My Journey to Motherhood

I had two miscarriages with my ex prior to my pregnancy with my eldest.  I spent a lot of the pregnancy trying to do things I hadn’t done in the previous two.  I somehow got it into my head that I’d done something “wrong” that caused the miscarriages.  Logically, I was aware that one out of every three pregnancies just doesn’t work out, but I still felt that there was some component of “luck” or something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on…

With the first miscarriage in October of 2003, I barely even knew I was pregnant.  We hadn’t told anyone when I started bleeding at six weeks.  I was upset by it – and even more so by the fact that a woman in my office who wasn’t married or in a relationship got pregnant the exact same week.  A woman who had continually made my work life difficult, and who, at the time, as harsh as it sounds, I felt didn’t deserve a baby.  My jealousy over her pregnancy colored are already difficult relationship.

It was very difficult for me – and it seemed as though there were pregnant women everywhere.  Everyone was in bloom but me.  Although I didn’t acknowledge it at the time, my relationship with my ex was already on the downward slide.  His mental health issues were becoming more prevalent – and his demands were getting more frequent.  I think the miscarriage troubled him as well – although we never really discussed it.  I took a break from our marriage and lived with my mother for a short time.  I can’t really explain why – but I did go back.

Everyone was pregnant but me.
Image Credit:  patrisyu / freedigitalphotos.net

Around nine months after the miscarriage, I got pregnant again in April of 2004.  This time, I was certain that everything was going to be different.  I started little rituals – trying to convince myself that it was different this time because I did one thing or the other differently.  As we hadn’t told anyone last time, we announced early this time.  I started eating very healthily.  Sadly, this child was not meant to be either – and at ten weeks, I miscarried again.  My ex completely disengaged almost from the point that I found out that I was pregnant.  He refused to take me to the hospital when I started bleeding.  He provided absolutely no support when I returned – treating me sullenly like it was my fault.  I had placed the blame squarely on my own shoulders as well.  There must have been something I’d done wrong to cause it.

Yet again, a woman in my life fell pregnant at exactly the same time.  And this time, it was someone even closer – I watched as my sister-in-law (my husband’s sister).  To make things even more difficult, I had made arrangements for my sister-in-law to be hired into the company I was working at just before I became pregnant.  Just after I miscarried, we were up for the same position and although I believed that she hadn’t been chosen for an interview, my employer interviewed her at another location, and ultimately she was given the job.  I wouldn’t have had a problem with it if either my employer or my sister-in-law had been up front with me – but that in combination with the miscarriage caused a real rift in my husband’s family.  And then suddenly, she wasn’t pregnant either.  I never got the full story – no one ever admitted to a miscarriage – and truthfully now I’m not certain if she actually was pregnant or if she was just jealous that her family was giving me attention (yes, she was/is that screwed up).

When I got pregnant with my son I remember just being scared.  Every day.  This time I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant (although my mother guessed…I guess moms always know).  I was working about an hour and a half travel away in a fairly fast-paced, high volume shop.  It meant early mornings and late evenings – and I just threw myself into it to avoid thinking about the pregnancy. I wasn’t taking care of myself, I wasn’t eating well.  I was doing everything I could to avoid thinking about what I thought was the inevitable result.

At ten weeks pregnant at an early morning work meeting, I leaned over to my co-worker next to me at the conference table, and promptly passed out.  There are few times I’ve ever been that frightened.  I was mad at myself.  I knew that I’d been abusing myself – avoiding getting attached to the child inside me as I was convinced he wasn’t to be.  When I came to a few moments later, they’d already called the ambulance.  My mother joined me in the hospital – my ex couldn’t be bothered to come.  They did an ultrasound.  And there he was.  Little Puck.  I could see his outline on the screen.  I couldn’t see the heartbeat – but the technician and my mother insisted it was there – and it was strong.  From that day forward, I became more and more confident.  I started treating myself better.  I cut back on the extra hours – and started getting more sleep.  I ate and ate and ate.  I gained sixty pounds that pregnancy.  And ten days after my due date after a very difficult labor and emergency c-section, I had a very chubby 9.7 lb baby boy.

It was a long and difficult journey.  And, truth be told, my marriage was in very bad shape at that point.  But every moment – even all the heartbreak – was worth it – just to hold this perfectly lovely little boy in my arms.

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