When the Girls’ Night Out Blitz I had my heart set on for the weekend was cancelled, I felt more depressed then I initially thought I could. I just really needed an outlet. I needed to let off some steam; to bond; to dance..to apply smoky purple eye shadow without fear of judgement.
With the Fertility Appointment looming in the distance—only 4 days away at that time—I felt the unrelenting waves of rebellion press up against my heart. I just wanted to get out there and howl at the moon or something. I wanted to have some honest, clean fun.
But in Mommyland, you roll with the punches. If life gives you a crappy diaper? Change it. If weekend plans buckle? Change those too.
So naturally, I was going to use my ‘night-out card’ to re-sort my office files and maybe run out to Walmart to see if there were some new $5 movies in the grab bin. But my luck was about to change.
One of my best guy friends, Clark, was in town from Vancouver and we’d only been able to connect over a quick pint and salad. This was a travesty because it should have at least been 2 pints and a burger and fries, and both of us knew that the evil leafy green plate in front of us meant we were getting older. Gah. But I digress.
“Well a bunch of us are going out tomorrow night. Are you and your hubs in?”
My eyes glinted. I jumped on the invite with a kind of juvenile bliss I hadn’t felt in ages. Yes. We’re going. My brain started doing the rapid ‘Tetris-fire’ that parents’ brains and maybe Gullum’s are bound to do: “Ok.. Mom can look after Baby Girl.. then Hubs can get home a little early...I can get ready at 7pm...no wait, 5pm...then Hubs can get ready..we can sneak out after she’s asleep but before we’re too late for dinner..my precccciouusssss..”
Hubs, in his sweet and exhausted end-of-week state decided to pass on this one. He and Baby Girl dropped me downtown for the start of my night, and shook his head in mock concern. “Don’t come home puking, ok?”
I made a sour face at him and huffily turned towards the restaurant, but blew a kiss over my shoulder. It’s not that I’m a party girl—far from it. It’s just that sometimes you have to let a little loose, and I guess we both knew that it would be one of those nights—one where I didn’t feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.
For once I didn’t have to think if Baby Girl was ok, or about work, my parents, renovations, my miscarriages, my cycle, or even really what I looked like—although for the record I still totally did the smoky eye. I just got to be one of the guys.
For me, a Girl’s Night Out involves a sea of estrogen, the smell of hot, styled hair and mineral makeup, and a million pretty perfumes mingling with the apple blossom lilt of cold chardonnay.
Guys’ Nights Out on the other hand are all about malts and bitter stouts, greasy carbs, and fart jokes. There are no boundaries, lots of noise, at least one mention of Star Wars, and—in my circle anyways—an impassioned oral dissertation presented about why something (usually a film) or someone (usually a actor/director/musician/comic book character) totally and completely SUCKS.
Sometimes a night like that is exactly what the doctor orders.
10pm gave way to 2am.
“Oh crap. My husband’s totally going to kill me.” I looked around at my friends. There were 5 of us left. I dutifully called my hubs, waking him up. My friends all grabbed the phone out of my hand like we were 15 years old, taking turns to assure him I was in good hands.
The momentum didn’t die down after that. It was like we needed to squeeze all the YouTube, music, drinking, and talking about life into 1 night. Like if we got off-course even for a moment, we’d lose it for the next 100 years.
6am glared at me from my cellphone.
“No. Way.” I sat and pondered what the ugly numbers meant.
They meant I’d have to go back to womanhood. They meant I’d have to leave the safety of my genderless, happy, tomboy moment and revisit the pain of all the things that didn’t happen like I thought they would.
So later that day, tracing the night sky through the sun, I found the 2nd star to the right and carried straight on. Back to my amazing husband. Back to my amazing child. Back to my amazing adventure and the choked up ‘right now’ that is so hard to swallow but so exciting to see unfold.
I have a special place in my heart for my Lost Boys, but it felt good to come home and grow up if just for a little while.
Luckily my husband is very good at sewing shadows, and I have plenty of kisses to trade.
I have an appointment with a new fertility doctor next week and every time I think about it, I feel sick. She’s got a great reputation and she specializes in multiple losses. That should make me feel pretty good, right?
That and the fact that this appointment is a consultation only, just to see what’s going on with my fertility health. No pressure. There will be no sperm-washing or hormone shots in the near future, that I can guarantee. Knowing all this doesn’t seem to help though.
Right now my nerves are so jangly that I’m tripping up stairs, dropping things, opening doors into my head, biting my tongue; it’s like all reason—and my sense of depth perception—has left the building.
I feel like I'm cramming for a test I can't pass.
I’m actually pretty sure I had a panic attack in my sleep the other night. I dreamt my heart was racing, I couldn’t breathe and I was dizzy. I really wanted pizza, but I had to wait in the doctor’s office while it baked—stay with me. I remember I was already worrying about how I was going to burn my tongue on the pizza that hadn’t even come out of the oven yet.
Then, my doc appeared sitting in front of me and asked me how I was. I smiled brightly and said:
“I’m great. Everything is going really well. Awesome.”
