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The First Miscarriage, part one

September 28, 2009

I really don’t remember the exact moment I knew I was pregant.  It was 1977 and there were no fancy “pee” sticks you could buy so you could find out in private.  No, you had to go to a doctor who asked lots of questions.  We were planning on getting married, but we weren’t yet.  Today, no one would have given us a second thought.  We were feeling so many things at the same time.  We were excited and happy beyond belief, yet there was also the flip side.  What would our friends and family say behind our backs.  We knew everyone all ready thought we were too young and not ready to get married.  We were still both in college.  I had just turned 19, and  he would be 20 in June.  What were we thinking!  There were days spent looking at my calendar, counting days, getting in to the college health clinic, my head was spinning with how we would work this whole thing out.  There would be a wedding, then a baby, and more college, and no money.  Despite all that, we knew together we would get through it.  He never told me once that he had any doubts, but I sure did.  Was he the “right” one, could we really handle a baby, how on earth would we pay for this?  I was ashamed, scared and excited all at the same time.  It never once crossed my mind that there would be a problem with the pregnancy.  Then the spotting began.  At first, just a couple of red spots now and then.  I had read that it was not abnormal to have a little spotting, especially around the time your period would have been.  I really didn’t think a thing about it.  Then, the spotting began to be almost daily.  Then, I was cramping, and more spotting.  I will never forget the phone call I made to the clinic .  I had found a doctor that would take me as a patient.  I had seen them once.  They told me to take some vitamins, eat well, and sent me to work out a payment plan.  They never once mentioned the word miscarriage.  I waited for that return call, half out of my mind not having any idea about what to do or what was happening.  The doctor was talking to me, in a very hard and matter of fact voice.  The words , I could barely understand.  He was saying, there was nothing to do, just go to bed and rest.  In most cases this meant you were going to miscarry.  In my head I was screaming, what?  Nothing to do?  Miscarriage?  I was not going to have a baby?  What had I done?  How could this be happening to me?  I don’t think  I even asked one question. 

Now, I had to go to bed, but it was finals.  I called one professor after another.  Could I do the test next week, I was to stay in bed, I was pregnant but the doctor had said I was probably having a miscarriage. I heard understanding and sorrow filled voices telling me to worry about my health.  We could work everything out.  But I just could not except it.  It just couldn’t be happening.  So, when I stopped bleeding, I was so relieved.  I thought, I’m going to have a baby after all.  Somehow my mind just shut down and I stopped thinking about it.  I had finals to make up, a wedding to finalize, and packing up to go home.  I had stopped bleeding, I had stopped thinking. 

I threw myself into the hard work that I had to get done.  I did it , too.  I managed to finish the school year and complete all my courses and pass !  I cleaned my home from top to bottom, getting ready for all the family that was coming for the wedding.  We had a beautiful wedding.  We had managed to keep the pregnancy a secret, or so we thought.  We knew that his parents knew.  That had been one of the first questions his mother had asked him, is she pregnant?  I was standing next to him when he had made the phone call to tell his parents we were getting married.  I heard his quiet shamed filled response, yes.  I didn’t need to ask, I knew what had been the question.  We both stopped thinking and just went ahead with what we were supposed to do.  We didn’t talk.  Didn’t know what was about to happen.

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