My wife and I should be bringing home a new baby today, but instead we are mourning not one, but two children on this traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates deceased little ones. That’s right, we should be bundling up a brand new baby and beginning the new incarnation of the Marston-Simmons family, except that Timaree had a miscarriage in April at only ten weeks gestation.
As educated women, we understand that miscarriage is common and often unexplainable. Perfectly healthy mothers can lose a pregnancy for no other reason than something went wrong. We know many women who have experienced miscarriages, some of them multiple miscarriages. Each woman experiences these events differently. Some can treat it as a speed bump, a minor obstacle on the path, while others grieve these lost pregnancies bitterly.
Our women friends shared their stories with us, offered compassion, and gently reminded us that this miscarriage had nothing to do with Cameon’s death, and that the two were totally unrelated. They treated it as a speed bump and were completely confident that we would have a successful pregnancy in the near future. As much as I would have liked to follow their lead, for me, it wasn’t a speed bump; it was a blind ditch, and I jackknifed into it.
Caemon’s death and Timaree’s miscarriage may have no causal relationship, but they are not unrelated, not to us, because these are our children, one who we knew and adored, and the other a wondrous mystery yet to be discovered, but both were ours, and we lost them. A speed bump to some, but to us it was devastating, and whether it be bad luck or fate or biological flukes, we are still waiting to welcome a child into our lives.
In the meantime, the earth keeps orbiting, more babies get born, more kids start kindergarten, and life goes on—for everyone else.
Forgive the profanity, but what the fuck? Seriously, we haven’t lost enough? Why do junkies get to have babies and we don’t? Why did I survive when my mother chain-smoked and drank during her pregnancy with me? Timaree doesn’t smoke or drink; she walks regularly, eats well, and follows all of the pre-natal advice, including giving up sushi!
Losing this pregnancy shook her off her foundation. Of course she blamed herself, her weight, her age, and began to seriously question her body’s ability to produce a healthy, living child. This pained me greatly. My sweet wife has put so much pressure on herself to have a baby, to make us moms again, and her pain at not being able to do so compounds all of this so much more. I hurt for her, for me, for the whole damn thing.
I withdrew from the world, folded into myself, and began to accept suffering as a way of life, one I was less and less interested in being a part of. Grief can distort the personality, transforming people in surprising ways. Some people take their grief and turn it into a cause, a mission, a faith, something positive or inspiring. But mine has taken a different turn; as a sociable extrovert, being around people has always been a life force for me, but this miscarriage turned me into a recluse.
I am the cliché, “She was never the same after her child died.” You don’t know what to say to me; it’s okay, I don’t know what to say either. The Jodi that people knew prior to Caemon’s death is gone forever, and trying to pretend otherwise is exhausting. That woman had so much more to give to her students, her friends, and her wife than I have. She was more confident and capable, but more importantly, she had hope. There will be some parts of myself that are lost to me forever, but the one piece of myself I wish to recover the most, is hope. While hope may play no part in the outcome of life events, living without it is a dark existence. As I try to move beyond my despair, I pause on this day to say goodbye to the Halloween baby, nicknamed goblin, and reclaim my one true hope.
This time of year, the veil between worlds thins, so I send out this heartfelt plea: if any souls are waiting to come into this world and want two loving mothers who will shower you with affection, please consider us. We would love to get to know you and make you a part of our family. We are ready when you are.