“Do you have kids?”
My hiring manager asked me in my interview just 15 days after I learned of my miscarriage and had my D&C performed.
In short I answer “No.”
Setting aside this invalid question as mere small talk rather than an attempt to understand my qualifications.
“Do you want kids?”
He asked next. OK I’m thinking maybe he just recently had a child and is looking for areas where we can relate. Hmm… how to answer this question.
Yes. I was pregnant before. She decided she didn’t want to come after 10 weeks of growing in my belly. I haven’t even been able to say this out loud yet….
“Yes.” I respond as I try to stop my eyes from watering.“Sorry… allergies” I say as I prepare for the next question.
“When do you plan on having kids?”
Now I see the pattern to the conversation women fall victim to over and over again. He can probably tell from my resume and the year I received my Bachelors of Science that I’m almost 30. Plus there’s a wedding band on my finger so he’s assuming children would naturally be my next step.
How can he be asking these questions as interview questions? If I say soon he’s taking a risk hiring me. If I say I don’t know, I may look like I’m not being honest. I’ve never been good at lying, the truth is written all over my face…
Next I do something many would be too fearful to do.
I kill these questions with honesty.
“I was pregnant for the last 2.5 months. I lost my baby and my body didn’t recognize the loss. I had a D&C earlier this month. Are these your standard interview questions?”
Needless to say I got the job but guess what? I had to resign when I found out I was pregnant again. Without a year of employment prior to babies arrival, I had no benefits, no maternity leave and no F.M.L.A…
This is America.
Where women can expect to be asked these questions in the workplace, even during an interview and then have to choose between working to pay for daycare or leaving their jobs because they don’t offer maternity leave.
Pregnancy is not easy or even an option for many women. I learned this the hard way. I had never known any woman to have a miscarriage and I blamed my body for failing to support my growing babe. Little did I know miscarriages are more common than I thought. Now why, WHY didn’t I know not to blame my body? Why didn’t I know this was a common occurrence?
Because many women suffer in silence. They go about blaming themselves, or their bodies for failing them. They enter into depression and fear the very questions that I was asked in that interview.
It’s this fear that keeps us quiet, the fear of being judged.
Only when I began to talk about my miscarriage while traveling with my husband was I able to heal and move forward. We took a few months and packed in as many trips as we could to reset and found ourselves healing in far off places. After talking through it with him, I was slowly able to open up to others. And when I did, I was surprised at what I found…
I learned I wasn’t the only woman I know to have suffered a miscarriage. In fact MANY women near to me had.
If only I had known this prior to my loss. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself, maybe I wouldn’t have suffered in silence, while everyone slept. Thinking about my lost baby, how I just knew she was a girl, why did she decide not to come? Why did my body not keep her safe? Why didn’t I wait to tell close friends about her? What if I just wasn’t meant to be a mom… what if…what if…what if…
Almost exactly one year after my D&C our little Rya arrived. I think now my first baby brought her to us. And I’m thankful for the short amount of time I got to know her, because without her I wouldn’t have my Rya and I wouldn’t be the mumma I am today.
This post is dedicated to that one brave momma I know who posted her miscarriage and D&C experience in a foreign country on Facebook. You inspired me to open up, speak up, and begin to heal. I hope this post will help other mummas as yours did for me.
If you or someone close to you have ever suffered a miscarriage don’t let it burn a hole in your heart.
Don’t hold it in.
Let it out.
Share your story and know it wasn’t your fault.
You are not alone.
When you feel like no one understands what you’re going through… I do. When you feel like you just can’t anymore… you can. And when when you don’t have the words to express “how it’s going” feel free to share these words.
Instead of telling a new mom she looks good, why don’t we ask about the elephant in the room? How is it going so far? How is your transition into motherhood been? How can I help? You know why we don’t ask questions like these? Because we are afraid of the truth. The authentic truth. And this fear hurts us as new mummas.
