Her eyes were round, green, and shiny. Dimples, fused into her chubby cheeks. Her long red cords of hair, pulled into two pig-tails. Plushy arms and legs, and a tiny belly-button. Her name was Sally, and she was mine.
I’d had a lot of plush toys up until then. Red, my Fraggle, whom I made many dresses for. Zeddy, whom I lovingly rushed to the emergency tent at the TeddyBear Picnic to have a new nose sewn into place after an unfortunate dryer-melting incident. But Sally, was different. She was a little girl, just like me. Carried via stork, all the way from her magic cabbage patch just to live with me. She was special.
Unlike my brother, Joey, she sat still, played all the games without cheating or crying for more turns, wore whatever I wanted her too, and listened to all my stories. She rode around in the red basket on my bike, and loved every adventure. She was my baby and I loved her.
I grew up in a big family. There were always real babies to play with, to take care of, and I enjoyed being the one to do it. But, those kids went home, or their families moved away. I wanted someone of my own. Someone who would stay.
After a complicated and sometimes painful life, I was ready. I was happy, married, starting to feel good inside this body. It felt right. So, I counted the days, did the math, did the deed, and took the test. YES!!! I was pregnant! It was my turn! I had waited my whole life, and this was it. A real Sally. I would be great at this. This is what I was meant for. This was my calling. The one thing that I would excel at. I would be the best!
You can imagine my disappointment, self doubt, fear, and confusion, when I miscarried at 11 weeks. The one thing I’d be good at. I failed. I was devastated. Heartbroken. What do you do now? What do you say? How do you feel? No one can answer that. Not really. If your like me: You power through. You cry at every Johnson’s Baby commercial, but you don’t talk to anyone about it. But hopefully if your lucky like I was, a true friend (in the form of a sister-in-law) will step up and choose to see through your bullshit. They will be there for you without overwhelming you, and you will get stronger everyday (despite yourself!)
One day you’ll get up and shake yourself off. You’ll angrily rip the old pages out of your calendar and sit in front of a new month. A new start. You’ll count the damn days, do the damn math, and get the damn deed done! Then you will take the stupid test, and you will refuse to believe it. (Because who gets pregnant on the first real try TWICE?). You’ll wait until the next morning and try again and it will be the same, and you will cry. Of course, you’ll cry! People aren’t built to be happy, sad, and terrified at the same time. You will tell your husband when he get’s home from work, and he will look at you with the same face you were making this morning. Except his is less afraid of the baby, and more afraid of you breaking into a million pieces if something does go wrong.
The hardest part of miscarriage, is that no one ever talks about it. I never knew that my Mammy lost 3 children (twins, in an early miscarriage, and one in a fall at 7 months) until after I lost mine. This issue applies to everything in life. Nothing is new, it’s already happened to somebody, somewhere, but if no one ever talks about it, you feel all alone. So I’m blogging. I don’t know if it will help any of you (if not at least make you laugh a little!), but I want to get it out. Tell my version and see if anyone relates. So…we’ll see how it goes!
Catch y’all on the flip-side!
(Written November 27th, 2009)