[Saturday Morning, August 4, 2012, 11:06AM: PART TWO will be waiting for you early Monday Morning. Thank you for reading and making it over to my space on the planet! It means a lot to me!]
[UPDATE: Saturday August 3, 2012. When I began writing this post on the evening of 7.30.12, I had no idea what the next twenty-four hours would bring. I will say it now and I will say it again: We cannot predict the future!]
Monday Evening, July 30, 2012: Surprise! I’m Pregnant.
I have spent my summer pregnant (the past three months) and today I am miscarrying. I know what you are thinking. I am thinking it too. I am old. My kids are almost teenagers and I thought I was done traveling this very long road.
“How did this happen?” I asked my OB.
“Oh, you know how this happened,” she very wisely responded.
Nevertheless and moments ago I was at a city park here in the Irvington Neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. I was snapping pictures and keeping an eye on my boys. We, joined with Dave’s sister, Dori and her family, had all just eaten a yummy combo picnic dinner and now were scattering around the park. I had already been spotting for a few days so I was not surprised when Kyle, Eli and their Uncle Miah stood wobbling on the see-saws while my nephews Andy and Nathan moved giant toy trucks back and forth through the sand that I felt one mother of a cramp followed by a big fat gush.
“I need to find a bathroom NOW! Really.” I calmly said to Dave and Dori.
“Let me go with you.” Dave said, as we first walked to the car to grab some supplies and then walked over to a prison-issue-no-seat-just-stainless-basin public bathroom.
The two tattooed, pierced and Portland-conservative looking men who each had a son who each sported an ironic toddler-mullet said one more thing to me as I raced to the bathroom door. Their toddler sons were fascinated with Kyle, Eli and the see-saws. “They can handle themselves. Don’t worry. Your boys are fine.”
I thanked them and walked on.
“Ew!” I screeched as I saw all this brown stuff all over the floor.
“Those are just leaves. Just walk over them. Everything is ok.” Dave quickly and wisely shot back. They were just leaves.
I walked over the leaves to the metal toilet, held my breath and squatted over the silver basin. In milliseconds, if that, weighty clumps of tissue dropped into the water. If you have miscarried before, you know exactly the weight I describe here. You know how it feels and weirdly I am grateful you do.
As I squatted, and if you know me, especially the-me-in-less-than-ideal situations me, you know I needed to keep it light and say something and by something, I mean, something humorous-ish. “Hey at least I am keeping it real theme-based. Last time I miscarried at a truck stop (true story).”
Dave probably rolled his eyes, laughed and helped me up. As soon as the heavy park bathroom door slammed like a snapped rubber band behind us, I felt another gush and knew it was time to leave. We yelled to the kids and told them we would be gone for a few minutes, walked over to our car and Dave drove me back to where we were staying. I went up to the guest room and immediately started writing.
Here I am and here is what I am feeling. In between moments of awful menstrual-like cramps and pure denial I am bursting, I mean, BURSTING with crushing quantities of anger while simultaneously filling with competing amounts of gratitude, DAMN IT! I don’t know how else to say it. I have re-written and re-written that phrase: gratitude combined with anger. So grateful I really cannot be mad! Many of you have traveled a similar road. I am grateful you understand and am very sad that you had to go through this too. Many of you also know that I tried for years to maintain a pregnancy. I have succeeded twice. Thank God for Kyle and Eli! Seriously! Wow! I get contrast. I feel selfish that I wanted more. I get that those two boys are two brilliant miracles! Birth is not easy! Yet, may I tell you in complete honesty, I was pissed when I found out I was pregnant. At the very least, this pregnancy has caused me a very inconvenient summer. At best, I feel equal amounts of gratitude and anger!
And I think the denial I have been in has given me this crazy strength, strength that I never thought I had. With this denial I have pushed myself hard. I have pushed harder than I have in a very long, long time. Wait, let’s not pretend, when Kyle was lying with a feeding tube shoved down his nose and his eyeball skin peeling off, I pushed hard too. That’s what you do. You push hard. You fight for those you love.
