Today, July 31st, marks the 26th anniversary of the day I lost my first baby. I had a few miscarriages after that, a few perfect pregnancies followed years later by surprise twins.
But nothing, not since that day, has ever come close to the emptiness I felt leaving the hospital.
I didn't leave in a wheelchair holding a baby.
I didn't go to recovery and call for a nurse to bring my baby.
I didn't get balloons or a card.
I didn't even get privacy for my mourning. I was forced to cry quietly while the woman next to me complained about her sore throat from her tonsils being removed.
I was 16. A delinquent. An unwed teenager having unprotected sex. The father, a 19 year old who figured out the 3 year difference meant legal trouble for him. No male guidance for me then.
My first taste of physical abuse. The violent kind. The kind of violence that causes a desperate disgusting man to do whatever it took to end a criminal pregnancy.
He made it his mission to punch, elbow and kick me in the stomach until I started bleeding, then dropped me off at my mom's front door and never came back.
She was exhausted from trying to control me. I was exhausted from trying to survive in my own Hell.
All I could say was "Mom, I'm pregnant. And I'm bleeding."
My single, hard working mom had to embarrassingly tell her boss why she won't be there in 15 minutes.
The whole 20 minute ride to the hospital I'm convincing myself that it's ok. It'll stop. Everything's ok.
I'm casually given a private room in the ER. And that's when contractions really started. Full on labor. I freak out and stand up to ring the nurse and blood is dripping all over the floor. I scream.
Doctors and nurses rush in. They force me back down and they tell me to open my legs. Im scared. Just leave it be, i think. He takes one look at me, reaches down and puts the tiniest most perfect little baby, in a large jar, and hands it to me.
"I'm sorry your baby died."
A painful D & C followed, along with a wail that cried for pain, cried for my baby, cried for my poor mom, cried for life.
And that was it. My mother. My mother stood there watching the whole thing. Watched her dead grand baby come out. The look of loving admiration, the look of a proud parent, the look of unconditional love faded from her face.
Her little girl was gone. And she never came back.
The walk down the long corridor that day will forever be imprinted. I felt nothing. Yesterday, I felt baby hormones. I felt life.
Now, I felt empty. An empty I've never been able to explain, nor have I felt since.
No one got me help. No one pressed charges. No one said anything. No one bothered. It seemed to everyone that a "problem handled itself".
I was a problem that was better when I went away. I had to go to pysch. Ya, a 14 day hold should fix that right up.
I didn't realize it then, but that was Domestic Violence. It didn't matter anymore. The problem was gone.
I came home and pretended like nothing happened, just like everyone else.
Miscarriages, perfect pregnancies, surprise twins totalling five kids later..... doesn't replace the empty I felt that day. The empty that I feel every single July 31st, when I mourn a baby that never came. My first pregnancy.
That was a day that 2 women lost their daughters.
My baby girl died.
And I was no longer my mother's baby girl.