This is a story with a half-of-a-dozen layers. This is the story of my pain, loss, and hope. This is probably the most personal thing I will ever write online, share with “anyone” but hopefully not the most honest I’ll ever be.
Starting in the beginning
Shortly after my 20th birthday, I found out I was pregnant. For a few weeks I had been sick, not feeling well, exhausted. The thought of pregnancy hadn’t crossed my mind because my (then) boyfriend (now husband) and I had always been careful. I was on birth control, wasn’t I?
At the time I was working as a nanny for a family that owned a five star hotel, and they had me secluded in my own apartment in their long term rental area. I had no access to a car to take to the pharmacy, doctor, etc, so I had to ask one of the guys working in the kitchen to help me out. The first pregnancy test came back as “error.” But I knew in the pit of my stomach. The next day, a second test was taken- and it stood “2-3 weeks pregnant.”
While everyone who has ever wished for a child, would have been weeping tears of happiness- I wept tears of anger. It washed over me as if it was a physical liquid my finger tips could feel. I had plans, I had dreams, I was going to travel the world and never look back twice. I was going to make art, eat delicacies, learn a fourth language. Heartbroken, terrified and pissed off- I made the phone call to V and broke the news.
We went back and forth, what do we do? We were barely twenty, neither of us had an apartment. I was on a temporary visa. Did we really want to stay together? Did we really want to have this baby? What about abortion? Before becoming a mom, I never wanted kids. I love children, their imagination, their spirit, their curiosity. But it just wasn’t something I wished for. Yet as soon as we started discussing abortion, I knew it wasn’t for me.
So we went through with the pregnancy, we decided to become parents. Following this decision, I was fired, had to move in with V and his family, and very quickly accept this new situation. But I didn’t fully comprehend what was going on. For some reason actually having to stay in Austria, finding a place to live, what about my visa? It was a whole situation that was so bitter and difficult to swallow. We made it through though.
While pregnant, I dreamt of a natural birth. That I would be in the hospital, or at home, pushing our baby girl out without medication. Just the strength of the feminine power, and love. I was scared, but knew at the same time that the power was there- it just needed to be pulled out.
But it never got it’s chance. An emergency c-section was in the cards for us. With an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, and a slowly pulse- it was looking bad. I had already had a failed epidural, was literally shitting myself and was in full blown panic mode. After moving me into the surgery room, alone, they strapped my arms and head down without once telling me what was happening. All of a sudden, birth was happening TO me, instead of it being something I was supposed to DO. After giving me a full dose to knock me out, Lily was born.
Waking up to a baby was shocking. I was in and out of it for a complete day after her birth. But she was strong, she gained her weight and more back within three days. She slept in my arms, never leaving my side.
But I knew. I could feel it, the post partum depression. The nurse came back and asked me to fill out a survey- to talk to her about the “baby blues.” Did I have them? Did I feel sad? And I just lied. This lie continued for over a year, only something that my husband and I really talked about in private, and even then- not really taking it serious enough until once again, there would be a breakdown.
Everything felt heavy, and hard. Except being with Lily. Sure, I missed sleep. Missed not leaking every time I moved, or slept. Missed wearing my favourite jeans, that I no longer fit into. Being a mom that first year was torture, but the most beautiful thing- all at the same time.
A second baby?
Constantly we were getting asked about a second baby. When would Lily be promoted to a “big sister.” We felt half way ready, so away went the birth control and a relaxed but controlled year followed with trying. Some months we didn’t even look when I was ovulating because the terrible-two’s were killing us. Other months, it’s all I thought about. Being pregnant again. Nursing a baby, those sweet baby toes, and yawns.
It wasn’t happening. Every month my period came, sometimes with a sigh of relief- other times with tears. The wonder set in of, “but why isn’t it happening?” “What are we doing wrong?”
After visiting with my gyno, and seeing on screen what was going on- and then one week later receiving my blood work back, it all made sense. PCOS.
Which is where I am now, my pity party for one, because of four letters. Because of something I can’t change- again. Falling pregnant the first time, wasn’t my choice- not to say we could have maybe protected ourselves more, but it wasn’t as if we got to sit down and “Let’s try to be parents!” Her birth, was horrible and left me traumatised for months. The PPD, was a monster- and without a support system it was the hardest battle. It feels like all these things were being “taken from me,” or “done to me.” (While I recognise how whiney I am, how often I’ve said “I” and complained- please try to understand.)
Someone might be reading this and thinking “Wow, fucking get over it.” And they are probably right, to a certain degree, but I have gotten over most of it- or at least I thought so until I realised Lily will be my only baby. This is extremely difficult for me, because we have chosen to not venture to be parents again. We won’t try the different medications, we won’t go through hormonal help, or any other tests. We’ve learned about the rates of miscarriage, and decided that I, won’t be able to handle that. If you’re reading this and thinking “then she must really not want another baby,” you’re wrong. I want another baby, I want to get a chance to be a mom to another little angel again, but better.
I want to be pregnant, and feel the baby kick. I want to feel the love I have for my daughter, again. I want the stretch marks, the throwing up, the late nights, the leaky breasts. All of it, desperately.
Unfortunately, I know myself. If I try these medications, the thought will always be, “This is going to be what works!” And it might not work. If I do fall pregnant, and have a miscarriage, that isn’t something I can imagine recovering from. The loss of it would be too much for me, and likely send me into another downward spiral. Most importantly, Lily deserves a happy, healthy mom who is there 100% and not constantly distracted by, “well maybe this time…”
So I will grieve. I will cry, be emotional, and allow myself to feel all of the things I feel inside of me. Maybe one day, there will be a baby in the cards- sometimes things happen naturally. Waiting and wishing and hoping isn’t something I am ready to do, or willing to at this point.