February 4, 2011

The errand

          After six months of trying, which is not really a long time but had felt like it, the pink line appeared on the pregnancy test stick. Actually, five of them, because my husband was in shock and did not believe they were accurate. We were elated. But that joy was short lived, as I miscarried early on.
          The timing was awful. We were visiting my hometown for my 20th high school reunion. I did get to attend the festivities. But later in the weekend, I began to experience alarming symptoms. We were staying with my best friend from college and his partner. They hosted a gathering for old friends of mine so I could get together with people I didn’t go to high school with but wanted to see.
          I started to have bleeding and cramping right as the first guests were arriving. I wasn’t 100% sure it was a miscarriage, but I knew it wasn’t good. I wanted to run up to the guest room and hide. I was not feeling the least bit social. But people had driven a long way to see me, so I stuck it out.
          My husband was aware of the situation, and we were not ourselves. I’m sure our friends could tell something was going on from our demeanor, no matter how hard we tried to act normally. We did the best we could to be social and welcoming.

          That night, after everyone had left, things escalated, and there was no doubt I was losing the baby. The pain was excruciating, the bleeding severe. I actually had contractions, and they wracked my body with spasms all through the night.
          He held me as I cried out in pain and sobbed in sorrow. He was freaked out, and wanted to take me to the hospital. But I had called my OBGYN’s office and they told me under what circumstances we should do that. I wasn’t at that point. My symptoms were terrible, but sadly normal for such an event.
          As painful as the situation was, there was one part that made me laugh, even then. Because I was bleeding heavily and did not have anything to tend to that, and was in terrible pain, I had to send my husband and my gay best friend to the grocery store for maxi pads. I will never forget the panicked, confused phone call:



          "I'm sorry to bother you," my friend said sheepishly. "But there's quite an extensive selection. You didn't say what you wanted..."

          “They have an ENTIRE AISLE of them,” my husband exclaimed after grabbing the phone. "How are we supposed to know?!" 
  
          I could not help but laugh, even through my tears. I hadn't been specific. Having not used maxi pads since I first got my period and my mom introduced me to the hideous belt contraption her generation had used, I wasn’t even sure what they should get. 
          My friend held up the boxes so my husband could read the product names over the phone until I heard what I thought I needed. When he said, “overnight” and “wings,” I told him to grab the box and get out of there. And to bring back alcohol. I could drink now, and desperately needed to.



I am once again participating in The Red Dress Club writing meme. This week's assignment, for us nonfiction writers, was to write a piece no more than 600 words, 3 minutes read aloud, about a time of laughter mixed with tears. The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, and felt like the perfect fit for the assignment. I made a few minor adjustments to meet the criteria, but this is pretty much how it appears in the book...


32 comments:

  1. Stunning and sad. I love that last line. It lingers

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing your story, so eloquently written. I understand that pain too and know you are never alone. So amazing that not only your husband your best friend was also there for you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had tears in my eyes. Ugh, painful but at least there was some laughing. Thanks for sharing. I felt like I was right there with you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad there was something in this situation that could make you laugh. But really, I'm sorry for your loss. I think a miscarraige must be one of the most heartbreaking and crushing experiences to go through.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So very sad Elizabeth but I can see your husband panicking in the aisle. You've described this perfectly. Just wish it didn't happen to you.

    And happy to be able to read a sneak peek of your book! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. *Hugs* I had two miscarriages before I finally had my kiddos, so I know how devastating they can be. But humor can be found in just about any situation, even tragic ones. It's one of life's gifts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm sorry for your loss! It's amazing that you were able to see the humor in such an awful situation. Poor men ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard. But I'm glad you had a source of comic relief amidst the pain. Great job with the prompt!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the part where your husband and friend call you from the store! I laughed outloud!

    I am so sorry for your loss. I experienced the same thing a few years ago and it is a very sad time. It is lovely to read from another person who went through the same thing, and was able to put genuine laughter amongst the sadness.

    So glad I stopped by.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am so very sorry for your loss. But I think you are amazing and strong for sharing it. BRAVO! I am glad you linked up and more people need to read this. I have never miscarried, but I had fertility issues and 2 rounds of IVF finally got us twin girls in 2005.

    I loved the way you told this---simply. Like you were just telling the story. Relatable. Like I was there, like I wanted to give you a hug, curl up and watch a movie with you....and I would have gone to buy the pads for you....and brought back ice cream and wine, too!
    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm sorry for your loss. This was so well written, very conversational. I can just imagine the panic your husband and friend were in when they got to "the aisle". :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. The fact that you could find the humor in anything during that period speaks to your character and strength.

    The visualization of that story is priceless and I could totally see it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've been there and done that. Wonderful piece. Sad to live it. Well done.
    -honestconvogal

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh how heartbreaking. Great job writing about it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Honestly, I can't even believe that you and your husband continued to try and be social when it all started! The maxi pad confusion on everyone's part was a great mixture of funny, sad and exasperating because I too cannot remember the last time I even used one, forget about buying a box.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am so sorry for your loss. I miscarried my first pregnancy and it seemed like everyone said the wrong thing--unintentionally of course! When I told one of my coworkers, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "That really sucks." Finally someone had said the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm sorry that you had to go through that. It's so difficult.
    I had to smile though when you got the phone call!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So heartbreaking, and yet there is always humor to be found. It's what ultimately keeps us going.

    And if there was a camera for the first time a guy was sent into the feminine supplies aisle, it would be the funniest thing EVER! Talk about deer in headlights!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very nicely written. I enjoyed this fine piece of writing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you, everyone. I appreciate your comments. This took place in October 2007. Since then we have welcomed our beautiful daughter. All truly is well that ends well. If I hadn't miscarried, SB would never have been born. And I can't imagine my life without her now. But the pain of loss never really leaves us...

    ReplyDelete
  21. This was amazing.

    Your writing brought tears to my eyes and then...the laughter. I can just imagine the confusion of two men shopping for maxi pads.

    I can't wait to read more.

    (Visiting from TRDC)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can hardly imagine how much it would have been difficult to write this. Miscarriage sucks. I am so sorry for your loss. So very sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So tragic, and to not be in the comfort of your own home. The whole thing just sucks. You have a way of making the reader feel that.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ok- first I wanted to cry, and then you made me laugh. So I'm not really sure what to say at this point...except, I am sorry for your loss, happy for you w/the new news, and thanx for the giggle...because I can just imagine the panic your hubby and friend encountered when they got to "the aisle"!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm sorry that you had to go through this too, and I admire that you could write about it. I love that life always seems to give us a bit of something to break through the most horrible of moments. I think they re neccessary for our survival. And I think you captured that here.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am so sorry that this did happen for you. I do love though how you captured a moment in which you were able to laugh in utter sadness and worry. Such is life.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am so sorry for your loss, I have experienced the pain of loss as well. The piece was beautiful, I was crying with you and then laughing with you too.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So sad, so beautifully written. I'm sorry for your loss but honored that you've chosen to share the story with us.

    ReplyDelete
  29. oh, god... the husband and the gay friend buying maxi pads. it's like something from a movie.

    and if it gave you the opportunity to laugh in that moment, better than a film.

    so brave and generous of you to share your story.

    ReplyDelete
  30. So sorry for your loss...beautifully written, as always. Thanks for sharing your story mama.

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a horrible experience. You did an excellent job of putting this difficult time into words. Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh, honey, what a painful story. I am sorry you went through this.

    ReplyDelete

I value your input, and appreciate your taking the time to not only read, but also comment on this post! Thank you! Please come back often and keep the discussion going...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts with Thumbnails