(Mis)carried Away

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So let’s be real. It’s taboo for women (especially women of color) to discuss certain topics, especially anything pertaining to the body: periods, sex, desire, marriage, sexuality, rape and our BODIES. I’m here to say “fuck that.” I’m exhausted by a world that tells me to keep silent about topics that are  critical to my survival and healing.

So here’s a new story most of y’all don’t know: I’ve had two miscarriages this year. WE had two miscarriages this year. No, I am not writing for “I’m sorry,” or “Are you ok?” In fact, that’s the last thing I wish to hear. Instead, I write to express that no matter what image you carry of me or other women in your life, we are all carrying stories & trauma linked to our bodies and sometimes being a “strong Black woman” is not enough.

The first happened back in February. We tried and got pregnant the first time around! We were elated and though our relationship was new, we were so thrilled and ready. A week later, after several doctor visits, I began bleeding more than one should. Within a week the doctor told me I had an early miscarriage (I was about 4 weeks along) and that within a few months we could try again. Try again? All I wanted to know was why it happened and my answer: “It happens to most women. And they go on to have healthy pregnancies.” Great. That helps. I wanted to be told it was normal and I would be seeing a healthy version of ourselves in 8 months.

We were careful after that, but happened to get pregnant again, a week before James’ 26th birthday. Scared, nervous and hopeful, we were extra careful; a week later, I became incredibly exhausted, emotional and the bleeding started again. My spirit knew it was coming, I woke up that morning weeping and expressing “I don’t want to go to work today. I don’t know why. I just don’t want to go.” But I went. And it began a few hours later. My second miscarriage that is…

When I tell you I didn’t want to live anymore, I mean it.

Somewhere I had learned that my womanhood was dependent upon my ability to create and carry life (internalized patriarchy racism, etc. etc., yes). The entire summer was an internal battle: Am I woman enough? What did I do wrong? Am I ever going to be able to have children? Am I paying for the sins of my family? Am I paying for my own sins? Am I really ready for the next journey in life? I’m approaching 30, is that why? I must not be healthy enough. I need to take more vitamins. I need to run more. That’s it. I was looking for any reason to justify it.

We loved our children. We still love our children. We named them: Nia & James Jr. And we still want to try again. Yes, according to the doctors I am still healthy & there was nothing I could have done. But that’s hard to accept when even in a week’s time, we both started planning for a new addition to the family, just to be told they’re gone.

No, I did not complete my master’s thesis. Yes, I neglected the supporters of my journey. And my students. And my friends. And my bills at times. And all my other responsibilities. Yes, I neglected my family. Yes, I let down my “customers” who were waiting on a copy of ‘Hope Dealers.’ Yes, I neglected work. Yes, I cried. A LOT. In fact, I wept. Often. And occasionally still do. I really want to be a mother. A great one.

I know this post is complex. I know that trans women or women who choose to not have children, women who are told they cannot have children, women who are not well enough to have children, young moms, etc. go through all this and more. I hear you, see you and feel you. I love you.

What we heard from family “maybe it’s meant to be. The timing must be wrong.” Others, just offered to be there if I needed them (the best type of support one can offer in a time like this). My closest friends offered to pull out all stops: bring me food, spend time, etc. While I was longing for connection during these times, I was a shell of myself.

My partner? Amazing. James did all he could to love me and support me through, though he was also processing his love and pain. I think he still is. And I wish I could help him heal too, but we all have our own journeys with our higher self and our Gods, Goddesses, Universe, or absence of a deity.

I say all this to say, if this story is familiar to you, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I love you and I have hope that your joy will come in many forms. While we have decided to wait and consult a doctor before moving forward and trying again, in the future we will also consider adopting or being foster parents. So much love we have to give, and I know without a shadow of a doubt we will be great parents.

In the meantime, we continue to chase our dreams so our future children will know not only how much they mean to us, but how salient their dreams are: we will show them by example what it means to chase their dreams.

