During an all-hands meeting yesterday, my boss asked everyone to share some good news we had received at one point in our lives.
It was prompted by a few good things that had happened in the past week. First, that a colleague had a mass removed and it was not cancer. Second, that the U.S. passed a sweeping climate bill. Our small team of 12 each took a turn sharing our stories of good news.
Since writers make up more than half the team, there were a few stories of being published. A few also said that "getting this job" was a source of wonderful news. Or buying a home.
I knew immediately what I wanted to share and waited for my turn.
In a very shaky voice, I said that I'd lost two pregnancies back-to-back, both in the second trimester, both without explanation. Getting pregnant with Autumn again brought me 9 months of anxiety. I was monitored constantly, always seeing doctors and having tests run.
I remember one of my final visits with Maternal Fetal Medicine. The doctor had been so gentle, so supportive. With my scheduled c-section on the horizon, he said "We did it. We're here; everything is going to be ok. She's fine."
After 9 months of refusing to be hopeful, he said the words that I had been unable to say to myself: she's fine. I still wouldn't truly believe it until she was placed in my arms, but he believed it. And he was the expert.
And yesterday – the same day that I shared that story – was Autumn's first day of kindergarten.
It was hard for me to talk about my pregnancy losses on camera in front of my colleagues. I've shared my story many, many times before but this was different. When I was at my previous job, everyone knew what had happened. Or I'll share with people, but in a more intimate setting. This was a larger group of people that I've only known for 10 months and never met in person.
I knew I would cry (and I did). I had to make a choice to be vulnerable. I tried to think of something else to share, but no other good news came to mind in the same way that this story did. And in a way, it was wholly appropriate to share on Autumn's first day of kindergarten.
I took her to kindergarten orientation yesterday afternoon. We stood outside of school, waiting to be let in, and she was silent. She put her hand in mine and I knew that she was nervous. When we were in the classroom, unpacking her backpack of school supplies and arranging her desk, she wanted hugs, twice. She seems so young; my baby.
Today, she burst into my office as I wrote this, ready to take on her second day of kindergarten. It'll be her first day riding the bus. I have a feeling that her energy will quell as the big, yellow bus draws near. But she'll get on it, following her 5th grade brother. She's ready.