Unexpected

Oil Painting Ferdinany Holder Woman in Ecatasy

Tuesday morning last week I found out I was pregnant.  We’d been trying for a long time. This was something we wanted.

Wednesday I worried about being a mother. I wondered if I would lose myself.

Oil Painting by Julius Exter Nude with Red Cloth

Thursday I went to the museum with my friend. I felt powerful with my secret, surprised by my body, surprised by my calm, and surprised the new space I felt for love. Everything was possible.

Friday evening I had a miscarriage.

Oil Painting Girl Weeping & Nude Study

The pregnancy was gone but the space was not.

Miscarriage is the word the doctor used, not the word I would have chosen, though I wouldn’t have known what else to call it either. It felt like such a big word for such a little pregnancy. What was it exactly that we lost? A baby? Some cells? Hope? Our own ideas?

I tried act normal but my body hurt and I felt wild and weak. Angry and sad and foolish. Helpless and silly and embarrassed. Embarrassed that it happened; embarrassed by all the emotion; embarrassed by my body; embarrassed by how I felt. Embarrassed and betrayed. Not at all, in any way, in control.

I am pregnant. I miscarried.  It hurt my jaw to say it. I tried to hold myself still. Had I done either? I didn’t understand and didn’t have a language for how I felt

I read it was common. I read if it happened, it was for the best. I read you could still have healthy babies. That didn’t help. It was just as intangible.  I wanted to talk about it and I didn’t really know anyone it had happened to, no one I could call.

Oil Painting byLeo Putz of Gusti Bennat

I tried to hold myself still.

But people kept asking, “How are you?” and when your veneer is so thin it is hard not to tell the truth.

That’s when I began to hear their stories. They didn’t understand it, but they understood. That did help.

And that’s why I’m telling you.

36 thoughts on “Unexpected

  1. Beth: I didn’t want to post this on facebook. Your story is very moving. You will have more chances. The stories others tell will mirror your own, but you will succeed. My thoughts are with you. J

  2. Hey Beth, I was in your shoes many times. We started trying to have a kid when I was 35. People told me it was late. At 35 I was pregnant. Then, not pregnant. Pregnant Again at 35.5. Then, not Pregnant. Then, pregnant again at 36, I think. Then not pregnant. Then, Noah when I was 37. Then Shiah at 41. I never liked hearing people say that I was miscarrying for a reason, but the good news, and I knew that it was good news was that I could get pregnant. If you want to talk, reach out. I feel for you.

  3. Hi Beth, I hope you’ll be okay and that you would never ever lose hope. Thank you for sharing the story about your loss so honestly and so articulately at that. I tend to get restless when someone says it’s for the best about anything which happens that hurts. I don’t know why the best has to hurt. And we don’t care that it’s common (so’s the common cold and that still warrants sick-leave!).

  4. Beth, perhaps body follows some kind of agricultural model – the soil’s pH changes, composts, renews, re-energizes…that said, sorrow is sorrow. May you find solace in beauty – and art as your post’s images seem to indicate. Sending you and Z a big HUG! SJL

  5. Thank you for sharing your hopes and sorrows. I shed a few tears and said a prayer as well. Thinking of you and glad that you have such a great guy, as well as friends and family to give you comfort.

  6. Sorry to hear you are in pain. Emotions are as natural as anything else. You are doing the right thing for yourself, reaching out for social support. No one should feel alone in this big wonderful world! We are here to listen!

  7. Cara Beth, Such a personal and difficult thing to go through. You’ve shared it with such grace and honesty and your words have captured emotions that you still don’t fully understand. You’re in my thoughts.

    1. Thanks, Isla. I’ve meant to drop you a note since Roxanna showed me your blog. I’ve been reading Grace Paley lately and I loved your post on her.

  8. Some squiggle of ectoplasm had me as a father for a few weeks. I have never fathered any other organism and this little effort reflected, perhaps, my dispassionate relationship with parenthood. I wasn’t parented well, I didn’t want to be a parent. “What if the baby has a fever?” My constant nightmare. And my wife at the time had been bought on the baby black market in Vegas by other people with no sustainable parenting skills.

    It, the little spark, came and went before we had a chance to plan or worry. It grabbed our hearts and minds then dropped, without ceremony, into the toilet. Dead? Was it still not the little blob of DNA and nutrients it had been before the fall? Miscarried, as in a fumble? Like spilt soup from things that go bump? No, it was not even soup, not a finished anything. What is finished? Am I the penultimate result of all efforts before me?

    Knowledge is not ownership. If I pull my perspective back… the toilet, and the water in the toilet, and the circulatory system that the water has been absorbed into is as much a part of me as I am of it. I say, and not as a matter of convenience, that there is not death of the birthed being but the transformation of the energy and the moment. It lives in me as anyone who has touched my heart and mind and is no longer near to proclaim themselves.

  9. You are so brave to write about it, Beth. It’s remarkable how you write from the eye of the storm with such eloquence.
    I’ve been through what you’re going through now. Many women I know have been there. It doesn’t make it easier to go through – the pain is real, the sadness – but it makes it more bearable to know that this happens and you’re not an isolated clinical case. As my doctor told me, 2 out of 3 times a woman gets pregnant, this happens. I wish people would talk about miscarriage more so that we’re not so alone when the odds don’t work in our favor.
    I hope you get well soon. I hope you don’t let this drag you down. I hope to meet your baby when he or she comes.

  10. Beth, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve experienced two miscarriages, many years ago. All I can tell you is that it is a loss and must be mourned as such. Honor yourself and those feelings you can’;t put a finger on, they are the soul mourning. I went on to have a beautiful (now 37) baby girl and two amazing grandchildren. Looking back, it wasn’t the right time for me to have a child. Divine intervention? Your time will come. Be in good cheer and know this will pass. Much love, Mindy

    1. Thank you, Mindy. I like the way you said that, the soul mourning. And I do believe in fate, and that it will happen. It has been so transformative to hear everyone’s stories. Hug!

  11. […] you are always hearing about is the foil wrapper on Stilton Cheese. For the first time in a year I knew I wasn’t pregnant. I could eat anything I wanted. I ate raw eggs. Cured meats. I cooked my beef rare.  And man, we […]

  12. Beth — Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and this quiet and poignant story. My hope is that you can connect those new and powerful feelings of motherhood with the celebration of mothering this weekend. Miss seeing you! Kathy

  13. Beth, I’ve just met you and to read this writing from you, so tender and raw and real, just touched me. Blessings on this journey towards parenthood. Auky

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