Updated: Sep 23, 2022
Five pregnancies, one abortion, two miscarriages, and two live births. All such different experiences and I was a different person for each one. And after each one. At 25, I was in the throes of alcoholism and drug use. I was homeless. And trying to get on my feet. I found out I was pregnant when I was finishing my first trimester. I was such a wild child that missing my period didn’t even occur to me. I took a test and cried. And drank. But I knew. And I did what I had to do. I definitely had fleeting romanticized thoughts about keeping the baby - but there was no way in hell I was remotely ready. I was in my second trimester when I had my abortion. And what they didn’t tell me was what that hormone drop would do to me. I basically went through ppd. I was a mess. I mean, I was a mess regardless, but I was a super mess afterwards.
Seven years later- in a completely different town - in a different state - with a different fella- I was 10 days late. There’s no fuckin way I was pregnant. I had a 10 year IUD in. And I was on year 4! When that positive came back - I cried, y’all. I was not ready to stop partying! I know it sounds shallow…but drugs and alcohol reigned supreme. And I already bought the mushrooms I was going to do that weekend.
But I knew. I knew I was ready. I was with a partner who wanted the same things. We were definitely wanting to start a family, but we were hoping to wait a couple years. Oh well. My second pregnancy was the longest time since I started drinking that I was 100% sober.
After my kid was born, I continued to drink. But not even an inch of what I used to and I stopped doing the other drugs I used to dabble with. Two years after my kid was born, I decided after half a drink one night that I was done. It didn’t serve me anymore. I didn’t like who I was when I drank - not 10 drink me, not even 1/2 a drink me. Not a good look - let me tell you. Very chaotic - would I cry? Would I punch someone? Would I try to make out with everyone? Would I look for crack? That bitch was too much. She wasn’t fun anymore and I had a kid…a kid who will forever and ever be more fun and outrageous than any shot of whiskey or one night stand.
What they don’t tell you about sobriety is that - it fucking sucks. All the coping mechanisms you had before are out the window and you truly are not only raw dogging reality, but you’re also staring straight into all the bullshit that caused you to drink in the first place and all the trauma that kept that blackout train choo choo chooin! Insert therapy here. Insert a million “aha” and “oh fuck” moments. Insert self reflection and self learning. Insert trying for baby number 2. And insert my first miscarriage.
It was one of the super fun missed miscarriages. The kind where you walk around all “ yay I’m pregnant and feel awful and this is so great!!!” while the baby (yes I’m saying baby - I know) inside of you has stopped growing. My body knows I already have trust issues, why did she have to do me this way?! I was 11 weeks when I found out the baby stopped growing at 8 weeks. Let’s just say ugly crying in a paper mask with the ultrasound tech feeling super awkward is not ideal.
So I had three options- and I chose to take the misoprostol and pass the fetal tissue at home. It took forever. The plan was to take the meds and pass it before my kid got home. Well, it started right when my kid walked through the door. Awful cramps set and the rest is the rest. That was hard, y’all. That was hard to bounce back from.
We tried again that December. And 7 weeks later, I was getting out of my car to pick up my kid from daycare when I felt a huge gush of fluid. I knew what was happening. I put my kid in the car, called my doctor and was told how sorry she was. And there’s nothing we can do. “Call if your pad fills up super fast.” I went through this one alone. My husband was out of town. It was just me and my kid and my tears. You start to kind of feel silly for even getting excited. Like you just made a fool of yourself. Why did I even tell one person I was pregnant?! Side note: Let’s put “vulnerability” on the docket for my next therapy session.
I didn’t want to try again. I just wanted to give up. Things have shifted. I felt numb. What was wrong with me? Was it me? Was it my husband? Is the universe trying to tell me I’m a shit mom and to stop procreating? That fall we went camping and I was eating a turkey sandwich. All of a sudden, it seemed vomit worthy to me. I couldn’t eat it anymore. When we got home, I took a pregnancy test and there it was - anxiety slapping me in the face - you’re positive bitch. Pregnancy is a hell of a lot scarier when you try for it, really want it and have had some losses under your belt. But this baby persevered. I went to some dark places during my pregnancy - some really awful scenarios played in my head. I said affirmations daily to ease the consistent uncertainty. And it wasn’t until I felt the baby kick that that anxiety eased up. And I got to enjoy my pregnancy - even the really awful parts. My baby was born healthy and happy (and with one of the most beautiful umbilical cords I have ever seen - I mean it was THICK and spiraling - oof! - tooting my own horn here). And my beautiful, perfect older kid has a beautiful, perfect sibling. And I’m a 100% sober mom. And I’ve had 5 pregnancies. And each one I had a choice. Would I do it all over again? Yes - a hundred, million times - yes.