I am writing a novel. I have written bits and pieces over the last year, in its entirety, it probably amounts to about three chapters. In the neurotic way that I have arranged it, it equals the first three chapters, anyway. During the process of writing this novel, I have had to stop several times because I got a bit emotional. You see, there is a slight problem with writing an semi-autobiographical novel. You have no privacy. In order to express your story and ensure that the readers understand you, you pretty much have to lay it all out on the line. When I get to a certain event in my life, I begin to feel shy…
“Have you ever woken up with a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach? Before you even open your eyes, you’re lying there, trying to figure out what is wrong…you can’t quite place your finger on it, but its there, gnawing at you, whispering in your ear, “today is the day.”
I had one of those days once. I woke up, feeling slightly off kilter. Something was wrong. I just knew it. I rushed to my daughter’s room, checked her breathing. Ran to the dogs outside, nope, they were alive. Called my husband – he answered and he was fine. I went through the motions of getting ready for work, getting my daughter off to school. Yet, I couldn’t shake that feeling. It was like a cloud of existential dread looming over me. Now, I’m not know for being a bucket of sunshine on an ordinary day. But this was different. The air was charged. My guard was up. Something was going to happen.
I tried to wipe it from my mind and went on with my business. It shaped up to be an ordinary morning. An ordinary drive to work. A few rather ordinary meetings. A slew of irate – but ordinary – clients.
About halfway through the day, I felt a slow, dull ache form in my right side. I took Tylenol. I ignored it. It steadily got worse. From a dull ache, it transformed into a grinding agony within hours. By the end of my workday, I was doubled over in pain. I was barely able to breathe. It was as though someone was stabbing me in the side, repeatedly, and with much malice, with an ice pick. A very sharp, very long, very menacing ice pick.
I thought my appendix had burst. I had never experienced a pain like this, nothing even close, in my entire life. I honestly thought I was dying. My husband, being the level headed one in the house, diagnosed me with PMS cramps. He bought me a heating pad and brought me more Tylenol. He put me in bed to “sleep it off.”
The next morning, I felt so much better. I still had a dull ache in my side, but it was entirely manageable. I went out dancing at a night club that night. I went to a pool party the next day. I chalked it up to insane cramps. Until later that night, when I began my cycle. It was all wrong. I knew immediately.
After I took the pregnancy test, that feeling in the pit of my stomach returned. It suddenly had a voice, and it was telling me in a mocking tone,”I told you something was going to happen.” I stared at the lines and tried to make sense of it all. How am I pregnant? We had been trying, half-heartedly for years with no results. I’d given up hope. I told people I just didn’t want any more kids. Yet, here it was, plain as pink lines in front of my face. Pregnant. Not only was I pregnant, but I was losing the baby. I wasn’t having cramps, I was having a miscarriage.”
There. Its out. That passage has been hanging over my head for months, preventing me from moving on, stalling any progress I might have otherwise made. Now I can get on with it.