Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]


I said I'd deal with this openly here if it happened, and it has. Late Sunday/early Monday, soon after I put up the post about Finn's birthday, I had a miscarriage.

How much do I tell about it, and when do I tell what I will tell? How do I make that call? What do I factor in?

On the one hand I want to tell you everything, so that the record will exist properly. As I write this, I'm understanding why I, in fact, have to tell you everything. The only thing that would stop me is shame or embarrassment, and those things have no business hovering near me right now. I have to tell you everything so this child will exist as tangibly as possible in the world.

It doesn't matter how not far along I was. This is a life that began, and for me that means there is some soul connected to that grain of life, if not embedded within it. And that is the soul of my child.

While I was pregnant, I would be nursing Finn and I would feel so good as I thought to myself, "Look, I have both my children with me. I have both my children so close to me." This is a road where if you go down it an inch, there's no turning back. I don't regret going down that road. Absolutely not. I understand why some people will not allow themselves to go down that road. It's reasonable to gird yourself against grief. I don't mind the grief. I don't mind anything that acknowledges that this baby was real, really here, and I was the mother of it. I completely claim that.

I demand it.

I have to do something imperious with it. The powerlessness in the moment I realized I was bleeding (yes, I will be talking graphically about unbeautiful things) - how do I say what it was? It was like a person suddenly faced with an opponent, and the opponent is the ocean in all its size and force, or gravity itself, some law of nature at work. That's it. The opponent was Nature. So in that moment when I saw that I was bleeding, I was a mother holding a child and facing down Nature, who wanted my child from me.

This is a point where I stop and ask myself, do I go on, do I tell more? Is it seemly? And again, I don't fucking care. I hope if you're reading this and you're wondering if I'm going to be unseemly you will jump ship immediately and consider, in fact, not returning. That seems clear. I feel clear then that I'm going to go on.

I did feel like an animal at this point, when it became clear what was happening. Pacing in the small bathroom. Having to make my fearful sounds quietly so I wouldn't wake Finn in the next room. I felt like I was obligated to fight, but I didn't have the sophisticated weaponry or elegant strategy to defeat my opponent. I felt clumsy. Animal brain, animal body, registering a problem, pacing around, too obtuse to solve it.

I'm glad I'm writing about this. I couldn't defeat the opponent in the moment this happened, but now I can capture the moment and kill it, dissect it, own it, take charge of it. I can feel my posture improving as I type.

My brother was up, and heard me. Then my mom came out, and then Dave. Finn kept sleeping, which was wonderful, so I could have the response I needed to have. Dave and my brother and I talked a while about what was happening, wondered about this person who had come to be with us and then left so quickly. Was this person really gone? The physical element of this person was leaving or had left or was packing. But we all agreed that the essence of this person had not gone anywhere, seemed to still be with us in the room. And I felt furthermore that this person was not intending to leave us, that this wasn't it for us. We entered into a contract when we invited this person to come here and this person accepted, is what it feels like. The contract is binding, I think. I think that on both ends, the terms of the contract are in fact still embraced. I think there is still the intention to fulfill the contract, with this same person.

Dave had the analogy of a plane coming in for a landing and having to pull up before hitting the runway for safety reasons. The plane has to circle the airport and try again. The plane doesn't go, fuck it, I guess we're not going to London. That's how I feel here. We're not done with this child.

There's a feeling of peace in here that has planted a flag. There is still grief, because there's been a death. But I don't feel like Nature is my opponent any more. Nature knows what it's doing, my body knows what it's doing, neither of them failed me or are against me. I respect the both of them, and give them the nod.

It's been a roller coaster. In the span of a month, we've made the decision to try and conceive, we've joyfully done the work to make it happen, we've waited impatiently for the results, we've succeeded, we've been growing a person, and then now we've lost the person, or at least their form. My body and mind are exhausted. Yesterday was horrible, today was better. I'm alternating between real grief, real peace and a calm feeling of unreality, like the pregnancy was a dream. I've been to the doctor and she confirmed both the pregnancy and the loss.

When I wake up tomorrow, Dave is going to give me the morning to be sweet to myself. I'm going to lie in bed and watch a movie, I think. I'm going to have to take a shower first. I realized tonight that I hadn't showered since this happened, and that subconsciously I was avoiding it because I didn't want to lose the last physical traces of this child. I have to do it, I can't never shower again. I don't want to do it, but it will feel good to be clean.

That's enough for now. I'll want to tell you more about this person, how she affected me, and I will, until I've told everything That's the last thing right there, my saying "she". That's the last bit of truth for the evening. I can drop the pretense of saying "this person". For me, she was a she. It doesn't matter whether or not that would have been true. For me it was true. I made a playlist of songs on my iPod to welcome her into my mind and body, and one of them was Stevie Wonder singing I Was Made to Love Her. Oh, there's more I can tell you, and I will. Later.