I stopped writing.
I do that. Stop doing things I love when I find myself at my most lost.
I stopped singing when my Dad died.
I stopped a whole lot of things after the birth of my son as I went through postpartum depression and processed my difficult birth experience. Some of that related to being a new mom; the missed showers, the lack of sleep. A lot of it related to how traumatized I was; the missed laughter, the missed enjoyment of almost anything for a long time.
It’s strange to go through segments of your life like that; where you find yourself going through motions and not really present. Before you know it you’ve lost some indescribable amount of time and some irreplaceable amount of present living and some inexplicable self-deprivation of things you love.
“You need to write about it,” my husband said. He would leave the computer window open to my blog, sitting silently on the screen collecting cobwebs and losing meaning.
“I will,” I would reply, and then busy myself with the comforting monotony of daily life tasks that never find themselves completed.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you write anything,” he would say again urgingly.
“I just don’t have anything to say,” I would lie, and he would pretend to believe me.
And so tonight, I’ll write about it.
The last time I wrote anything was on the eve of my 30th birthday. I was not-so-subtly freaking out about it and I had all these great post ideas about how I was going to reveal my hidden worries about turning thirty, or the things I was actually looking forward to about turning thirty, or maybe even breaking down that terrible list of what a woman “should” have accomplished by the time she turned thirty and revel in what I’ve accomplished instead.
Instead, I woke up on the morning of my 30th birthday and got ready for a hair appointment. In true “oh-my-God-I’m-turning-thirty” style I planned to get a drastic hair cut. I stopped on the way at this very nice French restaurant that serves lovely chocolate croissant pastries and a special Ginger Chai latte and ordered it to go. Only it’s been so long since I’ve treated myself there that they no longer serve the ginger chai latte and someone had just purchased the very last chocolate croissant.
Still optimistic, I continued on to my hair appointment where I showed my stylist a picture of the new cut I wanted, one that required chopping 7 inches off of my hair, adding layers, and adding some red highlights. (Did I mention the whole I-was-freaking-out-about-turning-30-part?) In order to add red, first we had to get out the blondish highlights that had been in during the summer, so my stylist matched my hair all back to it’s original color and than cut off all of my hair. Per my non-chocolate-croissant-eating request. (Side note: I don’t make good decisions when I’m hungry. Or, apparently, 30.) Then we went to add in the red.
And it came out bright purple.
Like, Halloween witch purple.
By the time all of this had occurred it was time for me to go pick my son up from school.
With short, purple, wet hair.
Despite my speeding I was a few minutes late to pick up my son who greeted me with a “Mommy, why is your hair purple? Is it for Halloween?”
I got us home and settled the toddler with lunch. I was feeling a bit sick but thought it was probably from the lack of eating and just my general state of being stressed about the day.
I went to the bathroom and then I saw it. All of the blood.
It had soaked through my clothes and the sickness I was feeling was cramping.
And then, I knew.
My husband came home from work about an hour later to find me hunched over, crying, with purple hair.
“I don’t think there’s a baby anymore,” I sobbed.
We quietly whispered our conversation and spelled words between the little voice that asked “Why is Mommy crying?” and “What are you guys talking about?”
“Do you want me to call and cancel tonight? I have something planned but you don’t have to go.”
“NO! It’s my fucking 30th birthday. I don’t want to spend it being completely miserable. This just isn’t how I wanted this to go,” I continued sobbing.
I found myself laying in our king sized bed surrounded by the hugs of my husband and my son and realizing that the short lived excitement of a June 2014 baby would never come true.
I had discovered the two tell tale pink lines on a pregnancy test just a little over a week before. And just to be sure, seen the words PREGNANT on another test. Within a week my husband and I had both discovered and lost a baby.
I called the OB/GYN who put told me to wait for the triage nurse to call. When she called she encouraged me to go straight to the emergency room.
“Why?” I asked. “Can they do anything? Or would it just be for informational purposes?”
“It would just be for informational purposes, but it’s important to know what’s going on with your body,” she replied.
“I already know what’s going on with my body. I’m having a miscarriage” I replied in my mind, but in reality it probably came out more like “Ok, thank you.” I’m an eternal people pleaser.
I talked to my husband about it and ultimately decided not to spend my 30th birthday sitting in an emergency room. I took some advil, splashed water on my face, and went back to the hair salon to get out the purple.
It was, after all, my birthday.
A few hours later my purple hair had been dyed black because it was the only way to cover up the color. It was not the look I was going for but it was styled and curled and I purchased a lovely red lipstick to fully embrace my bold new look. The reality of what was happening set in every time I went to the bathroom and every time I let myself think about it. I found myself crying as I drove home and again when my sister called and my husband accidentally answered the phone.
I had been avoiding all of the happy birthday calls and messages all day.
By 6:00 that evening I was dressed and had fixed my make up. A friend picked me up and drove me to a local restaurant where I was surprised by a group of girlfriends waiting for me. My husband had organized a girl’s night complete with pre-ordered appetizers and wine (which I happily drank. Because, in light of recent events, there was no reason for me not to.)
We laughed and drank wine and told stories. I was so thankful to be in the company of such sweet friends and to find moments of genuine joy in a day that had certainly not gone as I had imagined.
I came home late at night and curled into the arms of my husband. I heard my son sigh in his sleep across the hall and felt my cats curled up at my feet.
And finally, I slept.
Welcome to 30.