This was my life, two years ago:
I was 26 years old. My boyfriend Doug and I had been together for about eight months, living together outside of Seattle for six. (We didn’t rush so much as cannonball into the relationship, with our eyes and noses and mouths squeezed shut. But that’s another story.) We were both working in a grocery store, making ends meet in bi-weekly cycles, eating a lot of pasta and anything we could get for free. For entertainment, we did puzzles, took walks, and had sex every day. Having grown up not totally spoiled, but unquestionably provided for, I had never been so poor. Or so happy.
I found out I was pregnant on a Thursday. I’d been feeling inexplicably different for a few days and decided to take a home pregnancy test on a whim, because I’m the kind of girl who just keeps HPTs under her bathroom sink, apparently. When it came up positive, I walked out of the bathroom shaking, showed Doug, and then called our ex-stripper coworker, my sister, and the doctor, in that order. This is how little I knew about what to do with myself at that moment. Then Doug and I went to work, swearing we wouldn’t tell anyone yet, and by the end of the day, we’d told everyone.
Four days later, I met with the head of the midwife team at a local women’s health center. She was wonderful, matronly, and reassuring: she told me I wouldn’t have to worry about many pregnancy complications because I was still under 30. Then, when I mentioned that I don’t ovulate regularly, she scheduled an ultrasound for me, to date the fetus, that very afternoon. So I went to work, and arranged to come back on my lunch break.
When Doug and I were in the hospital elevator, on our way to that second appointment, he admitted to me that he was scared.
I laughed. “What are you scared of? That there’ll be no baby? Don’t be silly, honey. The tests say positive; of course there’s a baby.”
A few minutes later, a pretty redheaded tech from Texas was poking around inside me with the ultrasound wand while Doug and I stared at the monitor. There, in the middle-left of the blurry gray mass she said was my uterus, was a small black dot: a gestational sac.
And in that sac, there was nothing. No baby.
Oh, but I’ve told this story so many times, and replayed it in my head so many times. Let’s let me leave it there for now and fast forward exactly two years from the date of that first astonishing HPT.
This is my life today:
I am now, as of about three weeks ago, 28 years old. Doug and I have been together almost three years, an anniversary which, once attained, will make ours my longest relationship ever. We came home to San Diego from Seattle last October. We both still work at the grocery store, a job which I love for what it is, and we’ve each gotten a few good raises, which means we no longer eat quite so much pasta or do quite so many puzzles. (The free meals, however, have increased in number, due to us now living within mooching distance of our families.) We’re lucky if we have sex once a week, and for this, we like to blame Mirena, that passive, plastic stranger residing in my uterus. After all, it’s easier to blame the IUD – to say there’s a physiological reason for my near-total lack of libido – than it is to explore the possibility of a psychological reason. Although, if I’m being honest, the latter is probably true.
I think it’s fair to say that the pregnancy/miscarriage/Mirena left me traumatized. There’s some pretty good evidence, which I intend to explore here. But I’ve also felt, recently, that I’ve become more receptive to healing energy, that my self-absorbed, self-abusive thought patterns have let their defenses down a little, and that the love and peace of a benevolent God/karmic universe are seeping through the cracks. This is New Age-y, and kind of weird, and so not how I think in real life. But there it is. And since it’s there, I’d like to help it along however I can, by trying any and all healing tactics that have worked for other people, and then by employing the healing tactic that has always worked best for me: writing.
This journey begins for me today and gets nine-ish months to gestate (until April 17th, the day that my baby, who was never really a baby, would’ve been due). That’s it – nine months of undivided attention, after which I will not allow this thing to consume me anymore. So, friends, family, blog-wandering-strangers, what I ask of you is this: send me your prayers and good thoughts and healing energies; offer up your advice and ideas and suggestions; spread the word to your friends and families and people you meet, so that they might send me their energy, too. Think of me as a small black dot in the middle-left of a blurry gray uterus universe, hoping to become something whole and beautiful.
I’m here: nervous, excited, a little desperate. And so, so ready.