other people’s babies. This is still true, by the way, and I’ve since learned that you can have and love kids of your own and still feel unattached to other children and babies… But anyways, to find out so unexpectedly that I was going to be a Mom –well it was a bit of a surprise. When I peed on the pregnancy test, the ‘congratulations’ line that I’ve never seen before showed up so quickly that I wasn’t even done yet, and it was clearly positive. I was about 5 weeks pregnant on that day.
Dave was happy when he heard the news, but I could tell he was still trying to process everything in his mind. We decided not to tell anyone else for a while, but we let our parents know. In the meantime we had a previously scheduled Pampered Chef ‘Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate party’ to host… I bought a bottle of Fre Moscato by Sutter Home, and schemed to hide it in a burlap bag during the wine tasting contest portion of our event. As it turns out, people thought it tasted just like a Barefoot Moscato!
I slowly entered a phase of pregnancy where I doubted all my abilities to mother a child, or fit in with the other Mom’s in my area. As somebody who mostly avoids kids, and kid friendly places, I thought to myself “What in the world am I supposed to do with a kid?” and “I don’t even like other adults!” I have an INFJ personality type so I already feel awkward much of the time… “What if I have a kid who is extroverted? They’re going to talk, and talk, and I’m just going to look at them weirdly, and walk away.”
Next I started researching ‘Mom things’ and reading tons of online articles and forum posts, and for the first time I really started to notice how very judgmental and narrow minded people are about all things related to Mom and baby. As a 33 year old non-parent, I’ve heard rumors about all this ‘Mom drama’ and how these ‘Mommy wars’ occur, but I didn’t realize how cut-throat it truly is. It’s sad.
I was formula fed. The staff at the orphanage gave me NAN Infant Formula by Nestle, and nicknamed me ‘Nancy’ because of it. I was adopted as a baby and rescued from a life of incredible poverty in the Philippines, so it was shocking to read how I’m so sickly and less intelligent than all the breastfed folks. Since when does being a Mom mean that you know how other people should raise their kids and live their lives? I know some amazing Moms, who for various reasons have chosen to formula feed, and I felt defensive of them now, and angry towards all the know-it-alls who were blessed with options. I began to wonder just how long I could keep people from knowing I was pregnant, and offering me all their one-size-fits-all advice. For about a week, I didn’t want to be a Mom like all these crazy people.
The next phase I entered was what I call: a week of apology. As I grew more bloated and felt more pregnant, I couldn’t fit most of my clothes. I had to buy some maternity shorts because otherwise I was stuck wearing drawstring pajama shorts everywhere. Then my back started hurting and I had issues rolling over and sitting up. I felt like our poor baby was upset with me because of the previous week, which was full of self doubt and apprehension.
I didn’t have any sonograms to look at, which would make me feel more attached or connected to the little life growing inside me. So instead I started to shop for little gender neutral things that I could physically hold. This helped me feel more secure in the pregnancy, because I could better see myself using the item and ‘wrapping our baby in this blanket’, and ‘giving our baby a bath with this wash.’
I read and personally analyzed the miscarriage statistics at this time, and couldn’t bring myself to think much more about it. I spoke to our baby frequently throughout the day, usually apologizing for anything I expressed before, and telling it what delicious food we had waiting for us next. I told our baby not to worry, and that we were all so excited to meet it, and love it. Our baby was so loved. Our puppies also seemed to love our baby already. Skylar would rest her head on my stomach, as if she was cuddling with both of us. Towards the end of week 7, I felt better about all the changes in store, and prepared myself to let all the insane Mommy drama fall to the wayside whenever the time came. Dave helped assure me that our sweet baby and all our future decisions would be ours alone, and nobody else’s.
I had been bleeding ever so slightly for a week already, but it wasn’t alarming then. I kept seeing articles that said it was normal, but if it got worse and involved cramping it could be a problem. On Sunday, March 5th, 2017, I passed a larger clot of blood that made me nervous. I spoke to our baby and asked it to please hang in there, and that we needed it in our lives. I apologized again for ever saying that I didn’t want to be a Mom. Since we were preparing to go on a vacation, and didn’t have a whole lot of food in the fridge, I also fed it an entire big Mac and ate all the fries, and it seemed to enjoy that unhealthy goodness.
That night Dave and I discussed whether or not we should go to the ER, but soon the bleeding had subsided, and I felt better. The following morning though I started cramping and bleeding as if I had my period. I felt like something was very wrong, and I called the women’s clinic where I had scheduled my first ultrasound appointment. They encouraged me to come in right away.
It was exactly 8 weeks on that day.
My Doctor was in the process of performing an early ultrasound, and I could sense that something wasn’t right. The baby wasn’t showing up, and the cramping was getting worse and worse. I was bleeding a lot. I was sobbing from the pain and anxiety, when I felt something falling out, and at that moment I knew what was happening. I thought to our baby “No, please don’t leave me!” My Doctor called for my husband to join me, while I burst out crying. “She’s losing the baby” she said. The nurse collected the sac that I had lost into a little plastic container, and everyone prepared me for a D&C at the collocated hospital. Through my own tears, I could see the tears and sadness in my Doctor’s eyes.
The D&C was the best option because of our vacation the next day, but there’s nothing so shocking as being wheeled out of a hospital in a haze from the general anesthesia, and driving away without the tiny baby that has been alive inside you. We got home and everything was different. Everything was empty. Someone was missing. And it hurt so much.
I miss our baby more than I can even express.
I still felt pregnant for part of our vacation, until one day all of a sudden my normal appetite came back around, and I couldn’t finish my meal. During our trip I missed my daily chats with our baby. I missed knowing that our baby would still love me unconditionally even though I’ve never been much of a kid person. I missed being bloated and feeling sluggish from the pregnancy, and not from my mental state. We walked around Miami Beach in a haze, and I lost 5 lbs. Suddenly my pants all fit again, but that didn’t make me happy. A piece of me was gone. Gone somewhere with all the medical waste in Altus, Oklahoma. I’d never feel it or see it again. And it hurt so much.
It still hurts.
I miss you Baby B, and I’ll never forget you.