August

My name is not August, although that is the handle I’ve chosen for this blog. August is a month of significance for me. Shortly after my husband and I bought our first home, our condom usage started to become erratic. It was kind of exhilarating, toying with the risk of pregnancy as we were, and after talking to each other we decided that we were open to whatever happened. We weren’t trying, but we weren’t preventing either (P.S., “not preventing” counts as “trying” no matter what you try to tell yourself).

It only took two months. Back then, my period was like clockwork and I could usually predict it within a two hour span. It was twelve hours late (I told you! Clockwork!) so I tested merely out of habit. It came up immediately and undeniably positive.

My due date was in August. We were beyond thrilled, and so was everyone else. I did a lot of reading, so I knew that miscarriage was not rare, especially so early in a pregnancy. Everyone kept referring to the eventually baby in terms of “when” and I always corrected them with an “if.” They told me not to worry, not to be so paranoid.

Two month into my pregnancy, we went to see the heartbeat for the first time and…there was no heartbeat. I had miscarried sometime around Christmas and hadn’t even known it. That quickly, it was all over.

It was the worst time of my life. I spiraled into a depression and Marcus and I fought frequently about whether or not we should try again. In the meantime our contraceptive use was spotty; sometimes we used condoms and/or withdrawal, and sometimes we didn’t use anything at all. I was angry, bitter, depressed, and just so full of sorrow for all that I’d lost. It was the worst and darkest time of my life.

We started trying again in earnest in June. My due date in August came and went; mostly it was a normal day, until the night fell, when we wept together in the dark.

Months passed and my period came with dismaying regularity. I started to fear that there was something wrong with me; after six months of spotty contraceptive use followed by 5 months of no contraceptive use, I should have been pregnant. Finally, after Thanksgiving, we got the positive that we wanted. I was pregnant again. And I was due in August.

Eve was born on August 17th, 2009, twenty-four hours after my water broke at home. This month is her month, and while I still think about my miscarriage and even occasionally still cry over it, August is no longer entirely associated with the memory of loss. It’s the month in which I first heard my daughter’s cry, first looked into her eyes, first touched the hair on the top of her head, first brought her to my breast. She transformed a time of sorrow into a time of joy, and we will be celebrating the anniversary of the day she introduced herself to us in just a couple of weeks. She has changed and grown and given us so much since last August that I can hardly believe it.

This month is our month, so expect a fair amount of Eve-centric posts this month. She is a wonderful little person and I’m looking forward to sharing more about her with you all.

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3 Responses to “August”

  1. Link Love: Breastfeeding Awareness « She Has My Eyes Says:

    […] She Has My Eyes anti-bigotry and anti-bullshit parenting « August […]

  2. Marcus Says:

    I was thinking about this myself. Reading that post brought back some memories, definitely. Honestly i haven’t even thought about anything baby related from BEFORE Eve, since she’s been born (if that sentence made any sense).

    It’s interesting to think back on.

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