It’s Tuesday, in case you were wondering. This means that I am linking up with my #SITStribe friend, Charity over at The Wounded Dove. She’s requested that we leave the perfect at the door, and this week, share the good, the bad and the ugly of the beginnings of motherhood.
True to Charity’s style, this topic, for me just happens to be a hard one to share. The beginning of my motherhood isn’t perfect, not that anyone’s ever is. I have endometriosis and knew getting pregnant would be tricky, but I wasn’t even ready. I was married to someone else and at the time was undergoing treatment for my diagnosis. I had laparoscopic surgery to find out how severe my adhesions where and to simultaneously remove them. After recovery, the treatment of Lupron began where my body thinks it’s going through menopause. Can you imagine me, in the middle of winter, on a NYC subway train, in a tanktop and jeans sweating my face off? Yeah, I got looks.
When I was supposed to be coming off of the monthly Lupron shots and ramping back up on an estrogen patch (it’s a whole hormonal explanation treatment that I know you’re probably freaking out about right now), I bled. I bled and bled and nothing was stopping it. They changed the dosages a few times to no avail. During my 98th appointment with my doctor (sarcasm), he suggested another option. “There has been success with women who get pregnant, or we could fit you with an IUD”. Well friends, even in my “before I was Catholic” days I knew I didn’t want an IUD, so, I looked at my now ex-husband and said, “we’re having a baby”.
I was soon pregnant and couldn’t believe it. From 16 to 26, I was on birth control pills. I didn’t know. I really didn’t know. I was raised with the fear of becoming another statistic. A Puerto Rican pregnant teenager. I know that’s harsh, but it’s the truth. To be pregnant went against years of “I’m not going to be a teen mom”. As I switched from the fear of being pregnant to realizing that I was married and this was ok, I got really excited. Everything looked great. I was even talking to my parents then. I remember it was near Labor Day weekend and we decided to spend the weekend with my parents because they lived upstate, you know how I love nature. (More sarcasm) We listened to the Beatles and the weather was perfect. I woke up the day we were set to leave with anticipation because I was hitting the 3 month mark and I had an ultrasound scheduled the next day. But oh, the pain in my lower back. I couldn’t stop cursing at the sofa bed I slept on. That damned bar! You know the bar, that feels like it was whacking you in the lower back all night? That one. My ex husband slept well, as far as I can remember.
The next day, I was heading into the office and walking up the hill from Grand Central Station, passing my favorite deli’s and watching people’s shoes. In NYC, you never look at people in the eye unless you want to get punched in the face. My back still bothered me, but I was on a little high. Baby heartbeat on the horizon, you know?There was a mirrored building that I would pass every morning and check out my outfit, you know how it is ladies. As I walked, I noticed something. I noticed blood. Thank God I only had a block to go to my office and I had a cell phone, back then, cell phones weren’t as standard as they are now. (Geez, I sound old). My doctor tried to convince me not to panic, to get to a bathroom and collect samples of what was happening. That’s as clean as I can put this friends.
There I was, in the only bathroom on my floor, sobbing and already knowing in my heart that I was losing this heartbeat. My manager at the time came into the bathroom with me, and told me to pass it to her and she would put it in a bag as instructed by the doctor. Once the bleeding stopped, I was to get to a lab to have my blood drawn. If the level of progesterone was lower than when I was first tested, that would confirm loss of the baby. My poor manager. She didn’t sign up for this on a Tuesday after Labor Day. She kept telling women who would try to come in that it was occupied over my sobs and pleads for my baby to be ok.
My ex-husband came to take me to the lab and took the bag for the doctor. I don’t remember the car ride and can vaguely recall the blood draw. I remember the ride back to our apartment in Queens, when I received the call that I did just lose the baby. I was stunned. Something I didn’t think I could have, something I avoided considering, something that I was instantly committed to, was gone, just like that in the glance of a mirrored building, the bar of a sofa bed, and the draw of blood.
As we walked into the apartment building, I kept my sunglasses on. I didn’t want to doorman to see my eyes swollen shut and I was ashamed. I disregarded the usual advice, to wait until after your first trimester to tell anyone. When I found out, the doormen got brownies and I was giddy. This time, I didn’t have the strength to say anything. The doormen always have the radio going in the lobby, maybe it’s to pass the time, or maybe it was for me. The song. The song that was playing will never escape me for as long as I live. Maybe you know it, but as I walked in, the song was at this exact part:
‘Cause I’m keeping you
forever and for always
We will be together all of our days
Wanna wake up every
morning to your sweet face–always
I really did want to wake up to that baby’s sweet face every morning. But just as I wanted to keep it, I am sure my little baby in heaven is keeping me. Waiting for me, to be together for the rest of eternity.
Join the rest of the Good Enough Moms this week, and every Tuesday, at The Wounded Dove