i lied to mikki last year when she emailed to ask if she should be worried that i kept posting about beds and commitment. that’s not like me, less because of the 13 years of catholic school than because it really is against my feminist ethos. but the pregnancy still seemed private.
it had been confirmed just after the lovely holiday with a test from duane reade that i took in my local nail salon. we were still in the middle of a weekend-long summit to decide what to do about a baby that was a few years earlier than we had envisioned while giddily looking at friends’ weird facebook videos of their kids when i said we should stop, i could feel something was wrong. i took the subway to an ob-gyn for older mothers, then waited for two hours, until a doctor who wasn’t the doctor i had an appointment with came in, glanced at the sonogram, and said, “unfortunately, there’s no heartbeat.” i thanked him. later he told me i had taken the news well, and at the clinic the next week, when i had the operation under local so i didn’t have to wait to be picked up, the doctor who held my hand told me i was the toughest patient they had ever had. i felt pleased, which i now realize is dumb.
i spent 3 weeks in bed being served rice pudding and hot tea and, though i normally cry twice a year, the next several months crying—i really wanted the baby, hormones are crazy post-pregnancy, i was on a new birth control pill, then another, i was on adhd medication, i felt really alone, i was really alone, everyone on the internet was posting sonograms, it was winter, who knows. no, that’s not true, i know.
it’s not that i feel sad about the baby, exactly, though i did, and though i will if i am never pregnant again, and if i never have kids. and i really believe in the virtues of forgetting and being post-wallow. but when i think back to late last winter, how grey it was, that tiny space heater, lying on my bed and watching the full-length kanye “runaway” video over and over and over, pausing only to answer phone calls, though i hate the phone, i feel some of the deepest grief for myself i’ve ever felt. just writing this made me cry for the first time in over a month. but only for a minute. as i was told the night i said i was pregnant: “it’s going to be great.” i am sure it will be, but it wasn’t, and i still want to give it a moment.