July is not my favorite month.
Two years ago, I found out I had cervical cancer.
One year ago (today), we lost our pregnancy to an ectopic rupture.
These are not life events I have easily bounced back from. At the age of 19 when my father died, I thought that was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. At the time, it was. But that grief was different. It stretched like taffy, pulling me to a breaking point again and again. But this experience? It broke me. Shattered me in splinters of my former self.
The last two years have been the happiest and the saddest of my life. Buying our house, finding out I have cancer, marrying Mr. Darcy, discovering I’m pregnant, losing the baby in an emotionally and physically traumatic way, Very high ups and downs. Since October I’ve just been trying to keep things slow, steady, routine, calm. As calm as can be when you’re trying to wrap your mind and heart around the paralyzing fact that you won’t be having biological children.
There are so many things in life I took for granted and having kids was one of them. I worried that I wouldn’t find someone to have them with or that I was too overweight or I was getting too old and then, after cancer, I worried I about being able to carry it to term. Years ago, before I even met Mr. Darcy, I thought about becoming a foster parent or adopting in that far off way you think about alternative plans. Never concretely. Never a Plan A. It’d be different if I never wanted biological kids, never wanted to experience pregnancy, hadn’t found a person I wanted to combine DNA with to make a baby. But I did want all of those things.
And when, after countless visits to numerous doctors, we looked at each other across the quiet car in a dim parking lot, heavy with medical information ripe with risks, we knew we’d reach our end. It was just far too much- too costly, too risky, too scary, too everything. For the last nine months we’ve let that finality wash over us- waves of grief, regret, and longing- standing in our own ocean as the seasons have changed, waiting to feel ready to move to shore.
There are always options. But when you’ve lost the opportunity to have your own biological kids, getting excited about the alternatives is extremely difficult. It’s not like we clap our hands and say, well, let’s move on! Because for a brief time we had that singular joy of being pregnant. We had picked out names for a boy and for a girl. We were preparing the nursery. Loved ones knew and were hopefully excited for us. The pregnancy could rupture in a day but the aftermath lasts a very, very long time.
So today, we’re going to spend it together away from work and phones and obligations. We’re going to get ourselves near a big body of water and linger. We’re going to enjoy the sunshine and the quiet as we honor what we’ve been though and contemplate what’s next.