“‘I… think… miscarriage,’ I gasped, barely able to string words together.”
Around two in the morning, I laid on the cool tile of my bathroom floor, naked, as thin lines of sweat slid down my side and along the outline of my rib cage before puddling beneath me. I heard myself panting as pain in my lower abdomen quickly reached a crescendo with a pulsing, stabbing burn.
Is this what it’s like to have a miscarriage?
Disappointment came quickly as scenes from life skipped through my mind. Eyes clenched, I thought of my sweet little boy who was six-years-old and how I’d always hoped to give him a sibling. Everything I’d been through so far (I was on my second marriage) and all the things I dreamed of and wished for (especially another child) flooded my thoughts until they were interrupted by another jolting blow to my stomach.
Barely able to breath, let alone move, I called my husband’s name. I needed him near, to hold my hand or call for help if needed. I was terrified.
Another paralysing cramp forced me into a fetal position, ironically.
I called his name again.
A long pause.
“What is it?” he asked as he stumbled into the bathroom.
“I… think… miscarriage,” I gasped, barely able to string words together.
“Stay?” I pleaded.
"What am I supposed to do?" he huffed with a carelessness that shocked me. I wish I could forget the dismissiveness in his voice and the look of impatience on his face. To this day, I still hear it, see it.
He stepped over me and went back to bed without another word.
Pain rushed through me, only it wasn't in my stomach, but my heart. Was this really happening? Did he just walk away? Had I married a man who had no idea how to console, comfort, show love or concern for his potentially dying wife who was in the throes of a miscarriage? How had I missed his egregious lack of empathy? We'd only been married four months. Four months.
As beads of sweat continued to pour down my sides, I forgave myself for having no surefire way of knowing his inability to support until the moment he failed to do so.
In an instant I knew the marriage was over.
This wasn't just a chip at the respect I had for him, but more like an enormous gauge leaving sharp edges that couldn't be softened by forgiveness or time or hope or prayer. Nothing could erase what he did (or didn't do).
The idea of forever when it came to marriage slipped away as I had the biggest epiphany of my life: I deserved better. Prior to marrying him, I had very little self-esteem. And it was only in this moment of obvious neglect that I somehow got my groove back. I could not, would not, stay with someone who had no problem allowing me to suffer.