Written by Taylor Fixler
March 27th 2015. We were going out to dinner to celebrate. We were celebrating for two reasons; we celebrate the 27th of every month to honor the day we met, and I was also expecting our first child. We were full of joy and love and were so at peace with our impending title of parents. My husband parked the car in the lot behind the restaurant, we zipped up our coats, and started to walk through the lot. Ten steps from the car I experienced such a great cramp deep in my stomach and I nearly doubled over. My husband turned his head around looking for me when he realized I was behind him. I faked a smile and said I was coming so he wasn’t alarmed but he knew something was wrong. I assured him I was okay and we should keep walking so I can sit down in the restaurant. With every step was more pain and more cramping, my strides getting shorter and slower. My heart raced in fear. At some point we ended up in the restaurant and were seated, but that part I don’t remember clearly. My mind was wandering. I quickly excused myself to the restroom and rushed into a stall. I already knew there was blood. There was so much blood. I kept wiping thinking I could wipe it away and it would stop but it wasn’t stopping. I cleaned up as best I could and went back to see my husband. He had already ordered for us, and through tears and quick breaths I told him we had to go to the hospital. He threw a bunch of cash on the table which I remember thinking was weird because we never have cash. I had hoped the restaurant would understand there was an emergency but we didn’t see our waitress on the way out. We held hands and tried to tell ourselves that some women have spotting throughout their pregnancies and it’s normal. We tried to convince ourselves I was one of those women. We cried and prayed together. I was evaluated and taken for an ultrasound. The sac was empty, my cervix was opening and I was still actively bleeding. The doctor wanted me to follow up with my OBGYN on Monday if I was still bleeding, but said that if I don’t stop bleeding it was most likely a miscarriage. We went home in silence and went to bed. I got up in the middle of the night and walked across the hall into the baby’s room. I sat alone in the rocking chair, sobbed, and let go of my dreams for this child.
The next evening we had tickets to the opera Frida in Detroit. I was still bleeding but I thought it might be nice to go out and try to enjoy the night together. Do you know Frida’s story? She suffered a devastating miscarriage represented in her painting seen above “Henry Ford Hospital, 1932.” I was watching my own experience happen on stage in front of a large audience. I cried in my seat feeling so unbelievably connected to a soul I never knew. In her words, “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” I’m sure my story is not much different than yours in the end. We share in grief, in sorrow and in hope of the “what ifs.” We long for motherhood but still despise its unfair timing and exclusivity.
We went on to miscarry again twice before discovering I carried the MTHFR (the initials are very fitting!) gene and needed to be on blood thinners to carry a pregnancy to term. We welcomed our rainbow baby, a son, in February of 2017. He is our best friend and the light of our lives.
To the women still grieving, dreaming and longing for their own bundle please know you are not alone. Childlessness is not a visible illness. Please speak up, share your story and find the support you need.