As my partner in crime stated yesterday, we’ve had a rough few months. He explained why our previous entries had to be deleted which is such a bummer because there was some of my best writing in there. However, for anyone who followed along since the beginning, they knew we were working on getting out of debt so that Aaron could get the hell out of his 9-5 situation and do this damn thing full-time. All of that kind of turned on its head at the beginning of October when he came into my office and said he wanted to have Kid #3.
You have to understand, Oli was a tough boy who didn’t allow us to sleep for over a year. That’s enough to make anyone REALLY consider having a third. I’m also turning 40 this year so I’m no spring chicken but I was so excited he was on board I got my IUD taken out three days later. We don’t fuck around. We’ve also been incredibly lucky in the past – there’s never been a gap between, “let’s do this” and then me finding out I was pregnant. Here’s the natural progression:
Baby #1: We stared at the stick I’d just peed on until we got those double lines and then Aaron immediately burst into tears and I poured myself a Jack and Diet Coke out of shock.
Baby #2: We got up at 4:00 a.m. on the day I could finally check if I was pregnant and found out minutes later and ran around the house like kids on Christmas Day.
Baby #3: The kids were running around, we were brushing our teeth with the pregnancy test between us and, when we saw the double lines, we leaned over, gave each other a high five and continued about our business.
My body does this crazy thing when I’m pregnant – within two weeks of finding out, I get a bump which makes it really hard to try and postpone any announcement. And why would I? This was Baby #3, I’d done this two other times before and had healthy pregnancies. So, I told some co-workers including my manager and they were all supremely happy for me. Cue the nausea while also looking after a 5 year old and a 3 year old AND working full-time while trying to not lose my sanity. I was ready for my 8 week checkup and on December 4th I headed in, masked up with Aaron, who could only stay for the ultrasound part because of COVID regulations (and yes, I was petrified to have a child during this whole pandemic but was excited and hoping to god I didn’t have twins in there).
I knew something was wrong instantly when the baby was just a blip on the screen. The technician asked me again when my last period was and was quiet while taking measurements. They said it was too early (I was supposed to be 8 weeks along but the baby was only measuring 5 weeks, 6 days) and that I would have to come back in two weeks for a follow-up ultrasound as sometimes our cycles can be off and these things happen. Aaron had to leave so I was stuck waiting for the doctor alone and having a million thoughts run through my head.
I burst into tears as soon as I got back to the car. And I had to wait another two weeks to find out that that collection of cells didn’t grow. I was told it was a genetic anomaly, it wasn’t anything I did and this all happened the week before Christmas. Christmas week I took the miscarriage/abortion pill TWICE (it didn’t work the first time) to see if I could speed things along and on Christmas Eve I headed back into the hospital again for a final ultrasound. Surrounded by Christmas decorations and cheerful Christmas music piping through the speakers, I was told I would have to have surgery on New Year’s Eve to clear everything as there was still a blood supply going to something in there.
Here’s the kicker: I had to tell all the people I’d told that I lost the baby which was soul-sucking at best. Strangely enough though, the outpouring of support and kindness was like a wall smacking us in the face. Stories came back from the women I worked with saying they’d had to go through it too, finding out that one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage (ONE in FOUR) and that most of you will have known someone who went through this. Two of my best friends did. But the biggest, most amazing outpouring of kindness was my manager (and her manager) ordering a week’s worth of food from Carrabbas Italian Grill for my ENTIRE family and having it delivered the day after I told her. If you read anything about our family before we had to trash all of our old articles you know they are pieces of shit (besides my mother-in-law who’s an absolute angel) and so we’re not used to having people support us. I almost sat there crying while eating the most amazing ravioli ever but no one wants to see that. Keep in mind I’ve been at this company for a little over a year and I’m not sure that that would have happened in any of my other jobs (just something to keep in mind if you manage people – life happens and all you can do is be there for your co-workers in any way you can because it will be HUGELY appreciated).
Because of all of that I didn’t have to lift a finger that week leading up to the surgery and Aaron was right there with me the whole time. The surgery went well, I was in no pain before, during or after and I rang in this new year with my kids and my husband playing with sparklers on our driveway.
Man, that year butchered some families, wrecked peoples’ livelihood and destroyed communities. But, we came out with a different perspective: Fate doesn’t fuck around. If we weren’t supposed to have another kid then that was what life was telling us. Just around the corner was us refinancing our mortgage and paying off all of our debt which was the ONLY thing I wanted for my 40th this year. We’ve realized that dream, my husband is LIVING his dream starting on Tuesday and all I want is for everyone to be happy. I fucking love our house, I love our life and most of all I love the man who I chose to build all of this with.
Just as a final aside and getting slightly political, the four ultrasounds and the surgery cost me $2,600. Let me just type that again: TWO THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS. I have a good health plan and I hit my deductible and was only responsible for 20% of it. The surgery alone was $13,500. Now, I’ve been lucky because I have two amazing kids but can you imagine paying that, going through that, again and again? And our healthcare system doesn’t give a damn. They’ll just keep taking money from you regardless of whatever you’re going through. It’s disgraceful that we’re one of the few first world countries that doesn’t have centralized healthcare (I lived in two other countries that have it (England and Canada) and believe me, if I didn’t have to add the stress of coming up with the money for this ON TOP OF LOSING A FUCKING BABY then it might have been easier. But I’ll never know that) and I would like to hope that down the road, in a not too distant future, we can get that sorted out. Everyone deserves to get healthcare for any ailment and not worry about whether it’s going to bankrupt them or make them homeless.
So, here’s the deal. I’ll always wonder what if. I’ll always think what would life be like if we had three minions. But I’m in love with what I have. And I’ll NEVER forget the kindness that was shown to me in the past few weeks when I needed it like I needed food or oxygen. 2021 is the year to be kind and not be a fucking dick. To all of you women who have been through this or are even going through this right now, you do you. Cry, scream, hug your family. But know that you’re not alone. – Laura (aka Female GG)
The Ghost Generation makes rad jewelry for equally rad people. Also, we write stuff occasionally. Est. August 2019.