I was in my hotel room, at a conference, working with a colleague to get a computer set up. My manager had just called and asked me to write a briefing for the Attorney General’s office. I was irritated because I had made a rare choice to skip a conference session and take a nap in my room right before I got the call. I was in the first trimester, after all, and very tired.
We finally got the computer set up, and my friend was about to leave. I stood up to say good-bye, and there was blood on my chair.
Blood running down my legs, landing on my shoes.
She ran to get her car keys to drive me to the hospital. I sat outside my hotel room door, collapsed on the floor, sobbing. There was more blood. I tried to get back into my room and the key card wouldn’t work. A staff person walked by, and, alarmed to see me bleeding and crying, called for maintenance to let me back into my room.
I knew I was going to lose the baby, this baby that we had not planned to have. This baby that we had made great efforts to prevent being conceived.
My boyfriend and I had just started talking about moving in together, barely mentioning the “M-word.” We had decided that between my daughter and his two sons from our first marriages, we had plenty of children and didn’t want more. We had decided the best thing to do was for him to get a vasectomy.
Three days before his appointment for the procedure, I was in the bathroom at work and noticed a stain on my chest. My breast, which had nursed a child for 22 months and produced milk for at least another year, was leaking. I went to the drugstore, bought a pregnancy test, and for the second time in my life, discovered I was pregnant in a bathroom stall at work.
I broke the news to this wonderful man that I had been dating for a year… this wonderful man that I was enjoying spending time with a few nights a week, without the obligations of raising children or keeping a house together. We had both been married for a decade or more, and we were perfectly happy to enjoy ourselves and not rush anything.
And now, I was pregnant.
This is not what we had wanted, but we decided to go through with it.
And then, eight weeks later, was I losing the baby?
With the realization that I was having a miscarriage, I knew, suddenly, unmistakably, and clearly, that I wanted this baby.
Somehow, my friend got me to the hospital.
She sat with me, holding my hand, and distracted me with a story about a horrible episode of vomiting and diarrhea while getting her Masters in Divinity in Boston. Meanwhile, the doctors and nurses checked me out.
There is so much waiting in the Emergency Room.
She called my boyfriend, told him to come quickly. He made the two-hour drive to the coast.
I went to the bathroom and lost more clumps of blood. The doctor went in to look at the tissues.
They finally wheeled me into the ultrasound room.
And, there, on the screen, was an image of the baby, with his little heart beating.
They wheeled me back to the exam room, and I told my friend, filled with amazement and happy shock, that the baby was okay.
I told my friend, “If this baby makes it, I’m naming it after you.”
My boyfriend walked in right afterward.
He drove me back to the hotel room, and held me all night.