This is not my style. I am generally not a small-talk kind of person, particularly with store clerks and hairdressers and other casual presences in life. When you go into a hair salon and you see five or six clients and they're all chatting away with the stylists and then you see one client who is sitting silently with a stylist who doesn't talk at all - that's me. I used to wonder why I was always the only customer who seemed to get the quiet stylists, until I finally realized that it can't be coincidence: I like it that way. And it's true. I'm a private person. I do a lot of talking in my job, and so when I can be quiet, I prefer it. It could be read as unfriendly at times, I realize. But it's mostly the introvert in me, who needs to get out every once in awhile. Or stay in, as the case may be.
The point being, I would never reveal personal details to a grocery store clerk. Or hairdresser. Or guy at the video store. It's just not my thing.
Then I almost told a guy who was sitting behind us at the baseball game last night. Who, I kid you not, talked to his friend the entire nine innings, in a voice which was hard to ignore. I almost told him because, in inning six, he starting talking about how he and his wife had tried so hard to get pregnant, and how they had done IUI's ("the turkey baster thing," he called it, which is what we had called it too), and then she had gotten pregnant, and then there had been some complications in the pregnancy, but it all turned out okay, and then, he said, "you know, you wait for it for so long, and then all of a sudden, you're just another set of parents with a kid."
Maybe I should have been grateful for the happy ending of another person who struggled with infertility and now is on the other side. Mostly, I wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up. I imagined myself standing up during the seventh inning stretch and turning around and saying, "I'm sorry, but I cannot handle you talking about your wife's pregnancy anymore. Because we have been trying for almost four years, and we did have to do "that in-vitro thing," which you so summarily dismissed in your earlier comments, and right now, I am having a miscarriage from that very thing. So. Could you please stop talking about it? RIGHT NOW? Also, could you pay attention to the game? For thirty seconds? Thanks."
I'm sure that would have made for a charming evening.
I've been puzzled at this piece of my reaction. What happened to Introvert Girl, who prefers to keep things to herself? What makes her want to say the word "miscarriage" out loud, practically to any stranger who walks by? What is THAT about?
It's doubly odd because it's the opposite reaction I've had during our whole struggle with infertility. I haven't told many people about that at all. It took me damn near two years to acknowledge it to myself. And while I've become slightly more open in the last six months, I still prefer not to talk about our infertility with others. So why on earth do I want to shout MISCARRIAGE from the rooftops?
I think it's this. For the first few days, I could not talk to anyone about it. At all. I could not talk on the phone, or in person, without bursting into tears, which is understandable, but also embarrassing and exhausting. I emailed a few friends. My husband called the few family members who had known about our positive test. I only said the word out loud once or twice.
Then there was silence. My friends emailed back initially, and some more than once. But a few of my closest friends for many years (who do not read this blog) have done nothing else. They have not emailed me. They have not called. And I am, truly, hurt. They have said nothing. I don't understand that.
My husband's family has not called us again. I think they are trying to respect my inability to talk about it. And I, in my selfishness, am simultaneously grateful and irritated. How dare they do as I ask and not call? Don't they care? I know I said I couldn't talk about it. Can't they read my confused little mind and know that a bit of acknowledgement would still be welcome?
Grief really fucks you up. I've always known that. It's just very, very true.
I think I keep wanting to say this out loud - I think I am writing this entry - because I need to know that this was real, and it really happened, and it really matters. I was pregnant. I was. And then I had a miscarriage. I did. I can still hardly believe the whole sequence myself. And to look at me, you'd never know any of it had happened. I feel like getting a t-shirt: "Please be careful with me. I had a miscarriage." Because, somehow, Introvert Girl wants some public recognition. I want people to know that my heart still hurts, even if I don't cry all day anymore. I want my friends to know how devastating this was.
So I decided to inflict it on the internets. On you, reader, whomever you are. You're my substitute Grocery Store Clerk and Hairdresser and Irritiating Guy at the Baseball Game (though I'm sure you're not irritating). Thanks for listening.
I think I'll go outside and do some yardwork. Though I might wait until Neighbor Guy is done mowing his lawn. I've never actually met him. And I'm pretty sure that, "Hi! I'm your neighbor! I had a miscarriage!" is not quite what he's expecting.