It’s 7:21PM and I just put my oldest child to bed. He is 7.
I have 3 kids.
I have had 1 miscarriage.
Perhaps because my husband is out biking, yes, he night bikes and perhaps because the internet is lit up with people lighting candles I feel like sharing my story.
It’s not a big deal.
That’s how I want to preface it.
I have 3 kids.
And I couldn’t handle any more. But sometimes, I find myself thinking about that little ball of energy in me who didn’t make it. I tried to get pregnant with our second child when my first was 2. I thought it would be easy.
It took a few months and we were pregnant. I was nauseous. I went in and we saw the little blip and we saw the heartbeat.
We went back and the doctor asked me if I was sure about my last menstrual period because the baby was measuring smaller. I didn’t think much about it, that Brad Pitt movie “Benjamin Button” was out and I made jokes that this guy was growing backwards, it didn’t cross my mind anything was amiss.
I put on an Expressing Motherhood in January. I announced to the audience and my friends that I was pregnant. That I was overcoming my fear and the loss of my best friend in the city the previous year, in a car crash, by creating life.
But before I went on stage I saw some blood. And I knew things were not right.
I also was feeling sick but in a different way.
When I went to the doctor there was no heartbeat.
I screamed at my husband as I walked down the stairs of UCLA to return to my car. Angry at him for not being there and angry at myself for caring so much.
Lots of people have miscarriages and have children? Why should I cry about this? Man up dude.
My doctor told me we’d do a D & C if I didn’t naturally have the miscarriage.
And that’s all the info I had.
So when all the sudden I began having horrendous cramps at my friends house I called a nurse. She must have been having a horrible day because she told me to try and collect a sample of what was passing.
I went into my friends bathroom and imagined calling out to her nanny, who is also my friend, “Hey, could you bring me a ziplock bag?”
As a rule, if you are an adult and you go into a bathroom without a child and call out to another adult for a ziplock bag it is a sign that something has gone very wrong in the bathroom.
I pressed myself against the wall and peered into the toilet.
There would be no collecting of samples.
I was only 10 weeks along.
I walked out and asked for my friend to call my husband. My cramps were getting bad.
Once home I started bleeding a lot.
My husband was in charge and he started running back and forth up our 3 flights of stairs between handling our 2 year-old and checking on me.
You bleed a lot during a miscarriage. Like a lot lot. Disgusting, alarming amounts.
I had him call the nurse again, as long as she doesn’t soak through more then 5 pads in an hour she’s OK.
I began having images of women in the 1800’s having their babies out in the barn, surrounded by another woman or two. And I imagined a fire.
I felt like a witch.
Like no one was suppose to know about this. It was dirty and I was to bite on a towel and grin and bare it.
The next time my husband came down I asked him, do you have any valium?
Yes, he did. Get it for me!!!
Can you do that, he asked? We looked at each other and then he ran back upstairs to retrieve it.
We lived right smack dab in the Hollywood Hills with an amazing view of the city. We had had an owl visit us nightly for a few years.
It had been waking us up for years. We were pretty pissed at that owl. My husband had a bee bee gun and I made him promise not to shoot the owl.
Suddenly between my images, trips to the bathroom, I heard a BB gun being cocked.
It really was the 1800’s now.
Except I was 15 minutes away from The Grove and Cedars Sinai and yet I was doing this all alone at home, with very little instructions. Again, why I didn’t Google it is beyond me.
I stopped bleeding after an hour. I didn’t cry.
I wish my doctor had forewarned me about what might happen. I should have at least Googled the thing. Geez.
I advise all women who might miscarry to get some valium, why not? It hurts. A little valium helps.
The next morning the owl visited us for the last time as if to say OK, look I’m still here but I get the point.
Then he flew off.
It was all sort of mystical for a couple of neurotic, city dwelling Hollywood folk.
Sometimes I am struck with a sadness and yes, I still tell myself to chin up but I try to also allow myself a second to allow myself to feel sad.
For me miscarriage was about the most antiquated thing I have ever done in this very modern world we live in.
When a beautiful arrangement of white flowers arrived at my doorsteps from a distant cousin with a card attached, I was deeply touched. And I wondered perhaps if she too knew of the strange secrecy and mix of emotions that comes along with a miscarriage.