This post was originally published at The Screenwriter’s Wife blog, but I’m also posting here to add to the collection of marriage stories.
I am no stranger to loss, but that doesn’t mean that it hurt any less the second time around. In 2009, my first-born passed away at six-weeks-old due to complications from a congenital heart defect. I was nineteen, just a baby myself, when I learned that the smallest caskets are the heaviest. I wallowed in despair and self-pity for some time before I was able to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart and go back to a “normal” life.
Overcoming my own self-destruction, I am now married to the man of my dreams with two rambunctious children. I have achieved the cookie-cutter life that so many beings long for. My marriage has been impeccably strong and easy; I couldn’t see why people say marriage takes work. Anon, my world came crashing down once more this past May.
We found out we were expecting another bundle of joy; unexpected, but nevertheless exciting. We indulged in the fantasy of having three children and envisioned what our home would soon be like. The baby would make his/her debut the week of December. We anticipated my swollen stomach at Thanksgiving, and relished the idea of having a newborn in time for Christmas. Life felt lighter, freer, and happier.
The morning of my first OBYGN appointment a sudden panic overpowered me. I had this seemingly notion that something was wrong. I was awfully ill with morning sickness, and I remember my mother reassuring me that that was the baby telling me he/she was there, and that everything was okay. Still, I couldn’t shake the alarming fear.
I held my head high as we walked into the office. My three-year-old son tagged along as we asked him of his excitement to see the baby. The ultrasound began and that’s when my fear was confirmed. Having done this three times prior, I knew what should have appeared on the screen. I saw a clear view of my pregnancy sac, and it was empty.
The tech twisted the wand every which way, and the outcome remained the same. At nine weeks pregnant, there should be a baby; yet, there wasn’t. I remember my son asking where the baby was, and I did everything I could to hold my composure. The doctor gave us two weeks to wait it out, hoping for a miracle to happen. Those two weeks were a lifetime. I showed all the signs of a normal pregnancy, however, at the next ultrasound, my diagnoses was confirmed. I had a blighted ovum; a fertilized empty sac. The next week I underwent a D&C because my body refused to let go of the pregnancy on its own.
Miscarriage is ugly. Here I am close to six months post opt and I am still not okay. They call a blighted ovum a “pregnancy failure”. Every woman wishes to hear that their body failed them, right? My body failed me twice. I have pushed away things I have once held dear, I feel as though I have lost myself again. Now, as a result of my instability, my perfect marriage is suffering.
My husband has held my hand and is trying to understand, but it’s hard to explain these emotions to someone who will never feel them. I know he is hurting too; he has lost a child as well. Yet, I feel alone, like we’re sailing on different seas. I am trying so hard to navigate the ships together, but I don’t know how. I am ready to try again, but he’s not sure that he ever wants to.
In five years, this is the first true hardship our relationship has endured. I hate that I now understand why marriage takes work. I long for our union to get back to what it was. I believe that one day we’ll be back to our normal, because our marriage is important to us.
I have learned a lot about marriage this year, the biggest thing being that no marriage is perfect. When you least expect it, a wave will knock you overboard. Though, if you swim together, you will reach the shore.