Sending love & healing. Thanks for reading. More to come in the future as I heal & grow.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “(Mis)carried Away

  1. Sending BLESSINGS to You 2!
    You 2 are the Best Parents You can be, let Not naysayers say otherwise! I appreciate Your Love n Honesty of difficult realities in life! Your Time Will Come and IT WILL BE OUTSTANDINGLY EXUBERANT!
    I have 2, 1 in. 10,000 after Dr’s. Errors n coverups, 10 years of unspeakable losses , (yes they are All My children) Sunshine brought my light back into the darkness!!!
    Just Keep doing You!!!
    Much Love n Prayers n Light 💖🌹💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but we have almost 30 mutual friends on Facebook and one of them recently commented on your link to this blog entry. From the title, I knew your writing would hit me hard, but I’m so glad I opened that link and I just wanted thank you and remind you once again that you’re not alone. You see, my husband and I went through a very similar thing last year. Having been together for almost a decade at that point, we were overjoyed to find out we were unexpectedly pregnant last summer. I always dreamed of being a young mom but with graduate studies and real life responsibilities hitting both me and my husband hard, we knew it could be a while before we could have a child and weren’t planning on trying for a few more years. When I got pregnant, all of our concerns (financial and otherwise) fell by the wayside and we were so SO happy. It truly felt like a gift from God, and we’re not even religious or spiritual people. Anyway, within a week of finding out the news, around the 5 week mark, I started bleeding. It was very slight at first and my mom urged me to calm down. She said slight bleeding is not unheard of in normal pregnancies and that everything would be fine. I wanted to believe her, but deep down I knew it was ending before it even really started. By the end of the evening I was bleeding heavily and then it was all over. I was beyond devastated. My husband did his best to stay strong on both our behalf. He kept it together when I couldn’t and when, in an admittedly emotional line of thinking, I suggested we kick our goals to the side and just go ahead and try again immediately, he was very supportive. My gynecologist assured us there was no harm in trying again especially since my pregnancy ended so early. In fact, she didn’t even call it a miscarriage. We were told anything before 6 weeks is called a chemical pregnancy and she said they were par for the course (a chemical is when a pregnancy test shows positive, but the fertilized egg never actually attached to the uterus). According to her, 70% of first pregnancies end within a few short days or a week of conception and most women don’t even know they’ve had a chemical. It’s only because I felt “off” and tested early that I even knew I was pregnant. Had I not done so, my period just would’ve been a few days late, nothing unusual.
    Anyway, my husband and I tried again and we got pregnant immediately, even before I had one “normal” period (call me Fertile Myrtle). We were over the moon! I felt like I was finally going to have my little bundle of joy. I was even convinced that the first pregnant was really just a “trial run” intended to help my husband and I tap into how much we really wanted a child sooner than we had originally thought we did. The first few weeks of the second pregnancy were fraught with anxiety, however. I think once a woman has experienced something as traumatic as the loss of a wanted pregnancy, it kinda ruins the “innocence” of subsequent pregnancies. I just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop at any moment. Every cramp had me running to the bathroom to check for blood. Every trip to the bathroom to pee had me checking the toilet paper to make sure there was no red. I was excited to be pregnant of course, but the chemical pregnancy had me terrified that things could go wrong at any minute. It was awful and I felt like I was losing my mind a little. I’m a pretty high strung person even at the best times, so I just couldn’t relax at all given the circumstances. Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but at 7 weeks, just as I started calming down and right before my first scan, I started bleeding again. It was very slight and brown at first, indicating old blood, so I kept hoping it was nothing. But it kept getting worse and it took a day or two for it to sink in that it was over. This was truly the darkest period of my life. I was so depressed I barely ate or showered, let alone left the apartment. All I could do was cry. Cry because I might very well never have a child, cry because of the unfairness of it all, cry because I felt I had let my husband and our “team” down, cry because my body had failed me yet again, cry because I felt so alone and no one seemed to get it, as attentive as my husband was trying to be. Not even my mother really understood. How could she? She’d never had a miscarriage before and her own mother had borne 8 healthy children. On my dad’s side, his only sister had 11 children. I come from a long line of extremely fertile African women but there I was at 26 in seemingly good health and had lost two back to back pregnancies. Even the word miscarriage carries with it connotations of failure. I had somehow missed the ability to carry my child successfully. The guilt and shame were awful, and the fear that a future pregnancy would also end in failure was at times crippling even. Here I am 10 months later and I’m still not over it. My doctor assured me only the second pregnancy can truly be called a miscarriage and that she could “almost guarantee” the next pregnancy will be fine, but who really knows? I’m still hit by self pity and longing whenever a friend announces a pregnancy. It’s really shitty, but I know I’ll never feel 100% better until I have a healthy baby in my arms. My husband and I decided to spend this year getting healthy and traveling before trying again next year but I’d be lying if I said a significant part of me didn’t wish I weren’t currently in a foreign country but rather at home with a baby in my arms. It’s tough and so so isolating. I wish more women spoke about this so we would all feel less alone and there would be less opportunity for these feelings of guilt and shame to haunt us. I applaud you for writing this heartfelt and beautiful post and I truly wish you the best. I hope you and your significant other get your happy ending very soon and I hug you from afar! One way or another, we WILL become mothers. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

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