For the last Fourth of July weekend in 2010, I was home in Ohio visiting my family with the Captain and Pumpkin. I had been suspecting for a few days that I might be pregnant, but I didn’t really give the suspicions voice, since for all practical purposes, I shouldn’t have been. I was still breastfeeding Pumpkin and taking the progesterone-only pill, which should have provided adequate protection against pregnancy. But the progesterone-only pill is only maximally effective at preventing pregnancy when a woman is still full-time breastfeeding, at which point, I wasn’t.
I convinced the Captain to stop by Walgreens with me while we were out by ourselves, and with much eye-rolling (good naturedly, of course) and poking fun at me for my superstition, we went, and we bought the test.
I took the test at my mom’s house, and sure enough, it was positive.
I did some quick calculations, and figured out that it would have meant a March baby. We were a bit floored, to say the least. Indeed, it wasn’t planned, and at the time, Pumpkin was only ten months old.
It is hard for me to believe that had things gone differently, we would have another child right now.
After two days of existing in the typical haze of positive-pregnancy-test bliss/fear/oh-my-god-what-have-we-done, the first few spots of red appeared, and the pregnancy ended before it had barely begun. It was a blessing and a luxury that I had the support of my family at the time.
The tragedy of the situation is that it was likely my fault (albeit unknowingly) that it happened. When I first began suspecting that I was pregnant, I stopped taking the progesterone pill, to prevent any possible detrimental side-effects to my would-be embryo. That was roughly a week to the day before I took the positive pregnancy test.
One thing that I didn’t remember is that in pregnancy, progesterone is one of the hormones that is responsible for maintenance of the uterine lining, and that absence of it results in the shedding of that lining. By stopping taking the progesterone pill with the intent of protecting a possible pregnancy, I effectively induced a very early miscarriage by causing a rapid drop in those hormone levels.
I have thought a lot this month about making this post before finally deciding to write it. Miscarriage is a deeply personal topic and a taboo one at that; people seem to be more candid in sharing their experiences with a multitude of ailments and diseases. But never miscarriage. There is a certain secrecy and self-imposed shame to losing a pregnancy, and I think that more open discussion about it would lead to easier healing for many women.
Without going into either philosophical or biological or even statistical coping mechanisms that I called upon, I will admit that I did heal rather quickly, and then felt more guilt for doing so. I had wonderful support from the Captain and my precious little girl. I had all I needed.
Now as I reflect on the entire story, twenty weeks pregnant with a healthy little girl, I realize that when I look into her sweet face on the day that she is born, I will know that she was meant to be mine. If things had gone any differently before the moment she was made, it wouldn’t be her in my arms, which makes her all the more precious and dear.
The March that is has been a month of planning and dreaming, and more time with my darling Pumpkin and the Captain as a beloved trio. As much as I’m anticipating the arrival of the new baby, I’m mourning the loss of my one-on-one relationship with Pumpkin, especially knowing that she has no idea how her world is about to change in a few months.
The March that is…is bittersweet. Emphasis on the sweet.