I found out on February 6th that I was pregnant. It was a shock to say the least. I had gone in to the doctor for a sinus infection and mentioned that I had some abnormal activity with my “cycle.” They decided to run a test to rule it out and instead, confirmed it. When the nurse led me to an examine room, she casually handed me a piece a paper saying, “here’s your test results” before turning her back to me. I looked down and read the word out loud. “Positive?” She sheepishly looked back and me and replied, “yeah…and the doctor should be in a bit, so you have about ten minutes if you’d like to make a phone call.” Then she left me there. Alone.
I couldn’t call my boyfriend. That’s not something you call about when it’s unplanned and unexpected. Instead I sat down and cried a bit. It took me two more days before I could tell him. Not because I was afraid of him or his response, although I honestly wasn’t sure how he’d take it. More because I needed it to sink in first. I’m 44 years old. Most women my age find it difficult to get pregnant. I had somehow done it by getting off-track with my birth control and then spending almost a complete month TAKING birth control before I got handed that positive result. How was it even possible??
My boyfriend took the news in the best way possible. After he was sure I wasn’t kidding him, he said we’d figure it out. We’ve spent the last four and a half weeks getting used to the idea. Sharing our secret with only our families. Making plans for how we would make a baby fit into our lives. My body started changing even though I was only about 8 weeks along. I got cravings and mood swings. My jeans became impossible to keep buttoned up comfortably. My boyfriend was sweet with his teasing and considerate with his gestures, making me comfort food and coming up with cute nicknames.
Yesterday we were excited because it was the first ultrasound and we’d know how far along I really was. Just about what we thought. And our baby looked just like a peanut, curved and barely there. Only without a heartbeat. Somehow in just a couple of days, something had gone wrong. I still had symptoms, but we didn’t have a baby.
It’s hard to describe the emotions of that moment, when I knew before the lab tech said anything, that something was wrong. And it’s still hard today because it’s a weird sense of grief. We had just gotten used to the idea, not yet really excited, but getting there. We knew there were risks, but somehow I wasn’t ready for the end. It’s a horrible, swift shift in thinking that goes around like a tornado in the mind. Circling, circling. What and why chasing each other. And now I wait until I officially miscarry which is a lingering pain…
I know my boyfriend was also shocked and disappointed. We both spent some time with tears. But he admitted that it wasn’t the same…the guy is outside of it all a little bit. It’s not completely real like it is for the woman whose body changes with hormones and everything is a worry. Every morsel of food and drink and everything put on the skin gets a question mark: will it hurt the baby? And when something goes wrong, it’s impossible not to wonder if it was something that you did or didn’t do. It’s like when my oldest was born early, I felt like I had somehow failed in my duty as the mother. That somehow I didn’t provide what she needed. And yet I know miscarriage is common, regardless of my age bracket. And I will eventually come to terms with it. We both will.
I think for me the hardest part was thinking that I somehow had gotten that do-over I talked about before. Getting to have a baby with the man I love, in a relationship that wasn’t fraught with tension and difficulty. I had been given this unexpected gift and now I realize I was afraid the whole time that it wasn’t real. It’s weird what goes through your mind when you’re trying to make sense of things. Did I just not have enough faith?
I’m still struggling today. But I am thankful for one thing. I had a glimpse of something really fantastic, and my guy couldn’t have been better through it all. I’ve got a partner who truly cares about me. That part of my do-over is real.