“Oh, Okay then.” She spoke dismissively but made no move to leave her chair.
“Oh! Actually, totally forgot,” I said like I’d forgotten to pick up bananas on my way home. “I’m not ok at all. I actually feel like crap. I think my nerves are shot. Can I get a prescription for Ativan and the name of a therapist?”
Then I woke up. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t remember if I was dreaming or awake. My tongue was all kinds of thick and dry. My palms sweaty. My eyes felt rimmed with hot charcoal, and my body felt like lead. This wasn’t exactly the fresh morning start I had hoped for.
It’s been like this every night for the last week.
“Why are you so stressed about this appointment?” A friend asked me yesterday, cutting right to the chase.
To be honest, I don’t know.
Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be poked and prodded again.
Maybe because I’m petrified that exploration will reveal some kind of terrible health condition.
Maybe it’s because I can’t even think about babies without what feels like a searing rip in my heart.
I don’t know this new doctor. I don’t know what I’m in for.
I don’t know what I want.
My mind is racing with solutions to a problem I may not be able to fix, may not have control over; one that hasn’t even been defined yet.
In the span of a moment I bounce between feeling bolstered contentment with my life right now, and the emptiness of loss. It’s a quiet struggle with a vast spectrum of emotion. One that makes me tell stupid jokes about my pain, and cry in the middle of Walmart.
What I fear most of all is that this doctor will tell me the miscarriages are my fault. That I did too much lifting, or took too much work on, or this was the price I paid for the wine I drank when I didn’t know I was pregnant yet.
My friends and family are so fast to correct me, so supportive.
‘There’s nothing you could have done, honey...”
I hear it all the time. I think I even tell myself the same thing, but it’s become a mechanical mantra. I just feel like I’m reciting empty words.
What if everyone’s wrong?
What if having my amazing Baby Girl was a total fluke? What if I have a body that doesn’t want to be pregnant? Or a mind that is so jumpy and revved up that my anxiety somehow kills my babies? What if all the yoga and acupuncture in the world doesn’t help?
What if this is all my fault?
In a way maybe I want it to be. Sometimes I think it would be easier to be angry with myself than to not know why these things happen.
The clock is ticking and each movement of the second hand feels like it’s snagging a cuticle. I feel inflamed and impatient. I want to pick at the face of time. I can feel my irritation mount just knowing that this stupid appointment is there in my calendar. I hate it.
And yet, it’s the only way forward. It’s the only way I can forgive myself.
It’s the only way I can prove that I’m innocent, once and for all.
I confess, I didn’t pay much attention to the whole Beyonce pregnancy story this year. Even all the hype around the cute Blue Ivy Carter moniker didn’t really grab at me, but when I saw the words ‘Beyonce’ and ‘miscarriage’ pop up in our own Mummy Buzz, I couldn’t stop myself from taking a peek.
In a nutshell, Jay-Z went public with the fact that he and Beyonce had experienced miscarriage prior to their bundle of joy's safe arrival through the lyrics of his new song 'Glory' feat. B.I.C (Blue Ivy Carter). Regardless of the fact that I'm not big into hip hop, I had to have a listen.
This isn’t a music review. I’m not going to talk about production style, or what I think of him having sampled little B.I.C’s newborn pipes in the track—although for the record I have to say that I found it interesting, disarming, cute, and a little odd all at the same time. This is just my nod of acknowledgment to the power couple for turning their experience into something positive and lyrical—a bit of musical legacy for their new little family.
“Last time the miscarriage was so tragic
We was afraid you disappeared
But nah, baby you magic (voilà)
So there you have it, sh*t happens
Make sure the plane you on is bigger than your carry-on baggage
Everybody goes through stuff
Life is a gift love, open it up”
So it’s not exactly penned by a Lake Poet, I get it.
But it touched me. I instantly got hooked by the line “Make sure the plane you on is bigger than your carry-on baggage.” Maybe it’s just me, but that is powerful imagery and frankly, when a few well-placed words can put a kaibosh on a hormonal baby-making-brain, you can pretty much consider it a Zen paradox. Think about it for a while. And then clear your mind..
Also, “Life is a gift love, open it up” should have its own greeting card. It sent a small row of goose flesh up my arms and put a tiny lump in my throat.
I never in a million years thought I’d be quoting Jay-Z, but there it is.
Relatable situations open our minds to new vehicles of expression. I may have even nodded my head to the beat and smiled a few times in a way that—if I work on it—could probably have my kid gritting her teeth with embarrassment by the time she’s a tween.
Still, the 'should he have done it' camp horns are sounding. Once again it seems the appropriateness of how a celebrity mourns or even eludes to loss is being called into question. Because to think that Hip Hop of all things should address any subject of controversery—let alone a natural event like miscarriage—is just, well, plain shocking. Ha.
Well, regardless of what the diehards and the critics say, I think it was brave of them to tell their story. It was good that he could harness the experience artistically; that they could channel their grief into something positive and celebratory.
Because whether you’re Jay-Z or Joe Blow you just can’t control life, and we all have to find our own way to heal—platinum records and all.