I was 26 the first time I got pregnant.
This was well before the social media explosion. Before chats were snapped, books were faced and mutterings were twittered.
So, we actually called everyone we knew to tell them. I did not care that I told the same story 437 times. We were going to have a baby! It was the best news I could share with all of the people we loved.
The initial trip to the doctor was exhilarating. We saw our little grain of sand baby on the monitor and could barely wait the nine more months to meet him/her.
It was just so perfect.
Then came the second trip to the doctor. I was eight weeks along. The nurse put that gross, cold jelly on my stomach and began the ultrasound. She started chatting about the things I would experience in my pregnancy. About her pregnancies. About how many tests she had run that day. She did a lot of talking.
Until she suddenly stopped talking.
She said the doctor needed to see us and rushed out of the room. We heard lots of whispers and hushed tones on the other side of the closed examination room door.
Our physician told us that there was no heartbeat. That I was going to miscarry our first child.
We received the worst news of our lives the day before my birthday.
The next day, we had plans to go to dinner with my parents, grandparents, brother and sister-like family friend. They were so excited to celebrate with us, that we did not tell them about the miscarriage.
So we sat through dinner. Getting baby-themed presents. Hearing how I was glowing. Having people rub my stomach. Listening to them give us name ideas. Telling us about all that our child will accomplish in his/her lifetime.
We sat there. Knowing what my family did not. That this pregnancy was no longer viable.
They were just so gleeful. We couldn’t ruin that for them. Until we had to.
That night, I cried. I cried a lot. I blamed myself. If I had just rested more. If I had drank more water. If I hadn’t had any doubt that I wanted to be a mother. If I had just been a better person…
The miscarriage began about a week later and lasted for a week after that. I had never been in that much pain in my life before and had no idea that it would take that long. I couldn’t leave the house. I was doubled over on my bed the entire time.
My husband didn’t know what to do. He tried to ease the pain. He tried to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault. But, nothing helped.
I just wanted to be left alone. I shut down. I’m not proud of that. I was not a good wife. I did not communicate with him. I just laid there. In the fetal position.
All these years later, I know that our journey has made us better parents. But, I will always carry the loss with me. I will always feel the guilt. And I still wonder who that little person would have been.