The following is the first in a series of posts that I will be writing in the next few weeks. They are neither funny nor snarky. Together, they will form the story of what has been happening with me over the past year and a half. I have not been ready to write about it until now. The posts are serious, and can be a bit dark, just so you are forewarned. However, by the end of the story, all is right with my world, so just hang in there and take the journey with me to reach the end.
When I first found out that I was pregnant, I experienced many overlapping emotions. Shock. Disbelief. Confusion. Horror.
This was not a planned pregnancy, obviously. I wasn’t expecting, nor did I desire, to have a third child. My boys were 4 and 7 at the time. If and when anyone had asked me over the years if I was going to have another baby, I usually responded that I was done. And I meant it. I started my relationship with my husband by declaring to him that I neither wanted marriage nor children. I felt that our two kids were a good compromise between zero and the huge brood he had originally wanted. Our family was complete. We were content, comfortable and settled. This new development threw us for a major loop.
When I informed my husband of the news, he was happy, but I could also see the trepidation in his eyes. He could see that I was upset, so he tried his best to comfort and calm me. Then he left for a business trip for a week.
During that week, I went through all of the stages of grief.
- Denial: That test couldn’t possibly be right! No way was I pregnant. Not even possible. This stage lasted as long as it took to take another test, with identical results.
- Anger: Yeah, I was angry, dammit! How could this happen to me? I didn’t want to be pregnant or have another baby! Pregnancy sucks. Giving birth sucks! Sleepless nights suck! I hated this pregnancy and the baby.
- Bargaining: I don’t believe in god, so there weren’t any deals with some imaginary guy in the sky, but there were definitely some proposals of action to the universe that I thought might be a better outcome than having another baby. And yes, losing the baby was one of them, I’m ashamed to say.
- Depression: And then the sadness came. I kept thinking of all the things I would have to give up for this unwanted child. Drinking, sushi, my body, sleep. Every time I thought of another thing that this pregnancy would take away from my life, I sank deeper into the abyss.
- Acceptance: A funny thing about acceptance . . . it sneaks up on you. One minute, I was thinking about how difficult my life was going to be because of this accident, and then I turned around and found myself thinking about how sweet a baby is, and how my boys were growing up and were way past that baby stage, and how I missed that. After just a few days, I realized that I had come to terms with this formerly perceived tragedy, and I was starting to look at it as an incredible gift. Not planned for or initially wanted, but wonderful all the same.
And then, just as I started settling into the idea of it and began making mental plans, I started to bleed. And just like that . . . it was over. Gone.
That’s when the guilt started. Everyone will tell you that it’s not your fault. That you didn’t do anything to make it happen. That it just wasn’t meant to be. And while logically, I knew that was probably true, I also remembered. I remembered all those glasses of wine I had before I knew I was pregnant. The sushi dinner I had 2 weeks prior. And the time I wished for this very thing to happen before I got over the shock of it. I thought of those things, and I wasn’t certain that I didn’t somehow have a hand in this.
And then the darkness set in.