We bought a two-test box. “Dave, we have to buy a two-test kit. If we buy one, I’ll just end up buying another one tomorrow.” We laughed the Park City Smith’s laughing and joking about the psychosomatic effects of pregnancy tests. “You relax and then your period starts.” We only needed one. We only needed one pregnancy test because the second I peed on that stupid stick, it turned to a plus sign. When I saw that stupid plus sign I totally deer-in-head-lighted and then I laughed. “Really?” I really said, “really,” out loud. I bet you would have too. Do you know how many hundreds of negative pregnancy tests I have peed on? Wow! A joke? I bought the pregnancy test as a joke.
I saw the plus sign. I freaked out. Then I screamed, “Dave, you need to come up here now! Now! Dave! Now!” Then I grabbed my iPhone, opened up my web browser, Google’ed the phrase, “old pregnant ladies,” read the statistics and felt worse. Women over forty are screwed! The End! I know my history and when we told our doctor friend, here is what he told us:
“You’re old blah, blah, blah, blah and you are doomed blah blah blah. Oh and your fertility history sucks blah blah blah. Mostly, YOU ARE OLD!”
Dave is busier than he has ever been, which seems impossible, because he has always been busy. This summer was my time, pregnancy or not, to up my parenting game. Dave needed me. I do not breathe and until last night, I simply hold it all in. I have hardly told a soul and when I do I imagine what they must be thinking. I have a couple of close friends, my sister and my mom (of course), who knew. They all have had my back. They get my horror and every single one of them said, “I will be there to help you raise that baby or help you grieve its loss.” They knew my reality too. Last night I melted. Just a little, but I finally did. It was probably hormones. No. Really. I went nuts and kept asking Dave, “Why are you acting so weird? What is wrong with you?” Not my finest moment. Suddenly after yelling, screaming and being silent, I walked down to the kitchen, poured myself a bowl of Cocoa Krispies, then another, texted Dave from the kitchen, cleaned the cute little cracker crumb mess the other house tenant always leaves behind, and went back upstairs. While eating the second bowl, Dave responded:
“Come back up here and I will hold your hand. I need the points.”
[August 3, 2012]
Like I mentioned, we are currently in Portland, Oregon. I love the house we are staying in. It’s an old Four Square Craftsman in the Irvington neighborhood. Our friends graciously invited us to stay while they are working in Phoenix. I know we have the better end of the deal. Whole Foods is a short walk and an even shorter drive. The Whole Foods folks already know me, make me the best gluten free sandwiches and the boys have discovered that the Portland Whole Foods sells warm Chicken Pot Pies. Yum! If this deceptive Portland sun keeps shining, I think we may just stay.
On Wednesday, July 25, we dropped Dave off in Pasco, WA. I know. Weird and a little random. He needed to be in San Francisco. When planning our trip we figured Pasco was the farthest he could travel with us before he needed to go. Once in Pasco and after washing our bug-covered and mud-covered car, we were under such a deadline that almost as quickly as we walked into a local Mexican Restaurant, we looked at the time, apologized, told the hostess they are number one in the area on Yelp, and we walked right back out. We did not want Dave to miss his flight. We stopped for gas, bought our requisite two Chick-O-Sticks and were on our way. I hugged Dave hard, held back tears and prayed that he would fly safely from this little airport we had never seen before.
We left Dave in Pasco and came from heartache in Spokane, where my head was spinning after feeling the reality of stomped on hearts and a broken marriage. Spokane was filled with love of old friends and hope that they will find their way. I wondered if they were felling angry and grateful. Life does not discriminate when it comes to pain or happiness, for that matter. As we arrived in Spokane, we were on the heels of our dreamy trip through Yellowstone and the Tetons (yes, when they ask, we tell them that Tetons indeed mean “boobs” in François and then we quickly admonish, “What we talk about in the car, stays in the car, like that Tetons mean, “The Big Boobs”). We had been planning this Yellowstone trip for months. We were never quite sure if it would happen and at the last minute and thanks to our fabulous-plan-making friend, Doug, it did.
On Thursday, July 19, we left Utah late morning. We met up with our Minnesota friends at the Park City Whole Foods. I walked all four boys over to the Kimball Junction Starbucks, I ordered my green ice tea, insisted they use the bathroom, the other three adults made their way over and we were on our way.
