On getting pregnant and losing it.
So here’s the thing about getting pregnant: It’s interesting to have your body be hijacked. All of a sudden your life changes. Your body changes. When I got pregnant I was shocked. I have an irregular period with long cycles. Meaning I never know when it’s coming. Until I start feeling overwhelmed like the world is coming to an end and then I realize why…my period. I didn’t realize I had a deep fear that I wasn’t going to be able to get pregnant until I got pregnant and was flooded with relief. I was used to taking regular pregnancy tests and getting negative results…it comes with the territory when you constantly think you’re late…because you have a long irregular cycle. It’s such an interesting thing. The body. The fact that we have no control over anything even though we want to and we think we do. We are wrong. I’m telling you. That’s what I learned. Because if we really had control over the things we thought we did I would still be pregnant. And I wouldn’t be writing this. But I am. I’m writing this. Because I was pregnant. And the pregnancy ended early. And I didn’t want it to. That wasn’t part of my plan. I had already met my midwife. I had already visualized the homebirth I was going to have in our livingroom…in our apartment, our home. Our baby was going to come into this world loved and comfortable. I had it all planned out. We were going to rent a birthing tub. I was probably going to have some crystals out all over the place. And stones. And some kundalini mantras playing. And then The Beatles playing. And Nina Simone. And Harry Belafonte. And Mozart. And Vivaldi. And Otis Redding. And Beyonce. And Sinatra. And Nat King Cole. You get the picture. I mean, what did I know? I have no idea what it’s like to be in labor. Just as I had no idea what it’s like to be pregnant, until I was. I felt powerful. Seriously. Like somebody had come in and upped the goddess factor of my being. I was super woman. I was Joan of Arc. I was Wonder Woman. I was a badass lioness bringing home dinner. And I was exhausted. Holy shit. I didn’t know what tired felt like until I got pregnant. I thought I did. But I was wrong. I loved it though. I loved every minute of laying on the couch, dozing, knowing that even though I hadn’t done much for my career that day it didn’t matter because I was GROWING A FUCKING HUMAN IN MY BODY. My senses were heightened. A new lens had been put on my life. Everything was a little more vivid, a little more crisp, a little brighter. It was a completely different life experience. And as an experience junkie, I was so grateful for every minute. It’s funny, the things nobody seems to talk about…like early pregnancy. Because you feel different. You have a secret. And if you have a partner, they have the same secret. It’s kinda sexy. And great. And sparkley. It’s fun. If you are pregnant and you don’t have a partner, I highly recommend bringing a friend into the secret…it’s nice sharing a secret with just one other person. It was fun …although there came a point where I had to keep a distance from my friends and family because I felt like a liar when they asked me how I was and I couldn’t tell them...it felt wrong because I am such an open book. Anyway, I digress. Which I do all the time because my brain is a jumble of things and sometimes I don’t know how to get them to squeeze out like uniform icing piping and all my thoughts end up coming out like ketchup from a squeeze bottle…you know, the farty splatter times when you’re nearing the end of the bottle. In fact, I should really delete this part because it’s off topic, but I won’t. Because it’s who I am. And it’s how my messy brain works. And because we’re talking about my pregnancy right now. Specifically early pregnancy. Guys, I was having weird thoughts. I had a breakdown one day because before I got pregnant I loved kids. All kinds of kids. I’d say hi to every kid I’d see. I’d want to squeeze them and nibble them and smush them until they became even cuter balls of cuteness. I loved hearing them laugh. Loved seeing parents out with their kids. Then one day. I didn’t. I didn’t love them. Didn’t want to squeeze them, nibble them, or smush them. The families that I saw out with their kids looked miserable. The kids squeeling with delight in our courtyard made me roll my eyes with disgust. I wanted them to shut up. They were annoying. They were disgusting. They were strange needy beings who smelled. What happened to me? What was wrong with me? I was scared. I was scared that I wasn’t going to be able to love my baby if I started to dislike every baby that I saw. Where was this coming from? Well, my mom kindly (and calmly) reassured me that it was the fact that I was growing my own baby….I didn’t need to love the others and imagine what it would be like when I had my own because I was in the process of growing my own. And I already loved that baby. I loved it because of what it was going to be. I loved the adventures we were going to have. I loved my vision of the future and I was truly enjoying every present moment. That’s what life’s about, isn’t it? Isn’t that actually all life is? When you think about it. It’s all the present moment. That’s all we’re guaranteed. This present moment. Right now. The only one there