We expect motherhood to be this beautiful happy life that we should embrace every moment of. But the truth is…it’s hard, really hard. All of it. Getting pregnant, losing a baby, carrying to full term, labor and delivery, recovery while taking care of a new human you just met and are trying to figure out how to keep alive, breastfeeding, leaving your job to become a stay at home mom and yes going back to work.
IT’S ALL SO HARD.
But that’s OK. You’re not alone. We all have our challenges. That’s why we need to be real with one another.
It’s OK to need help. It’s good to ask for help, and it’s best to learn how to communicate “I need help.” Having a baby changes every relationship you have and this in turn makes communicating more of a challenge.
So if you find your sleep deprived self without the words to express how you feel,
here’s a start (…take a look!)
…and if you asked me those honest questions when I became a Mumma, this is what I would have told you…
For The New Mumma
“In pregnancy you’re doted upon. You are showered with compliments, each one pushing you a little bit further up the mountain. What is this mountain made of? I’m still not sure.
Maybe it’s made of the confidence you get from people telling you you’re glowing, or it’s built of the pressure you and others push you to feel as a new expecting mom.
But I do know labor and delivery is at the peak. All eyes on you because it’s show time.
Ten months of excitement nervousness and preparing for your little bundle of joy to be placed safely in your arms.
Then, once you leave the hospital or maybe even sooner if you had a complicated birth and suffered sever injuries like me, you fall.
That mountain you took ten months to climb is no longer supporting your feet and you free fall.
It’s dark, wet, alone and there’s lots of crying on your way down. You can’t rest, cant think, can’t even see straight until you hit the bottom.
Suddenly you’re on solid ground as your eyes begin to focus.
The fog fades and you see light for the first time.
Maybe it’s your first six hours of uninterrupted sleep or her first real smile that catches you.
Maybe it’s when she’s wrapped in her hooded fox towel after a bath, cooing and she looks at you…
But this time she really sees you, straight through you and everything just stops.
The gaze from her big brown eyes holds you. And as you breathe out slowly, you realize you created a beautiful little being…
You’re Her Mumma.
Now together, you’re climbing a new mountain.”
This post was supposed to be my first blog post ON MOTHER’S DAY but obviously that didn’t happen…#mummalife
Instead, I attempted to sleep in (who was I kidding), made a late breakfast and spent a quick 30 minutes baking these tasty treats for my mother-in-law before the days activities. They turned out exceptionally yummy, if I do say so myself…
Anyway, here it is – my first blog post. Hope you enjoy!
My First Mother’s Day: What Motherhood Means to Me
It feels different this time. No longer just about my wonderful mom or my amazing mother in law, or my beautiful mommy friends, but me…strangely me.
I find myself reflecting on my journey getting here, becoming a “mumma”. It’s not a simple journey and it takes on so many forms for those who are lucky enough to be called mom. It is beautiful, it is hard and so many things in between.
What is motherhood to me?
As a new momma, it’s a multitude of things…
He goes to work. Nearly every day. Friends no longer call so you resort to Facebook mom groups for a sense of belonging in this new isolation.
A constant state of comfortableness. Keeping baby comfortable requires this. Awkward feeding positions, sleeping positions, rocking, bending, lifting and carrying all night and all day.
Bone deep exhaustion. When baby’s up you’re up. When baby sleeps you’re up making sure baby is asleep, and HOW asleep she is, making plans for how much sleep you COULD get.
Guilt from things you do and don’t do. What you decide to do when baby is napping. Eat, shower, sleep or clean. No matter which you choose you’ll feel like you made the wrong choice. Maybe you should have slept instead of showered.
Isolation, uncomfortable-ness, bone deep exhaustion and guilt sprinkled with moments of sheer bliss. Your little human, now too big to fit back in your tummy is wrapped around you, breathing soft and warm into your ear.
This is my motherhood.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mommy’s. You are strong yet gentle, tired yet ever vigilant and you know a love like no other. I’m so honored to be Rya’s Mumma and to have this day to celebrate with you.