When I realized I was pregnant again, I flew into a panic. “This is a terrible thing, a terrible, terrible thing.” In just over a year I had a miscarriage, then a pregnancy that I terminated, and now I was unintentionally pregnant again. How could this be happening to me?
Shit happens in life so that we can learn from it. Every struggle is an opportunity to grow, but when I was offered this moment to work through my issues, I blew it. Here I had this teacher presenting a lesson on life, love, and forgiveness, and I sat in the back of the class with my arms crossed, smacking gum like a dick. I indulged my worst tendencies and handled this pregnancy all wrong. Here’s how:
I Blamed My Husband
“You swore that we couldn’t get pregnant with the pull-out method! You said this wouldn’t happen and now it has. This is all your fault!” This is how the pregnancy began. I became overwhelmed with negative emotions and dumped them all on my husband. I didn’t turn to him and say,” Babe, I’m freaked out, please hold me.” I pointed my finger at him and created a rift. This pregnancy was happening to both of us, and I made it all about me. This could have brought us closer together and instead I created distance. I should have allowed him the space to do the right thing because his love and support was all I really needed.
I Tried To Control It
Control is an illusion I love to cling to, but it’s counterproductive. I spent 99% of this pregnancy planning out what my decision would be in every possible scenario. I knew exactly what I’d do if the hyperemesis gravidarum came back, if I lost more than 5% of my body weight, if the Prednisone didn’t work, or if the fetus wasn’t developing properly.
I put my life on hold for three weeks while I rehearsed these scenarios in my head like a fire drill. It never occurred to me to surrender to the moment and have faith that it would all work out as it should. I didn’t take the time to consider that there might be something greater at play here that was beyond my control, so I should just be present and trust. In the end, the scenario that unfolded was one I hadn’t anticipated.
I Judged Myself
After I was done blaming my husband, I turned that negativity onto myself. What kind of woman has so many doubts about becoming a mother? What kind of woman would terminate a pregnancy? Why was I so selfish, so obsessed with my career, so different than other women? I became harshly judgemental of all the ways I strayed from the norm, and I decided that I must be a bad person.
We are all just works in progress. We are all on our own, unique journeys. We deserve compassion and I denied myself that.
I Stayed In The Fear
Fear is loud and distracting, and it has no value (unless it is the type of fear that signals real danger). Irrational fear masks an underlying wound that needs attention, and if we tend to it, the fear will resolve. Throughout my pregnancy, I stoked the fear and didn’t take the opportunity to dig deeper. If I had, I would have learned that my fear was rooted in grief. Grief for the carefree and joyous childhood I didn’t get to have, grief for the unconditional love that I couldn’t depend on growing up, grief for the dreams I had to abandon because I didn’t have a support system.
My fear led me to believe that because I didn’t get what I needed as a child I wouldn’t be able to give my child what she needed. I am an incredibly capable woman, but when it comes to being a mother I believed that I would pass on a legacy of pain to my child like it was genetically predetermined. But if we bring awareness to the hurt beneath our fear, it becomes clear that we have a choice, and we have the power to do the right thing. In fact, every moment is another opportunity to enact our free will and make a better choice.
I Felt Sorry For Myself
From the start, I saw this pregnancy as a burden and not a blessing. I wore myself out imagining the worst was going to happen and this would be another thing I’d have to overcome. I felt like the universe was working against me and that it was unfair that pregnancy had to be so hard for me. I failed to recognize all the ways that I could be taking advantage of this period of change in my body. Here was a chance to slow down, listen to my body, and care for myself more deeply. Instead, I drained myself emotionally by dwelling on how this could go badly.
On Easter Sunday, I felt a familiar pressure and ache in my uterus, and I knew I was having another miscarriage. I was relieved that this ordeal was finally coming to an end and I swore to myself and my husband, “I will never let this happen again, I will never be pregnant again!”
But as the swelling in my breasts subsided and the nausea disappeared, I started to realize what I had lost. I felt the tiny spark of light in my womb dim and it occurred to me: I will never be pregnant again.
An IUD is going back in as my window of fertility closes, and my child, if I have one, will be brought into this world by another woman. This will likely be the last time I get to experience a life growing inside of me. Although to get pregnant just to miscarry is a terrible, terrible thing, this terrible thing happened to me, and I wish I could do it over.
Continue reading: My IVF Journey