As a young girl, I watched my aunt cry from a far when she visited our home to see my mother. Being ten, I knew too well to tell the difference between having a baby bump and coming home without a baby. Somehow, I sensed that we would never see the baby. On asking my mother, she then brushed it off and mentioned a hard word ‘miscarriage’ explaining that aunt had lost her baby. It wasn’t until in my university days that I came to resonate with that term. However, when in my first year of marriage with Ben, we were plunged into a lifetime of having to understand and deal with it.
Ben loved me and I loved him too. Being campus friends, we developed a deep knowledge and liking for each other, such that marriage and wanting to have babies was our everyday dream from when we started dating. Fast forward, I remember my mother holding back tears on my wedding dance with Ben, and she whispered jokingly during the evening party that she couldn’t wait for us to bear a daughter so that she gets to have her name. As I winked back and savored my wedding day with all the invited guests enjoying the music, I took her words and stored them safe in my heart. That night, I mentioned to Ben about it lovingly and he smiled, as we imagined how having a daughter would be. That’s why a month later, our pregnancy test was the happiest moment. Seeing the two stripes marking positive beamed our faces. Ben and I were over the moon. Two days later, we were crash landing on earth and getting bruised horribly.
It all began when I woke up and felt a sense of unusual wetness. Sleepy, I pulled myself off the bed and went to pee. Alas! Looking into the toilet bowl, I see blood. At the time, I froze for some seconds and then shouted at Ben who came running. What was happening? Of course this wasn’t a good sign at all! Rushing to the hospital, we saw the gynecologist and our worst fears yet were confirmed. I was having a miscarriage and needed to undergo the uterine cleaning, together with some ultrasound scans to determine the cause of our misfortune. The grief that hovered around us that day still lingers to date. Our wedding was just months prior, such a happy event then this? Is this what for better and for worse meant?
Devastated, we went through the mini counseling session and were told that I had an ectopic pregnancy. This referred to the embryo being implanted onto the fallopian tubes instead of my uterus. Even if it made some sense, the worst was coming. As I sobbed, while trying to stop replaying the bleeding picture in my mind, the gynecologist revealed that he spotted my having a huge fibroid that was blocking my uterus wall. It was aligned to the left, which made sense, having that for a long time since my teens I often felt pain on my left abdomen. With Ben there to comfort me, I wailed like a baby. Were all our dreams shattered? Could we try again for another baby? All these questions would be answered during our one appointment where they would assess how I responded to the medication, and to mention whether I needed surgery to remove the fibroid, specifying which type was needed.
Driving home was a long, sad time. If you were inside our car, you’d realize that the mood was so sombre, no one said a thing. Since Ben was on leave, it made things easier. All of a sudden, the memory of my aunt when I was ten came to mind. I would cry, and so would my husband. We knew too well that bottling any emotions would break us when we needed each other the most. Thankfully, my mother came to stay with us for the month until we went for the appointment. The results and decisions by the doctors regarding the way forward with regards to my fibroids were out. Hard as it was for us we received the news on the hysterectomy recommendation calmly. The cat was out of the bag, I would have my uterus removed to save my life and prevent consequent pregnancies which would be altered by my fibroids.
Everything seemed to happening so fast. It was just the other day that Ben and I were discussing about having a baby, rubbing my pregnant belly as many newly wed couples imagine. The bittersweet part of the gynecologist visit was the news that they could harvest my eggs and freeze them for later use. To mean that if I could get a surrogate, it would be possible for an IVF procedure to be done, they carry the pregnancy and we become parents. As a woman, this decision which we settled to go ahead with to a huge degree tampered my my esteem for a bit. I mean, losing my uterus? That’s a heavy blow.The fact that Ben was still on leave really relived me. His support was so critical, especially in going through the paperwork of looking for a good surrogate.
When it’s mid year, we get to celebrate. The ups and downs and our marriage being tested greatly in the initial years of staying together. This time round as our anniversary approaches, we have more to be grateful for. One, is the healing I have had, being that my uterus was successfully removed. Second, we have our now three month old in our arms. I may not have born her yes but she’s a perfect representation of a miracle, a work of technology too and such a bright memory of my mother. You guessed it right, just as we wished, we named her after my mother. I guess being a mother now after my procedure really shows that nothing is beyond limits. Indeed, a miscarriage totally broke and reshaped me. Both physically and in perspective.