Welcome to my first post of my newly invigorated blargh. We’re about to enter the shit-storm of a time of year I’m likely going to despise for a long time. On my monthly planner I wrote under Things To Remember the simple phrase, “Fuck June.” And I mean it 100%. Here is a glimpse into why:
There is a part of our story that I have not as openly shared on Facebook (but touched on a bit on my Instagram) and which I purposely left out of what I mentioned to Be Well Philly in my interview. There was pain in our lives long before Dan’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and I don’t think I will ever look at June 8 the same way again, much like I will never look at May 24, June 7, June 29, and January 22 the same way again. It’s funny how dates just stick right in your brain especially when it’s a negative moment.
On May 24, 2017, two very hopeful, potential first-time parents received the worst news possible. It had taken us just three months to get me knocked up. What a relief for a 34 year old, borderline “geriatric” mom-to-be (can we seriously find a better term than that?) But, on that screen was a little cluster of cells that was no longer developing. I remember wanting to melt into the floor that day, to just disappear from existence forever. Is that not a thing? It should definitely be a thing. “This moment is terrible. Would you like to just temporarily not exist until it is over? Push this button right here, see you in a week/month/year.” If only, my friends.
A week later we confirmed that what we saw that day was most definitely real: a missed miscarriage. What shitty luck. I was given the list of options and I asked for a night to mull them over. We opted for a D&C thinking it would put us back to trying ASAP and the surgery took place on June 8, 2017. The procedure itself was easy. I was fast-tracked to recovery and as I was being wheeled to my spot I groggily told the nurses I had a dream I was playing soccer while under. I naively believed that life had given us just one big test early on and we came out the other side with our hopes and dreams still intact. That was hard, but now it was time to coast for a while. In hindsight it seems so painfully ridiculous. I had no idea what the road ahead would hold, and that two years, more disappointments, and several nightmarish moments later, I’d not only be without a child, but also without my Dan.
There were times during doctor visits a nurse would ask if we had kids. I blankly stared ahead and said no, we didn’t. Once or twice I simply burst into tears. The most painful time was when Dan was getting his flu shot (necessary for a cancer patient) and the NP stated it was a blessing when I gave my dead-voiced “no, no kids” in response to that question I have learned to hate. I don’t know how I didn’t throw every piece of equipment in that room. No, it was NOT a blessing. It NEVER could be. I don’t know if I’ll ever carry the title of “mom.” I don’t know what anything is going to be like, but I do know I tried so hard, we both did. That day, that surgery, led to more surgeries, more struggles, more painful disappointments. It led to an ectopic during the first weeks of Dan’s cancer treatment. It led to a chemical pregnancy on the day that Dan died.
I’ve made it out the other side, and I’m still here, still able to smile and find some happy times. But the next time you hear someone doesn’t have kids, especially when going through a tough situation, please think twice before telling them it is a good thing, or a blessing, or a part of life’s plan. You don’t know what they desperately wanted and carry secretly under the surface. You don’t know. But I know, and I’m here if you’ve ever walked in my shoes. I have a big hug, a glass of your favorite booze, and an open ear any time you need it.