In the past two weeks we have traveled from Utah to stunning Jackson, WY. We stopped at a groovy health food store in Jackson thanks my friend’s clever and determined thinking. Thank goodness for her, and also gratitude for the discovery of the Gluten Free Sandwich. From Jackson, WY we drove through the Tetons with a quick stop at Jenny Lake, where we had to force a very sick Kyle to complete a very long hike, then and on to Yellowstone. We spent the night at a crazy Yellowstone Lodge. No, not the Yellowstone Lodge, just another random Yellowstone Lodge. We watched Old Faithful do its thing, because you have to, and somehow between puffs of smoke and really warm walking paths, I overcame my fear of hot springs. Seriously, do not read the book “Death in Yellowstone,” it may haunt you forever! We hiked the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the top of Mammoth Hot Springs and then found our way to Bozeman, MT, where we hiked to the most amazing waterfall. (May I just add that Eli not only completed every single hike, but he was often the first done and always seemed to hike to the highest spot! So proud.) After the waterfall and a quick detour/Bison charging, we ate lunch at the Bozeman Food Co-Op and yes, Bozeman and its accompanying food co-op, are indeed where the real hippies exist. We sat at a lovely outdoor table, ate our yummy food, talked with our friends about our combined dreams of traveling to New Zealand while a very yappy dog barked away in the background. We said our goodbyes, met one more time at the gas station then they headed east and we headed west. On to Spokane, the Pasco, WA Airport and then Portland, all the while I was pregnant, or at least my body thought it was. The boys and I drove non-stop the windy four hours along the Columbia River Gorge into the waiting arms of Dave’s best friend, Justin, who immediately took very-hungry us to an open-late Portland eating establishment.
On Monday, July 30, 2012, I went to bed believing I had fully miscarried.
20 thoughts on “Surprise! I’m Pregnant. (was)”
Oh my goodness, what a chock full post! It’s so great to “hear” your voice again through your writing! It truly is amazing how you can be so brutally honest and open with an online audience of mostly strangers, but you know what? We get you. We feel your pain. We have been there.
Love all the photos, especially the see-saws and the BLUE sky above Old Faithful. (Don’t really love your blood pressure in the last one though…) And my beloved PORTLAND. I’m so jealous. I miss it from here in the Midwest.
Hugs to you Beth as you navigate this crazy thing called life.
Andrea, thank you! Totally chock full post, right? And that was only PART ONE! Yikes!
Thank you for your feedback and thank you for liking my voice. Andrea, it is funny you should mention the honesty part to total strangers. I am going to post about this very thing. First of all, you are not a stranger. I was just thinking about this the other day. Even though Facebook is supposed to be this “friend” medium, I was completely uncomfortable announcing my pain & heartache so bluntly in a status update. On Facebook I mentioned that it had been a rough week and if people wanted to read, I would be posting the story on my web site. Communication has changed. Social Media has broken boundaries and definitions of privacy. For me, my blog is still and in many ways one of my most personal spaces. It’s easier for me to express these details here. It felt natural … There is so much more to say. I hope you are catching my drift. I bet you are.
Hugs back, thank you for the photo love and well wishes. Best to you to! 🙂
Ahh, Beth. I’m so sorry. But again, you somehow manage to write the feelings that I have in the most unexpected ways. I miscarried twice over the past three years, and I know that mix of anger, sadness and relief that you’re talking about. It’s such a weird mix of emotions.
I’m sorry this happened to you, and I hope you’re okay, my friend.
Oh shoot, Michelle. I am so sorry for your losses too! Thank you for your lovely comments and for getting it. I am good! Much better than that crazy time! 😉
Poignant. Glad you are ok at the end of the day. Quite a road trip!
Oh dear beautiful Beth! I love you!
You write very similarly to how you talk and I count myself privileged to hear both voices. You’re brave Beth. And so strong. And I’ve never thought of the power of denial before. But there it is, denial giving a temporary favor. Huge hugs and thanks because I understand, regrettably I do get it and am so stunned that you find the words for telling, your writing is a gift. Thank you my friend.
