July 25, 2013 by Katia
Today I am honoured and proud to be featuring a post from one of my dearest real life friends, Jenn. Jenn is an amazingly talented human being, one of these people who excels at absolutely anything she puts her mind to and she and her partner have played a huge role in making Toronto a place I now consider my second home.
A post about miscarriage. Or Maybe not.
From the Journal of Jenn
Jan 11, 2013
Nausea. Intense nausea. That was three days ago, I’m sitting around with some friends in the evening. I’m keeping in this news that I’m so excited about… it’s too early. I know deep inside that this time, it is too early to tell. (In all its meanings.)
The nausea hits and I’m feeling so good about it all. Nausea like none before. I have a feeling that this time I’m going to vomit. The headache – dull, but growing – started a couple of hours earlier. Also, for me, a “good” sign. I’m not feeling good. And I’m elated. I think.
If you have been reading this journal, you will know that I’ve been looking for signs – for affirmation – every single day for the past 2-3 weeks. Am I pregnant? Someone please tell me I’m pregnant. I felt nausea. I was sensitive to smells. I had light pains in my abdomen – stretching pains, corpus luteum pains? I FELT pregnant. (Up until the day I didn’t really, but kept searching for signs. Did I search so hard that they started manifesting themselves?)
Now, today, sitting here, writing about it with a candle beside me, I also feel nauseous. But this time I know it isn’t a sign of pregnancy. Because this time I’m bleeding – my “period” (?) – and my blood test results from Monday this week nonchalantly told me, “No, you’re not pregnant.” It may as well have come with a slap in the face. Or, perhaps, a straight jacket and a white padded room. All that goes through my mind is that, yes, I’ve done it to myself again. Hysteria.
Let’s back track.
Monday, my first midwife’s appointment. You can read all about it. My predominant emotion before: unsure. And after: slightly disappointed, scared, still unsure. Unvalidated, really. So I wake up the next day, and say, “Fuck it. I’m going to enjoy this.” And, I’m elated. I go through my Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, HAPPY. Pregnant. “I’m pregnant,” I keep telling myself. I take my Chinese Medical pulses, which affirm this for me, somehow (note: do not try self-diagnosing). Yup, I think that’s like pearls rolling along a dish. The right is SO strong. It’s a girl.
I tell my husband, “I think it’s a girl.”
Though, somehow, I’m still anticipating the blood test results. And something inside is telling me that I’m going to be quite disappointed. Though I look up “low hCG levels” (yes, even before I get the results) and it seems promising. At 5 weeks, I could have low levels and have it not mean anything. Every woman is different. So I’m doing alright. I’m prepared to hope.
Tuesday night. The nausea. I’m unwell. Very unwell. And the thought arises: what if it’s like that last pregnancy (the real one that occurred in February… I think) when I got a lot of nausea and then started bleeding that very day? Oh, don’t think about it.
“I’m worried about you,” says husband.
I wonder why, because I’m so very happy.
That night, I wake up soaked in sweat. I go pee, and have to change my shirt. So hot, so uncomfortable. And so happy, because, “it’s a sign!” Though I can’t get back to sleep, I calmly and quietly meditate. For about an hour or more. But I’m not concerned, because there is something bigger at work, and I love that something bigger. It is peace and acceptance and all of those good things that I feel when I know I’m doing something for someone other than myself. The headache is monstrous: pressure, congestion, fogginess. But I make a note to find out what other pregnant women do to cope with headaches. This may be a sign of what the rest of the first trimester will be like. And I don’t care, because it’s not about me.
I was so looking forward to taking care of someone inside of me.
The tears come and go. Tears mostly for, again, what “could have been”. And what could have been? Something that would change my life. (I’ve heard it changes your life.) Something to give me purpose. (Don’t I have purpose?) Something to excel at. (At parenting? Will I really excel at parenting?) Someone who depends on me, and who I know I can sustain. (Though those are also all unknowns as well.) What “could have been” is also an unknown. I should know that. With all this “work” that I do on myself, I still hold onto ideas of “what is not now”. What could I possibly be avoiding in the now?
Some background: Have been on this rollercoaster of “pregnant? Maybe not…” for a year now. I have this interesting phenomenon (not quite figured out yet) in which I will always test positive in home pregnancy tests. So in the past 3-4 “false alarms” over the years, I’m actually not sure if I miscarried, or didn’t and just have other reproductive issues. Hormone tests come out normal. I call it miscarriage, since, as far as my mind and heart and husband’s mind and heart have been concerned, we have been pregnant, and lost.
Jenn is a naturopathic doctor, yoga teacher, and wife in Toronto. She writes because she best expresses herself on paper (or on screen). You can follow her health-related blog at drjennpun or meditate on her yoga-related musings at omsatcitananda. She follows iamthemilk religiously (even though she isn’t yet considered one of the “cool moms”) and aspires one day to have similar beautiful stories to share.