Speaking of sweet, things have been moving on hyper-speed with Christian and I. Since my last post, I have moved to Richardson, Texas, and we are now co-habitating in a cute little townhome apartment community. However, the driving is killing me, ya'll. I know Austin is known for its terrible downtown traffic too, but I had found my little bubble and was never more than 10 minutes away from anywhere I needed to be. So this new life of having to drive 20-30 minutes to get anywhere feels like a waste of my life essence. Besides the driving, the other big adjustment is the lack of nature in close proximity. My time in nature is all about reconnecting and refueling, so that I have the ability to stay present in the world in which I live and work. My work life is super social by nature, and if I don't find a way to center, I find that I have nothing left to give. I know that I haven't been able to refuel when I stop engaging with people behind the counter at my local coffee shop, when little things get my goat, or when the Overwhelm hits so hard that Netflix becomes my bestie.
I lived in Austin for almost 24 years, so the adjustment to my new zip code has been a little rough at times. In fact, I am in a bit of denial. At events when I teach workshops to new and veteran dancers, I find it challenging to say that I am from anywhere other than Austin. I do it, but I feel like a traitor. Perhaps, I am being a little melodramatic, sure, but this is indeed a bit of an identity crisis. Fortunately, I do get to go back to Austin on a semi-frequent basis and I see quite a few of my Austin tribe members at dance events for work. The move to Richardson, although a quick decision, took several months to complete. Every trip back I would load up ROCKC, my white FJ Cruiser, with boxes full of my life, and somehow find room for it all in our small apartment. These past few months or so have been quite hectic to say the least. So far, I have been adjusting to a new city, rebuilding my local business, traveling back and forth to Austin every two weeks, and out of town for work gigs on the weekends, all the while adjusting to a new relationship and slowly working my way into a 4 year old's reality.
Then not too long ago, on the morning of May 31st, duhduhdunnnn, I found out that I was pregnant. Yep! I have probably spent a small fortune over the years on those little sticks and not once has one of them displayed that extra line in pink, but this time it did. Well, all three of them did. I was half in disbelief, and half overjoyed, so much so, that I found myself jumping up and down in the bathroom for a bit. Flash back to September of last year, when I declared in my Landmark course that "I wanted to find my person and start a family with them by my next birthday." Well, all I have to say is, that it is amazing what you can create with language and intention. The universe is listening ya'll. My birthday was May 24th and we indeed conceived the week before. I find that pretty cray cray. It is one thing to wish for something and it is another to hold the reality in your hand. When I initially told Christian, there was a lot of nervous laughter, followed by each of our own versions of shock. His shock was weighted on the practical side: concerns of money, housing, the reality of sleepless nights, how it will affect Elliot, etc. while my concerns were focused on physical worries and the statistics of miscarriage or other complications at my age. So we talked through it all and by the end of several weeks of sharing our fears we put our focus on what was possible. Although it was difficult to do sometimes, I let myself get excited about it.
I have since been absorbed in podcasts and pregnancy apps and telling a few people the news here and there. I know most people tend to keep the news to themselves until after the first trimester, but that just isn't who I am. It was interesting to feel the pressure not to tell because that was what most people do. I get it, "what if I miscarry" and then I have to tell everyone the bad news and live it all over again. "Well, I guess I will have that many more people to support me, right?" I think everyone must walk their own path on this, of course, but I definitely think it would be nice if it weren't such a taboo subject. In fact, I recently learned that according to the March of Dimes, about 15-25% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. And 1 in 3 first pregnancies will miscarry. So, it really is unfortunate that most of us don't know these statistics ahead of time. Perhaps there would be a little less shame and blame associated with having a miscarriage if the statistics were more common knowledge. This past weekend after a fun work event, I added an extra day of festivities with my tribe member, Liz, in one of our favorite towns, New Orleans. For whatever reason, when I spend time there, magical serendipitous things happen. Liz and I spent just one extra night out on the town dancing and listening to some amazing live music on Frenchmen with a few friends. The mocktails I ordered hit the spot and our steal dancing wowed the crowd. I will say, it was a unique experience being completely sober in New Orleans, but I had a blast nonetheless or perhaps even more so than previous outings. The next morning we finished off our adventure at one of our favorite brunch places, Surrey's, where we threw down some Bananas Fosters French Toast and a Crabmeat Omelette. Truly decadent.
With our 8 hour trip looming we settled in for a long ride full of chit chat, podcasts, music, and more chit chat. A few hours in, I started experiencing some unusual cramping. It should be noted that throughout a pregnancy cramping is quite normal, along with a lot of other unnecessary discomforts that don't need to be mentioned here. But unfortunately, this cramping led to a miscarriage. I was almost 7 weeks along. It is amazing how every day feels like a milestone during those first weeks, so much so, that the desire to get to that safe part of the timeline can consume you. And if you aren't careful you can worry yourself into missing the joyful part of the experience of the first few months all together. I had spent quite a bit of time visualizing my future little one as a positivity exercise. I could see him holding my hand as we went for a stroll. That is how I knew, before I knew for certain. I tried to visualize him and I couldn't see him anymore. And the word MISCARRIAGE was all I could see in my mind's eye. That is, of course, when it happened.
These past few days have been rough, to say the least. I am currently balancing between letting myself feel the feels and focusing on the positives. Yep, the positives. "What could be positive about having a miscarriage?, you ask." Well, a friend of mine who has experienced a great deal of loss over the past few years inspired me to use some new powerful language. When talking about the aftermath of his loss, he frequently uses the expression, "I get to". So here goes, I get to relate to every other woman who has been on this emotional roller coaster, I get to spend more time with Christian and Elliot and bond as a family, and we get more time to financially and emotionally prepare for the possibility of a new family member. Besides, the faster I heal, the sooner I can get back on the horse. Yep, I did that on purpose. But in no way am I delusional. I get that I will be going through some unexpected and inopportune waves of mourning. In fact, as I sit here in the car, on another long distance road trip, I can feel my body in trauma. Don't worry, I will avoid all the gory details. But what I do want to share is the feeling of emptiness and not just in the places you would expect, like my womb or my heart, but in every cell of my body or perhaps my soul. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but for me it was as if a little soul shared space with mine and when it left an unfamiliar sort of loneliness arrived. I know I make it sound like I might be falling apart, but the truth is, that I am actually in pretty good shape. I prepared for this possibility and I am in no way blaming myself or the universe for my loss. I don't know what is in store, but what I do know, is that universe trades up when it comes to experiences like these and generally wonderful growth and awareness come from our most difficult times. However, I do think it will take stepping away from the desire to resist and fight the reality before me, so that I can move through acceptance and create space for something new and even more beautiful.
It was meant to happen this way because that is the way it happened.