Okay, I’m depressed.
That’s why I’m not writing blog posts three times a week. Or answering many e-mails. God, I found some of your e-mails in my spam folder tucked between “Satisfy her with your jumbo member” and “Show her who the real man is”. Seriously, I could barely drag up the energy to move those e-mails from one folder to another. But I did. And you’ll hear from me, be assured.
There are many reason for my depression, which is minor and transient. I’m not having a permanent episode, no posts from the loony bin or anything. I’m not drinking vodka at 11am or lashing out at the children over who drank all the milk. In fact, I have over-compensated nicely. I’m still fun Mommy. Today, I did an awesome puppet show with Bert the Rooster that involved a sort of Rodney Dangerfield-no-one-appreciates-me-routine, smelling everyone's feet and cackling wildly in Spanish - I had the kids bent over screaming-laughing at their play date.
It’s a bunch of things - Too much bleak, gray weather, the need for Spring, for warmth, for sun. It’s partially my new life without a babysitter - which is actually pretty fun, hanging everyday with the girls, trolling the city - but leaves me little time to write and when I don’t write I get depressed, because I have no outlet, no sense of identity, no way to be sane, no way to purge or make sense of things, except for leaning on my husband, who is a rock, but he has a first wife who battled depression and I hate to scare the crap out of him. You know, maybe he thinks, I’ll be this way for the next six years or something.
There’s also the small thing of our recent miscarriage. (My mom doesn’t read this blog and I haven't told her about the miscarriage. There are a couple of you who speak to her, please do not share this with her. She has been ill recently and this news is the last thing she needs. I want her focused on recovering her health. Thanks.) To be honest, we were pregnant for about 7 weeks. This is a short period of time. Hardly anyone knew. That we lost this baby now, as opposed to several weeks or months from now, is a blessing. I get that. I get that intellectually. But still…
I enjoyed being pregnant for those few weeks, that old familiar feeling of knowing that something special was happening, something I carried with me all the time, was aware of all the time and that we had this secret between us that very few people knew about. It was like holding a special treasure. By the time, I went to the bathroom at Starbucks and found the blood, I was just getting used to the idea, picturing the five of us. You can’t imagine all the scenes playing out in my head. All rainbows and happy endings.
I will tell you that miscarriage has never been a big concern for us. We have been fortunate. As soon as the stick turned blue, we blabbed our baby news to anyone who would feign happiness. It was just one of those things that didn’t happen to us. Sure, maybe some hideous strain of cancer is running through our veins poised to reach out and flatten us, but not so in the baby-making department. Fertility was our thing. We were always grateful for it and knew how lucky we were.
This time, was different. We held our tongues. I was 43. This pregnancy had not happened in one month or three as with Lucy and Edie. It happened in seven. We knew, on some level, it was fragile.
I called David and told him the news when he was in Australia. He was staying with his dad. He told him the good news. He couldn’t help himself. He was smiling through the phone when I told him. When he came home, we told Lucy and Edie. They were beyond thrilled. We swore Lucy to secrecy. Not an easy thing for Lucy. Lucy had been telling everyone at the playground that we had been pregnant with twins for like the last year, so this was big news. the whole idea made her feel happy and big and important.
She wanted my belly to get big immediately. We took out pregnancy books from the library and I read to them about the baby in Mommy’s tummy. The night before we lost the baby, she and Edie leaned in to my belly button to talk to the baby. They wanted her to be a girl. They had all kind of things to tell her.
It felt pretty real. Like it might happen. We scheduled a doctor’s appointment. The due date would have been December 4th. I started imagining our Xmas.
I felt great. I felt pregnant. But no sickness. This was a relief. Both of my previous pregnancies were laced with sickness – I vomited everywhere, almost constantly for the first three months. My vomit is legendary. Once, with Edie, I had to bend over in a gutter outside my house with Lucy in my arms because I couldn’t be without a vomit receptacle for more than 15 minutes at a time.
This pregnancy was different. No vomit in sight. I vowed to Shred every day. I was furiously organizing and spring cleaning the house. I was a mound of productivity. I was awesome. I felt like a million bucks. I thought it must be a boy. That was the difference – Girls make you sick. Boys don’t’.
Little did I know, that this lack of sickness, this good feeling, was just a pregnancy that had never really taken hold. Little did I know that sickness was good.
We had just met up with friends at the Starbucks in our building. I made the kids go to the bedroom, one more “empty bladder” check. I decided to go myself. That’s when I saw it. Lucy was sobbing, her friend had a pack of bubble gum and was willing to share with everyone, but Lucy wanted her own. She staged a fit. She was hysterical in the bathroom in Starbucks. I was bleeding. Friends who didn’t know I was pregnant were waiting at a table outside. Everyone wanted to go to the zoo.
I had no idea what to do. I do what I always do when I don’t know what to do, when I am immobile. I call David. Lucy screamed about bubble gum in the background. Edie was rubbing her hands all over the public toilet. We talked about seeing a doctor, but with the kids it was going to be hard to shift into that mode. I decided to tell my friend what was happening, retrieve some maxi pads from my bathroom, calm my tantruming child by buying her whatever pack of bubble gum she wanted and just move through the day, see what happens.
I vowed to get to a doctor in the afternoon. But it didn’t matter. By ten o’clock I had to change maxi pads three times. There was blood and tissue. By two o’clock, I was running around on the monkey bars, chasing Lucy, and I noticed that I no longer felt pregnant. It was over. That feeling of treasure inside had just ebbed away, like a low tide. No doctor was going to fix this. It was over. The baby was gone. I just moved through the day. It was good to be busy.
I was sad. We were sad. We had to tell the girls and they were sad. Lucy had so many questions. She cared. She was so interested, concerned for this little sister she had envisioned in her head. But that same week, two bloggers that I didn’t know, lost their babies. You should check out their stories and their beautiful babies - Maddie and Thalon. These were not near misses. They were living, breathing, babies that people had connected to and loved and cared for in the real world, not just in their fantasies, and my sadness seemed small and inconsequential. And it is.
And there are all the people who have tried to have babies and have never known the effortless fertility that we have been blessed with. The folks who don’t have two gorgeous, healthy, completely average girls sleeping all around them now. So, I have this all in perspective. Really, I do.
But I’m still a little blue. Not quite myself. But writing saves me. My husband saves me. My kids save me. You save me. Thanks for letting me talk about it. I feel better now.