I’m ready! I just want to have a baby. I know we can handle it. We have so much love between us, it seems wrong NOT to share it with a baby!
It took some convincing on my part because Jerry Patterson wasn’t so sure we were ready (he’s always been the more mature and rational one of us) but after a few months, we both agreed and got right to work!
Now keep in mind that 22 years ago, we didn’t have the luxury of a google search to help us figure out when the best time to conceive was and ovulation kits didn’t exist, so… I made a chart.
I learned how to read a thermometer and I took my temperature three times a day, every day. The chart was taped to the mirror in the bathroom and I stared at it every time I brushed my teeth, peed or put make up on my face.
I was obsessed with the idea that my ovary was gonna drop an egg and our love was gonna turn it into a baby!
I waited patiently for my body temperature to rise by .4 or more! I was almost as excited about taking my temperature as I was about conceiving a baby!
One Sunday afternoon, we were about to leave to go to a friend’s bbq. I was getting dressed and realized it was time to take my temperature. I shook the thermometer for the billionth time, stuck it under my tongue and picked out a pair of shorts and a shirt to wear. A few minutes later, I pulled the thermometer out of my mouth, held it up and almost fell on the floor when it said 99.2!!!!
“JERRY! IT’S TIME! I’M OVULATING!!!”
I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. Needless to say, we were a little late for the bbq…
Now we all know the “rule”, right? Don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until you’re at least 12 weeks along… But no one ever said don’t tell anyone you JUST ovulated, JUST had sex and NOW think you’re pregnant! So, I did… I told EVERYONE! It was the talk of the bbq.
The next day, I ran out and bought my first pregnancy book, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” and continued to celebrate this new pregnancy with anyone who would listen (keep in mind, I wasn’t positive I was even pregnant BUT I was convinced that I was).
A few weeks later, my pregnancy was confirmed by a home pregnancy test and I made my first appointment with my OB. I had never been so happy in my whole life and found myself fantasizing about being a mother with every spare second of each day.
At what would have been 10 weeks into this pregnancy, I decided that a new mother should not have a long and wild mane of hair and made an appointment to get a “mom haircut”. Me! A haircut… I never do THAT!
When she took that black cape off, I looked like MY interpretation of a mom. I didn’t look like ME but I looked like a “mom”. Silly, right?
I made my way to the ladies room, took one last look in the mirror and then sat down to pee. That’s when it happened…. Blood… I saw blood!
I came out of the bathroom and was visibly upset. The hairdresser wanted me to sit down but I had to get out of there. I just had to go. Where did I have to go? I didn’t know, but I felt like I was racing. I got in my car and thought… this can’t be happening… Maybe it’s normal… Maybe it doesn’t mean anything… This is terrible… I can’t believe it… OK, maybe everything is fine… My mind was racing and my heart was pounding.
I went to the emergency room.
In retrospect, the emergency room was a bad idea… I was 24 years old, financially unstable, my baby was dying and no one cared. There was no explanation, no compassion, no concern. I was alone and feeling desperate. I was completely devastated and could barely get a glass of water from these people.
“It looks like you’re miscarrying, go home and call your ob on Monday. You may pass a “mass” don’t worry, that’s normal.”
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?!?!
I went home and cried all weekend, in bed with the covers over my head. I prayed that this wasn’t happening and even convinced myself that they were wrong in the emergency room… until I passed the “mass”.
Monday afternoon, I went to see my doctor. She confirmed my loss and sent me for a D&C.She not only took out the remains of that pregnancy with that D&C, she also sucked out a piece of my heart with that equipment of hers.
Why did this happen to me… What did I do to deserve this… Terrible decisions from my past were haunting me and I felt disgusting.
I went to bed. For 2 weeks. I kept the lights off and stayed under the covers. I heard people come and go. I heard the vacuum cleaner and the dishwasher go on and off but I accepted no visitors. Jerry would bring in flowers as they were delivered and place them on the dresser and I wouldn’t even ask who sent them. My baby was dead and a piece of me died too. I begged G-d to give me children and I swore to him that I would make it my life’s work to do right by them if He did.
I eventually came out of my room and when I did, I wished it were all just a bad dream. I didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened and emotionally, I couldn’t handle sympathetic hugs or smiles. I just wanted the pain and heartache to go away.
It is now 22 years since this nightmare and although my heart is filled with joy and happiness for all of the things I have been given, I reserve a tiny corner of my heart for the pain and heartache that will always reside there…
Authored by: The Rock n’ Roll Doula