So Bozeman is where the real hippies live…
I love you too, Quel! Thanks for posting and for reading Part One. Part Two is soon to come. Thank you for being a part of it and for wanting to hear all about it.
Yes, denial totally got me through. Absolutely! I know you understand I feel your hugs.
We need to travel to Bozeman, go to the Bozeman Food co-op and I promise you will agree! Yes, Bozeman is where the real hippies live 😉 (Not to say that real hippies don’t live in other places) 🙂
Edited the Spokane part, Kevin. Wasn’t fluid enough for me. Thank you for always having my back. I am grateful for you, friend. Thank you for insisting I push the button. Oh and YES, I am writing about the hospital, the oppositional nurse and all of that. That is the best part! Thank you!
Gaaaaaaah! Love the post, amazed you are able to share but HATE the process. The shock. The small bubble maybe of hope and excitement. Thinking maybe it would be ok to rearrange your life. Maybe it would work this time and maybe it could be wonderful. All the time trying to pop the bubble or push it down, keep it small because you should be “practical” and protect yourself for when the bubble bursts it’s nasty goo all over the place. Ack. Fist in the air and a womany primal scream. Love you. Big hug. Maybe next time I could write a complete sentence. Be well. You are scaring me with the whole monitor thing. Thanks for the cliffhanger.
Hugs, my friend. What a journey (in ever sense of the word!).
I thought something was wrong as you hadn’t posted in a while but was hoping it wasn ‘t so. Beth, I am so sorry and contrary to you, I am not good with words…… Therefore I would like to send you a virtual hug. Your post made me feel sad and then ……made me want to visit Yellowstone, wondering if you’ d give some advice on where to stay, where to eat and which roads to travel….. I might drop you an email if we can ever afford to take the kids to the US. Love and best wishes! And Thanks for this one. Great post. Looking forward to part two.
I love a good story and I am awaiting part two. I can’t begin to imagine all the pain and suffering you have gone through, but I know the need for a hug when I see it. So….((hug))
I loved Portland the two years we lived there many many years ago. I was sad to leave it, even though I was moving “home” to Minnesota.
I’m totally jealous of the traveling you do. I would SO love to spend my summers tooling around the US (and other countries) with my kids!
So sorry Beth. Thinking about you and your family. What a brave and honest post.
Dear Beth, I was checking out fb for some family photos and saw your post — I hope you are finding some peace both inside and around you. I am thinking of you and your family. You have all come a long way together!! On a medical note, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat iron-rich foods. 🙂
Jen, Thank you for loving it. I needed to get it out there. If I saw you face to face I may still have that “Deer in Headlight” look. The bubble of hope was a hard one. I wanted to believe it was going to be ok — especially given the years I tried so hard to have another one. I felt I owed it to myself and the possibility. Thank you for your understanding. You should be scared by the whole monitor thing! It scared all of us!
love you too! <3 and love sentence fragments (so does Dave).
Thank you, Nino! I know you get it! <3 hugs back!
Simone, Drop me an email. Travel is my passion. I would be happy to help! Thank you for reading and thank you for your lovely feedback.
You were right. Something was wrong! I was in shock, tired and having terrible morning sickness. I did not know how to write. Crazy! Thank you for your virtual hug. It has been received and means a lot. Sad and a visit to Yellowstone, I totally get. Thank you again! 🙂
Sara, That is a complement coming from you. You always tell the best stories and have an amazing sense of humor. Thanks for the hug. I do need one and I am hugging you right back!
Isn’t Portland awesome? I keep trying to figure out a way we could move there. We have so much family and so many friends there. I love the city feel and it is a weird I totally can get into. I do feel blessed that Dave indulges my wanderlust and also has to travel with work quite a bit. I guess it’s my trade off. Thanks again, dear Sara! Part two is on its way!
Nani, thank you dear friend. I wanted to say old, friend, but that would imply that we are both old. So, how does long lasting friend sound? Hope you are well!
Sandra, you are always so good to me. I am finding peace. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Trying to expand my blood volume and get me levels back up as I type. I hope you guys are well too! <3