is. Take a breath. You’re alive! Isn’t it amazing? Ok back to the strange and miraculous feeling of being “with child”. It felt like magic to me. And I love magic so I was very happy about it. Of course I had all the superficial worries…wasn’t I still a kid myself? Have I figured out all of my shit so I don’t pass it on? Shouldn’t I be further along in my career before having children? As if I wasn’t going to be continuing along on my artistic path for my whole life. As if I needed to be at the right place in life to have children. Which is bullshit. I think it’s bullshit. I had always heard that “there is no right time” and “the right time is when it happens.” And I believe that. I do. I also own a crystal dildo. Just want you to know who you’re dealing with. So, all of that is to say that there are a bunch of things we don’t talk about that happen during early pregnancy. And the same goes for losing a pregnancy. Nobody talks about it. Until you mention that you’re going through a loss, and then, all of a sudden, everyone has their own story. Or multiple stories. I think that was one of the most shocking things…other than the shock of looking at our 11 week ultrasound and seeing an empty black hole of course. That was seriously shocking. I know there are so many others who are reading this who have experienced this and worse and to them I say: I am so sorry. During the blur of it all my OBGYN was telling us about our options. We could wait for it to pass naturally or we could opt to have a D and C (which I thought was a DNC for way too long and I felt weird about it). That moment was like when the adults talk in Charlie Brown cartoons. Her voice was nothing more than a blurry jumble of muffled sound. I was struck by the immediate feelings of being broken. As if there was something wrong with my body. Something wrong with me. I started beating myself up in my head. Hating my body. I thought about the fact that I was so excited when they weighed me at the beginning of the appointment because I had gained weight…after I found out that there was no more baby my brain went to my weight gain and I was no longer happy about it, to say the least. I was amazed. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to start blaming myself. To feel ashamed. The journey that we had on the way in was so hopeful and exciting and the one on the way out, even though we walked down the same hallway and stood in the same elevator, was empty and sad. I remember thinking that I needed to make a short film about it. Somewhere deep down I knew that this experience was my body being the most effective it could be. It knew that the fetus wasn’t going to survive so it took matters into its own hands. Honestly, when you think about everything that needs to come together in order for every human to make it into this world it’s amazing that any of us are here at all. Even though I knew that deep down, it wasn’t possible for me to get out of the blame game at that time. I hated my body for taking my baby away. Wow, I had no idea how difficult writing this would be. Everything in my being wants to close this computer. Nobody is forcing me to write this. But, for some reason I feel the need. Maybe it’s because I had no idea how common miscarriages are and I can’t stop thinking about the people who don’t have friends or family they can call upon. Nobody explains what the experience is going to be like and what to look out for. The truth is, when you are in that place it’s fucking dark. It’s lonely. Even if you have an incredible partner going through it with you (which I did) and friends who have been through even worse who are so giving with their time, energy, and love (which I did)…it still feels lonely. Because it’s a very solitary, individual experience. It’s going on in your body…and your hormones hijack your emotional being…and your physical being. And you can’t stop thinking about the fact that you were growing a human being and your body stopped that process. Without fucking asking if you wanted it to! You didn’t chose that! You wanted that baby! I guess I should come back to the first person since I’m writing about my personal experience…although I do believe many will be able to relate. I went from thinking about myself as a goddess to thinking about myself as a worthless piece of shit. In about 3 minutes. As I mentioned before, I am an open book and even I had a hard time sharing what I was going through…it felt taboo…shameful…like it was admitting that something was wrong with me. But I found that everytime I did, it would open someone else up to tell their story and quite frequently it would be the first time they’ve ever talked about it. Which was astonishing to me. The statistics are that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Which means that many many many people experience at least one in their lifetime. Mine happened about 2 months ago and I’m not over it yet. But I am falling back in love with my body. I do realize that, in fact, my body isn’t broken at all. On the contrary, it is extremely efficient and amazing. To all of you going through this and worse please know that you are not alone, you are not broken. You are powerful. You are perfect. You are strong as fuck. It won’t be this dark forever, I promise.