We're trying to get pregnant again. Well, not really again.
The last time I was pregnant we hadn't been trying. It was an accident in a moment when I demanded passion and spontaneity from of a marriage that was falling to pieces. I hadn't been tracking fertility cycles or taking pre-natal vitamins and I continued to drink. It wasn't until after the Thanksgiving Katrina was dating the wine-maker and the Christmas party of White Russians that I realized I'd missed a period.
I took a pregnancy test on New Year's Eve and stopped drinking immediately. I started taking the prenatals and scheduled an appointment with my doctor. I told her I drank before I realized I was pregnant. She told me, "Don't beat yourself up about it. There isn't anything you can do about it now."
But just before my first appointment with my ob-gyn I cramped. I bled. I drove with my husband and roommate to the immediate care center downtown and made tasteless dead baby jokes. We waited until the ultrasound tech confirmed the miscarriage, "I can't find anything, no heartbeat. Are you sure you were pregnant?" The doctor's paperwork said something about a threatened abortion.
I kept my appointment with the ob-gyn: she could schedule the DNC or I could just let my body take care of it naturally. I decided to let it happen. The cramping had been uncomfortable but not unbearable. It took almost three months of nausea and spotting before my levels evened out and I didn't have to have blood drawn every week to ensure that my body had shed my failure.
I learned quickly that miscarriages happen all the time. 20% of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. My sister who also miscarried told me, "It's not your fault. There's no way of knowing why we miscarry." Women at work mentioned their own miscarriages: their mother or sister or friend who miscarried. But people don't like to talk about it and my mind swung back and forth between blaming myself and giving thanks that we weren't getting ready for a baby because although I thought we were ready, I know we weren't.
A few weeks after the miscarriage we took Scout, our chocolate lab, to be spayed. I walked her gingerly after the surgery and cried over the stitches along her belly. I watched the wound and waited for her to heal. Maybe when her belly was smooth again I would feel healed too. But Scout never had the belly of a puppy again and I could relate to her empty insides.
I started going to therapy. We worked on our marriage. And two years later we have healed. We are ready, really ready, to try; to track fertility cycles and take prenatal vitamins and stop drinking alcohol and caffeine.
We get to work on baby making and now we wait.