Losses and Wins. Death and Life. Grieve and Conceive. Wait and Hope. Deferred….A Dream…
It was always weird to me that a woman had to wait to celebrate conceiving a child. What a gift, a joy, perhaps even a surprise but nonetheless it’s magical.
So many women conceive and are alone in their joy. So many try to conceive and are alone as they wait and so many women experience loss and are alone in their grieving.
I am one of those women who has lost but has made the choice to not do so alone.
I was on a complete high. Celebrating my first born’s second birthday, sharing with everyone we were pregnant again, about to ink my first series regular in a pilot series, and opening the MIRROR showroom in LA. Truly, life couldn’t have been sweeter.
As I touched down in LA I received an email from my agent that we didn’t get the final signature for the deal. No deal. I cried and touched my belly, headed to the mall and focused on my blessings, not that loss, although it stung like HELL!
I bought a fly dress for the opening party and headed to the bathroom. As I turned to flush the toilet, it was filled with blood. Blood.
As I type I am flooded with the feeling. You never forget, although you certainly try.
With my pants around my knees, I immediately called my midwife. She was phenomenal and kept my hope alive. I knew my baby was gone but I tried to hold on to my hope. I ran through everything I had done, blaming myself for lifting my suitcase. She said, “No way.” There is nothing, absolutely nothing I did wrong. I thanked her, sobbed and called my mother.
My mother was with my husband and son at dinner. I needed my mommy to help me hold it together, then I told my husband who was so incredibly strong. I called my doula, Lindsey Bliss, who is the dopest human I know. (Everyone please get a doula!) When I tell you she kept my puzzle pieces together, she did.
I frantically called every doctor I could think of and no one would see me, even with a PPO!
I had to endure two days of not knowing what my future would hold. Bleeding and waiting.
I wiped my tears, put my face on and my cute new dress and attended the party….numb and confused. The next day I went to the doctor who confirmed, “I am sorry there is no baby.”
I drove in the rain in Los Angeles (I thought it never rained in LA, but it did that day) back to my dark hotel room, had some cries and said, “F*** this! I am going to take myself to lunch with my friend Rose.”
I needed a day before I headed back to reality in NYC as a wife, mom, worker, etc etc.
I went right back to work. “Hello everyone my name is Rachel Nicks and welcome to the MIRROR.” I encouraged, motivated and led everyone through their workouts. I went right back to cooking and cleaning and mothering.
Then I began to wash my hair and pulled out chunks. Everytime I washed my hair, it reminded me of that horrifying moment at the mall in a public bathroom alone losing my baby. My husband was convinced she was our little girl. I lost our little girl……
We had such a successful baby one journey, that we peed on a stick and told everyone about our gift right away. Because of this, we had no choice but to share the loss almost immediately.
Being a mother helped me navigate through my loss. But loss is a f***ing loss.
So, if you experience a miscarriage, here’s what worked in my own experience to pass onto you:
- When I got pregnant with my first, my two grandfathers told me, “You are pregnant today and today we will celebrate. If that changes tomorrow we will deal with that tomorrow.” I will never forget those words and I really hope if you take anything from my story you take that.
- Celebrate today and deal with the what ifs of tomorrow, when and if they arrive.
- Use the support of your family and friends – you don’t need to go through it alone.
- Take the time you need, especially from work. You deserve it and you need it.
I wish I could say that I grieved…but I didn’t. I moved too quickly. I really want us to create space for women to grieve their losses. Your body, emotions, spirit, relationship, family are all experiencing a loss and need time to heal.
My final pieces of advice?
- Life goes on. It really does.
- Process your pain
- Keep hope alive
- SHARE YOUR STORY. You never know who you may help and even more importantly you will be helping yourself by sharing.