When my husband returned from his deployment to Iraq, I was excited that we were going to start trying to have a child. Within two months, we were expecting! I was overjoyed. My 33-year-old self was thrilled that it happened so easily and I was determined that pregnancy was not going to slow me down. I kept running, working out intensely, and generally acting like I wasn’t phased by nausea or fatigue. My close friends noticed my body starting to change and I kept looking for a doctor that would be covered under our insurance. I was new to this pregnancy thing and not in a huge rush to see a doctor. Then one day at 15 weeks pregnant, I woke up and felt a little “off.” I told my husband that something didn’t feel right because I didn’t feel nauseous anymore and in my words, “I don’t feel like I’m pregnant.” He thought that was because it was about the start of the second trimester and I was just feeling better. Off to work I went. That day, I told my bosses (military men) that I was pregnant and that my baby was due in February. They were overjoyed for me. As the day progressed and I prepared for a trial coming up the following week, I daydreamed about buying my maternity uniforms and felt sick to my stomach. At 5:00 p.m., I was still working feverishly with another attorney to meet a deadline and my feelings overwhelmed me. I dropped my folders and said to him, “something is really wrong.” He told me he’d finish the project and I should call it a day. I went to change out of my uniform and used the ladies room. Blood and other indescribable matter gushed out of me.
When I called my husband, my heart was crumbling and my body was cramping severely. He asked me to call an ambulance but I just wanted to be near him. I don’t know what I was thinking or how in rush hour traffic on a Tuesday, I drove 65 miles through Chicagoland’s worst highways in 55 minutes, but I stopped once along the way at a fast food place to use the facilities – hemorrhaging more blood and bits. I was so horrified and sick at what I saw. When I got to my house, my husband rushed me to the emergency room and the rest of my miscarriage happened. I left there 6 hours later without a trace of “fetus” left in my body and with a heavy, heavy heart.
My trial was moved a week forward and for the next 5 days, I stayed at home healing, bleeding a little, and mourning the loss of my first baby while sitting frozen on my back porch lounge chair in the late August sun. I told my mother and sisters and I told my step-children that I had a miscarriage. None of them even knew I was pregnant. I read every article I could and blamed myself for working out too intensely, for drinking coffee, and for taking hot showers. I was sure I was to blame for losing my baby and felt guilty.
In two months, I was pregnant again, told everyone right away…and was very, very nervous. My sweet son was born the following May and our step-blended-family life turned a new page. I fell in love so deeply with this little being. I had been holding my breath for so long waiting to hold this little love in my arms. He had arrived and with that, my heart started to heal from the loss of my other little one.