As a followup to my last post, I want to talk about my One Word for 2014: Hope. As I mentioned previously, this is going to be quite a bit more personal than last year’s word was, and probably emotional, at least for me.
After more than ten years of marriage, several of which had been spent believing that it just wasn’t possible without serious medical intervention, I ended up discovering on September 30, that I was pregnant.
It was shocking. I cried.
I felt a lot of different things over the weeks that followed. I was mostly just surprised, but there was a bit of fear, a lot of uncertainty, some days of pure ambivalence and moments of sheer dislike (for the various “joys” of being pregnant more than anything else). But most of all, I was really happy about the pregnancy. I grew up thinking occasionally about what it would be like some day to have children. Children were always in the plan until it seemed like they weren’t. To have that plan suddenly revitalized and dropped in my lap was overwhelming, in both good and bad ways.
The most difficult thing for the first several weeks was not talking about it. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Except I didn’t, because that first trimester can be so chancy.
So I kept my mouth shut, except for with a few people. And I didn’t tell anyone except for those people about all the other things that suddenly became huge considerations. Like that we were going to sell my new car and the house because otherwise, once I wasn’t earning my income, we were going to eventually end up in a financial hole.
Long story short, I kept a lid on things and finally endured enough days and weeks to go to my first midwife appointment. Going in, I had a premonition that there wouldn’t be a heartbeat and I’m glad I did, because I think that lessened the shock of discovering that, in fact, my baby had no heartbeat and a miscarriage was imminent.
Three days later, I did miscarry. I would have been 12 weeks had the pregnancy remained viable.
After the numbness passed, there was more tears and more mixed emotions, but mostly there was grief. There still is. I don’t believe this is something I’ll ever really full get over.
At and I would talk about various things in the days that followed. Did we want to try again? Did we want to try try or just not prevent? Was he okay? Was I okay? Talking about my pregnancy in the past tense was surprisingly difficult and I eventually got fed up with referring to the baby as an “it.” So I told At I believed he had been a boy but that I still wanted to name him Hope, because whatever, it wasn’t like anyone would pick on him at school. At countered with his belief that she had been a girl, and he thought Hope was fine name in any event because that’s what she had brought us.
So we named our baby Hope. And hope is my One Word for 2014, because, for as difficult and terrible as it was for me to miscarry, I don’t regret that any of it happened. I learned a lot about myself along the way, and I think I have grown as a person as a result. I also feel that my marriage is stronger now than it was before. There was plenty of good mixed in with the bad.
As I greet 2014, I want to do so with hope in my heart and a reminder that I get to choose to be thankful, or to look on the bright side. I get to choose to change my life if I want. I get to choose to try again.
And I get to choose to talk about the whole experience now and how it has impacted me. I honestly feel a bit like a fraud saying things like, “When I was pregnant,” even to At, just as a frame of reference for the time I’m talking about. But just because I didn’t tell many people about my pregnancy when it was happening doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen and didn’t change me profoundly.
I want to let it continue to change me. I’ve never been an optimistic person before, but given all the circumstances of the past few months, I really want to learn to allow myself to always hope for better days.
Do you have a One Word for 2014? What is it?