It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, there’s a reason for that, and this is my therapy for it. At the end of February, I found out I was pregnant. Then I wasn’t, then I actually still was and then I had surgery and now I am pregnant again. That’s even exhausting to type.
My point though, is this; what I realized through all of this is that rediscovering the things in life that make you happy – friends, babies, fashion – can ultimately pull you back from the deepest darkness.
On May 15th, I was getting ready to go to a girlfriend’s baby shower. This event marks a turning point in my life for several reasons. First, in the weeks leading up to it, I was dreading going to this shower. Second, I decided to wear a new dress I had bought, make-up too, and realized that my old desire to be fabulous was back and I wanted to put effort into my outfit. So how are these two things related and more importantly, how were they revolutionary for me? Well, let me back up a bit.
This past March, all the hopes and dreams of my first pregnancy evaporated quickly around my 5th week when the doctor announced the fertilized egg had embedded itself in my Fallopian tube – I had an ectopic pregnancy. To this day I don’t know how I made it out of the exam room. I jut know that my husband was suddenly by my side and that I was weighed down by an unbelievable sadness.
The simple medical solution of a drug that terminates rapid cell growth didn’t actually work for me. Ironically, on April Fool’s Day I collapsed at work and was rushed to the hospital. They discovered that the fertilized egg had kept on growing and had now burst my tube. It’s one of the most painful things you can experience, and I had a lot of internal bleeding. On top of the overwhelming sadness my husband and I felt for the loss of our first child, we now wondered if my tube would be beyond repair.
Emergency surgery was a blur. I know my amazing coworker and loving husband were by my side the whole time. My few days in the hospital were spent on morphine and thanks to that wonder drug, I could deal with everything. Apparently I could even answer work emails, or so I thought. Note to self: Do not answer work emails while on morphine.
Being home, alone, off morphine and recovering with nothing but time on my hands was hard. I had nothing to do but think about all the “what ifs” and I couldn’t stop relating everything to dates around the pregnancy. How many months before the due date that would have been, how many weeks along on this date, my first prenatal appointment on this date, etc. I actually went back to work early to keep my mind busy.
I went through all the stages of grief, but the hardest one to shake was the jealousy I had for all my friends. We’re all at the same stage in life where marriages and babies intersect and weekends are filled with some sort of gathering for someone. My anger at the world didn’t allow me to share my friend’s enthusiasm for their good fortune and then I felt bad for not being a good friend. My friend’s are amazing though, and they understood. I just needed space to grieve and heal.
And so, we’re back to that day in May, my turning point. As you all know, the power and artistic expression of fashion is always something that has made me happy, and I can talk about who wore what and when for hours. During this time period, where (sadly) I ignored my friend’s newborns and sent daggers in my mind to all the teen mom’s out there, I wanted to be in nothing but sweatpants and keep my head under my pillow. I wanted nothing to do with spring or summer fashion – colorful wedges, nautical stripes or neon polish. I didn’t have much to say on Twitter or this blog.
But on May 15th, six weeks after my surgery, I was actually excited to be wearing my new Ted Baker dress and I felt OK walking into the baby shower. I had physically healed from surgery and felt some of my bitterness was going away.
The minute I walked in, however, I was immediately overwhelmed by the power of pregnancy. Literally everywhere I looked someone had a belly or had a baby. The emotions of my isolation hit me like a wall and I ran to the bathroom and lost it.
My girlfriend eventually snapped me back into reality. Not just from the moment, but from where I had been for the last few months. To summarize her words, she told me to pull it together and move forward. She was right. I hadn’t seen her newborn since January and she is one of my best friends. For the rest of the shower, I held babies and a smile stayed on my face. So did the tears on my cheek, but they were different kind of tears. And then I got around to checking out what everyone was wearing. I had my groove back.
In another ironic twist, I found out later on that week that I was actually pregnant at that shower. No wonder my emotions were all over the place!
So it is now July, I am twelve weeks pregnant and I am discovering and enjoying a whole new world of fashion. It contains flip flop and flats instead of stilettos, and cotton and elastic instead of silk and tailoring. I’m on the hunt for the best pair of good butt maternity jeans (one item I would recommend paying a little extra for) and so thankful maxi dresses, leggings and tunics are in style.
I hope you’ll stay tuned to see how I dive into fall and winter fashion – well dive may not be the right word – more like yank and bend and stretch, as these are the moves necessary to get clothes on now. My must-have list for fall will be a little different this year; probably tall, flat boots and different colored DKNY cozy wraps. My winter list will probably include some baby OshKosh B’Gosh and Converse sneakers. 🙂