So You Married a Feminist

It's no secret that I'm a feminist.  I'm not quiet about it, and I never have been.  Momma done raised me right, and all that.  So, of course, Nathan was fully aware that he was marrying a feminist- and he may even have had an inkling of what that meant.

Me, on the other hand?  Well, I had my suspicions (in fact they were more than suspicions, or I wouldn't have married him) but it wasn't until the other day that I had the chance to make my pronouncement...

"I watched Mulan while you were gone," he says absently as we flip through Netflix options.

"Yeah?"  I perk up.  I love that movie.  Generally speaking, I will love any story that involves a protagonist who gender-bends to get what they want.  Especially if what they want is to be a warrior.

"Yeah.  I don't get why she wasn't more angry."

"What do you mean?"

"It's just- she saves the entire friggin' army and China all by herself, but when that guy she likes finds out she's not a man suddenly she's not trustworthy anymore?  And at the end of the movie she just forgives him like it's no big deal!"  His voice is full of disgust, and I cannot help but laugh.

"So you're saying... she should be treated the same regardless of her gender?"

He makes a noncommittal grunt, and I smile sweetly.  "You are so a feminist," I say, and kiss him on the forehead.


On Being Okay

I am a writer.  It's what I do.  I write.  It's how I process things.  So when I found out I was pregnant, I wrote about it.  And the day after my miscarriage, I wrote about that.  And I'm still writing, about both those things.  Because I'm still dealing with them, and I expect that I will be for a long time to come.  And while it's true that there's no actual need for me to post what I write for the world to see, I've come to the conclusion that if there's any chance that what I've written might help someone else process things, well... why not?

It took me a bit to come to this conclusion.  If you'd asked me, a year ago, if I'd ever post in a public forum about having had a miscarriage, my answer would have been the cliched, "Not no but hell no."  Grief has always been a fairly private thing to me.  I don't want it on display; I don't want people feeling sorry for me; I want to deal with my shit and move on.


Then the hypothetical became reality.  And I suddenly realized that by not talking about it, I was be making it more dark and terrible than it actually was.  That's not to say it wasn't terrible- it was.  It is.  It will be.  But by being able to talk to people about it, it helps me feel like it's going to be okay.  After all, I don't hide the fact that my father died- why should I hide the fact that our baby died?  To hide that it existed in the first place, to deny the joy that we felt over the burgeoning possibilities hidden in my womb- that, to me, seems more unbearable by far than to admit to people that now I'm sad.

I was still on the fence about it until a chance encounter this afternoon.  I ran into a friend of mine, and when he asked me about climbing, I hesitated, took a deep breath- and admitted that I'd just had a miscarriage.  And do you know what happened?  He didn't feel sorry for me- he gave me an understanding look, and then told me about when he and his wife went through miscarriage.  And then we made jokes.  And it was okay.  I was okay.

Sad, but okay.  So I got home, and I decided to post all these little writings I had laying around, so that the world can see how happy I was- and how sad I am.  And how okay I'll be.


So Sorry

The funny thing about miscarriage is my unrelenting desire to apologize to everyone.

“I’m sorry,” is constantly on the tip of my tongue, just waiting to preface every interaction I have.  It’s not logical- I know it’s not logical, but it’s there.

I’m sorry I bled on that.

I’m sorry to bother you.

I’m sorry I lost our baby.

I’m sorry you’re hurting.

I’m sorry I can’t make it better.

I’m sorry I woke you.

I’m sorry I’m telling you such awful news.

I’m sorry I won’t be in to work for the next few days.

I’m sorry I can’t go climbing for a while.

I’m sorry I’m hiding.

I’m sorry I made you sad.

I’m sorry I keep crying.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry.

I'm sorry.

I know that some of you might read those phrases in a sarcastic tone, but the truth is I really mean it- I am sorry, for all of it.  That it’s happened and is happening and will go on happening.  I know, logically, that none of it is my fault or anything for me to feel sorry about.

Emotions don’t care about logic.

My biggest regret is that we only told one couple about the pregnancy.  There are only two people in the world, aside from us, who got to know the unadulterated joy of my being pregnant.  Everyone else only knows that I was pregnant, but now I’m not.  No joy in the association, only sorrow.  And all because I wanted to wait until after my first ultrasound, which was going to be on Wednesday, to tell our families.

The spotting started late Friday night- pale pink and nothing to worry about.  That’s what I kept telling myself, anyway, as I lay in bed thinking about what I’d forbidden myself to think about until that point- that miscarriage is quite common in the first twelve weeks.  And I was only about seven weeks along.

The next morning I confessed to Nathan about the spotting, and that I was scared.  But it still wasn’t much, so I went hiking with some friends.  They were the couple that I chose to tell, and I’ll be honest- it was motivated by my desire to have an untainted moment of happiness, just in case something went wrong.  Because by that time, tiny little cramps had started.

On the drive home I called the on-call doctor.  She told me to take a warm bath and some Tylenol, and to come in for an ultrasound on Monday, just in case.  She also said that if the bleeding or pain got worse, to go ahead and go to the ER.

At about 2330, Nathan and I went to the ER.  We were there for six hours before the doctor finally confirmed what we already knew.  Three of those hours were us sitting alone in a small room after the ultrasound, not being told anything.  They’d hooked me up to an IV, and it hurt, and all I wanted was to take the damn thing out and go home, because I am not stupid and I knew what they were carefully avoiding telling us.

The only heartbeat I’d heard on the monitor had been my own.


Busy Body

I'm standing in the dressing room, eying my bikini-clad body (had to get a larger top, for, um, quite obvious reasons), and I notice that my hips are a bit fleshier than normal.

Uh oh, I think, because I am conditioned to react that way to any squishifying of my form.  I purse my lips and poke the hip in a judgmental manner, making a brief mental catalog of what I've been eating lately.

No, wait, pipes up a different part of my brain.  We need to adjust our reactions to the changes in our body.  We need to see them in the context of the pregnancy, now.  It's time for a new standard of physical expression of health.

New standard.  Right.  I take a deep breath and smile at the fleshiness.  It's a sign of better things to come.