One woman’s story of miscarriage
I don’t remember the date. But I do remember it was mid-August 2000, and it was the start of the worst year of my life. It is an odd thing to want to remember, but I must take time to look back at my struggles to become a mom when I feel overwhelmed with family life. Ten years ago I had my first miscarriage, and it almost destroyed me.
That afternoon was a blur. My husband and I were waiting for the ultrasound technician at my gynecologist’s office. My gyn thought he spotted two heart beats but wanted to be sure. After 18 months of tests, fertility drugs, and ovulation kits, I was finally pregnant. My husband and I were ebullient. To be pregnant with twins would be a blessing on top of a blessing.
There were two embryos. Chromosomal testing revealed two boys but no cause for the “spontaneous abortion.” All we know is that in June I was pregnant, and in August my womb was empty. They died in utero and had to be removed through a surgical procedure called a D&C.
That evening, after receiving the news, I couldn’t express my sorrow strongly enough. Tears and screaming couldn’t alleviate the intangible pain, so I began slamming my hand on our granite kitchen counter in hopes of shattering my hand. That tangible pain would distract me. It could be fixed with morphine and a cast. I didn’t succeed. I believe my husband pulled me into a bear hug and dragged me out of the kitchen.
My hubby returned to work quickly, but I convalesced at home for two weeks watching General Hospital, which was therapeutic because the romantic duo Carly and Sonny were also mourning a miscarriage. This show managed to explain what I had trouble putting into words. I hadn’t lost just a clump of cells, but a dream and a future. So, I ceased explaining and sharing my pain, and I swallowed it. I swallowed anger at my body that couldn’t ovulate or get pregnant without help and now had a womb that housed death. I swallowed my envy of my pot smoking friends who were as fertile as rabbits. I swallowed big gulps of sadness until it was large enough to engulf me.
The following June, everything was on the verge of collapsing. My husband and I were contemplating divorce. I was about to drop out of graduate school. And I was convinced that God hated me. The decision to commit suicide came so easily and quickly that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it earlier. After I swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills, I sat on the edge of the bed, and told my husband “I think we need to go to the hospital.”
Needless to say, I survived. My husband and I reconciled with a stark emotional honesty we had never had before the miscarriage. I graduated with a Master’s in Library Science. I made-up with God. I also have two beautiful rambunctious children–Dew (whom we adopted after 3 more miscarriages) and Jo-Jo (who was conceived and born by sheer miracle).
I still take antidepressants; see a psychiatrist monthly; and attend therapy. But I am a survivor. I survived the worst year of my life and eventually came out better for it, and that is why I take the time to commemorate its ten year anniversary.
Rakisha White just celebrated her 15th wedding anniversary, her oldest daughter’s promotion to kindergarten, and her youngest daughter’s ability to wear panties all day long. She is the author of the wht hosted blog Brooklyn Shoe Babe Brings the Fat as well as Kiki Overthinks Everything.
• General Hospital’s Sonny and Carly