Mommies without Babies

CW: MISCARRIAGE AND LOSS

I can spend hours online reading idiotic stories about the lives of celebrities and the way we interpret their lives while standing outside and catching glimpses like peeping toms. I don’t really know why. I always end up feeling grossed out.

Chrissy Teigen is someone I enjoy because she shares her life pretty openly and seems normal for someone who could spend more money on a pair of shoes than my family sees in a year. I like her self confidence and the way she doesn’t let the internet trolls get her down. When setting up my Instagram and Twitter profiles she was one of my first follows.

Today when I was snuggled in bed starting my day by scrolling my feed I saw that Chrissy had lost her quarantine surprise baby. In the midst of her nightmare she posted a loving tribute to her son, Jack on Instagram.

I am so grateful that she took the time to do this. I am especially more grateful because she knows by now that the reaction to her post will be overwhelmingly loving but there will be plenty of comments that will be anything but supportive of her in this time. I hope that as she heals, she can try to focus on the love.

When I was 17 and a junior in high school, I got pregnant. For most of my life, my most self destructive behaviour came in the forms of relationships. Either friendships where I was taken advantage of then abandoned, or romantic entanglements with broken people determined to break me further. While I wasn’t ready to end my relationship with the baby’s father, I absolutely knew that I didn’t want my whole future to be linked to him in parenthood.

Once I found out I was pregnant, I took being the baby’s guardian very seriously. All of my decisions came down to what would be healthiest for the little one even as I struggled with the options of adoption or young parenthood. While I obediently took my prenatal vitamin and shunned caffeine I also prayed that somehow the choices I was faced with would be taken from me.

Then I miscarried. I can still remember rushing to my mom and her face as she called the hospital and bundled me into the car. I remember the scans, the pain. I can remember how much I hated myself and my body for failing this tiny little person. I remember asking the sex of the baby and then immediately changing my mind. In my mind, the baby has always been a girl, and I have always missed her.

I eventually broke up with the guy. It took me much longer to get over the loss of my baby than it did to get over him. It took years before I could look at a baby and not wonder what I had done to have mine taken from me. I blamed myself for not being overjoyed in the face of pregnancy. I measured myself against the other young moms I met and wondered what I was lacking.

I am still shocked at the casual cruelty that met me after my miscarriage. Doctors asked pointed questions about drinking and drug use, which I didn’t do. Because this baby had been unplanned, it seemed expected that I would be happy, that the Christmas morning 2 days after the surgery removing the fetus from my body was going to be a new beginning. I remember sitting with a group of friends not too long after while they joked about how if they got a girl pregnant that they would “pay however much it costs to help her get a so-called ‘miscarriage.” I remember how quickly people wanted me to just stop talking about it. I remember the pressure to smile and laugh again.

That was more than 20 years ago. I feel like I’ve lived 2 lives since the loss of that baby. I have grown and learned and change. I have welcomed 2 beautiful children to the world. I’m okay.

I hope that Chrissy Teigen takes good care of her physical and mental health as she mourns her baby, Jack. I hope that she continues to share her life with us, and I hope that in doing so, she helps the world be a little more kind to mommies without their babies. Rest in Peace, Jack.

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