For a year and a half before my husband and I even started trying to get pregnant, I voraciously devoured any kind of information on pregnancy, birth, and parenting I could get my hands on. I watched documentaries, read countless blogs, books, talked to friends, interviewed a midwife…all in the name of finally getting knocked up. And let me tell you–I thought I knew it all. I was going to have the perfect pregnancy. I was going to do everything right. I was going to give birth in a birth center using hypnosis, breast feed exclusively for at least the first three to six months, then pump religiously when I went back to work. I was going to baby-wear, co-sleep for a few months, practice elimination communication, and I had even begun thinking about making my own baby food. I was going to be the perfect mom, have the perfect husband, and have the perfect child. Anyone who did things differently than me just wasn’t as educated as I was, obviously.
But then everything came crashing down. I got pregnant. And I lost the baby. And everything changed. All my dreams of that perfect life went out the window. I realized that so much of what I envisioned for myself was totally out of my control. During the short time I was pregnant, I did everything right, and things still didn’t go the way I’d planned. I tried to miscarry naturally but I couldn’t. And to my horror, I wound up in the one place I vowed never to step foot in during the course of my pregnancy: a hospital. My body couldn’t do what it needed to do on its own and I needed help. I had a D&C performed on August 12th, and surprisingly, the surgery was the least painful part of the whole damn experience.
Sometimes, life veers off track. You never anticipate these things will happen to you. Since my miscarriage, I see things differently. I have more compassion for the women around me who make different birth and parenting choices than I would. Some women simply can’t give birth naturally or breast feed. And some just don’t want to. What I’ve learned from this experience is that everybody’s journey is unique and special in its own wonderful way, and my job as a woman is to offer support, not judgment. I began my blog earlier this year and chose the name “Lessons in Life and Light” because I wanted to blog about two of my favorite things: life and photography. I never knew how much meaning the title of my own blog would hold for me, because this is truly the biggest lesson I have ever learned in my life.
I am eagerly awaiting the return of my cycle so that my husband and I can try again. I still hope to have that perfect, magical pregnancy (barfing, bloating, and all). I still plan on having a natural birth in a birth center using hypnosis. I still plan to breast feed and pump, baby-wear, co-sleep, and practice elimination communication early on (although I was obviously smoking crack when I was contemplating that whole baby food thing). But if things don’t go the way I plan, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Because I know now that so much of it is truly out of my hands. What I can control though is the amount of love I offer my child and other women out there who are finding their own way just like me.