Yesterday was a strange sequence of events. In the morning, I prepped most of my class, filed a new article to my editor at Slate (a tongue-in-cheek-but-also-mostly-serious suggestion that unemployed PhDs be employed to teach underserved student-athletes), watched it post, and then I went to what I hoped would be the first routine obstetrician’s appointment for my brand-new first pregnancy ever. By now you know that was not to be–instead, no heartbeat, just some heartbreak. (Then I had to finish prepping my class–if you think reading Kant’s Was ist Aufklärung is annoying on the BEST of days, well…)
But I have to say I am doing better today than I thought possible. Not fantastic by any means, but there have been several moments of laughter in our house in the last 24 hours (some at very inappropriate jokes, because both my husband and I are big gallows humorists), and there has been so much comfort pouring in at me from what feels like every corner of the world.
What I learned from going public with this miscarriage-t0-be (still have an agonizing week before the final ultrasound confirms it) will stay with me for the rest of my life. I learned that literally almost every single woman I know (and many I don’t) have experienced miscarriages–and that many then went on to have kids (some of which they have offered to me; I guess two and fourteen are difficult ages). I learned from a wonderful old friend, who is now a nurse, that second pregnancies after a miscarriage very often take, and that the odds are actually very much in my favor. I learned that many, many women appreciated reading my experience because it helped them feel less alone.
Sometime during yesterday’s roller coaster, I got a nasty Tweet from a Slate reader, to which I responded: “You realize I had a miscarriage today. Maybe leave me the fuck alone.” He responded in a torrent of mansplaining righteousness that how DARE I not act like a PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST on Twitter, and that I should “try not to overshare.” I was too raw and hurt from the doctor’s appointment to respond how I wanted to–but Sarah Kendzior, her husband Pete, and my friend Robert all did, and for that I thank them.
But what I want to say is: if my experience has shown me anything, it’s that “oversharing” this experience was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Nobody has been cruel. Everyone has been kind. I have felt supported by the strength of hundreds of hands holding me up. To any women out there who want to share their experiences with non-ideal pregnancy but feel like it’s not “proper” to–I hope you’ll reconsider. I hope you’ll say whatever you want, whenever you want. I hope you’ll pay mansplainers no mind. Because it helps. It helps so, so much.
Here’s to a better day already. Thank you all.