This is Us…and Ruby
It was May 5, 2007 and I walked out of the bathroom into my bedroom and laid the stick on the desk.
It said I was pregnant.
“Now what do we do?” I asked Shawn.
He just kind of looked at me. We knew it was coming. We had joked about it really ever since we got together. I’m the oldest of 8. He’s the oldest of 6. Fertility just seems to be something we’ve got right.
I sat on the bed as the options ran through my head. I sat and heard my mother rip me 5 new ones as my Dad just hung his head. What was I going to do? How could I have been so stupid?
We made our decision that day. We just couldn’t be parents now. We still lived with my parents. His music career really seemed to be officially stalling. My parents we’re beginning to make declarations that we should wait to get married and I just wasn’t raised to have a baby out-of-wedlock. But I also wasn’t raised to do what I was thinking about either.
I was fucked.
The morning sickness was unlike anything I have ever experienced (and still haven’t because for some reason. With Phoenix. I never had morning sickness). It was all day. Ruining a particularly delicious Chicken Caesar sandwich from Panera (that I still don’t eat). Doritos. Cream of Crab soup.
Pulling over on the highway every single morning to say goodbye to the breakfast I begged for from Burger King.
I would lay on the floor of the bathroom stall at work and just cry. Praying my orthodox jewish boss wouldn’t figure it out.
I thought I was hiding it well until a client came in to see the house I was showing and she said ‘How far along are you? About 7-8 weeks?’ I think I crapped myself when she said this
“Well you’ll have an easy labor with having to climb these steps all the time”
When she left, I cried for 2 hours.
I don’t know what told me or how I figured it out but I had this feeling that it was a girl.
And her name was Ruby Rose.
I dreamed of her one night. She was riding around on one of those big wheel bikes with a little boy following behind her. She had tight curly hair that was a lot more blonde than it was red. And as I think back now to say she looked like Phoenix would be an understatement.
She had on a purple dress with a small floral pattern. And her smile was beautiful and her laugh sounded like music.
A few weeks after we found out I started spotting. I was positive we were miscarrying. We made a story up about Shawn having chest pains and went to the hospital.
This may have been our easy way out.
But it wasn’t. It was simply implantation bleeding. I remember laying on the hospital bed and the tech checking my cervix. It was technically our first ultra-sound.
I looked away the entire time and tried not to lose it. Shawn watched.
And I’m glad he did. Someone should have.
Shawn & I never talked about her. What could we really say? She wasn’t staying with us..
But every time I would come out of the bathroom, close the door to the car, or push my dinner away in disgust he would just look at me. His eyes silently telling me he was sorry.
We didn’t even have the money to do it. How could we have had her?
This is why it wasn’t over until 12 weeks. I walked into the office with more shame then I have ever felt. Everyone was going to judge. But then I remembered they were in fact here for the same thing.
Up until this point I really had been pretty fine. It was just something that had to be done.
I didn’t want to hurt my parents, I didn’t want to embarrass them, I didn’t want to hurt Ruby. And I was sure that I would.
That we would.
When I walked into the room everything literally went blurry. Literally. The nurse was speaking, but I didn’t hear her.
Mary J. Blige was playing on the radio.
I laid on the table. The doctor came in. He was African.
The machine came on and I lost it.
I wailed and wailed. The nurses tried to calm me. I didn’t stop.
When it was over someone else dressed me.
“I need Shawn. I need him. Get him now.”
They told me something about partners not being allowed back because not everyone had someone. But they would see what they could do.
They brought me out and sat me in a brown leather Lazy-Boy recliner.
I asked for the bathroom and puked my guts out and cried.
When I sat back down Shawn came flying into the room. Later I would find out that the nurse told him he needed to get back there like NOW because I was not in good shape.
“I’m sorry. I killed our baby. I know you hate me. Please don’t hate me. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It was a girl. Her name was Ruby”
At that moment as I cried and he held me something in me locked with him. Before this, we were rocky. Things just not going the way we thought. We fought all the time and I think we both felt we should do each other the respect of walking away.
But that day it was like a moth to a flame. And in the moment I really knew he loved me. I hate it. I hate that at that moment this realization came. But it did.
They let me go home 30 minutes later and on the ride home I grabbed Shawn’s arm. I needed something real. Something concrete, something in this world to hang on to. Like my life depended on it. And I think it did.
We had Quizno’s for lunch and I insisted on going in to order. But everything was still blurry. And even still I didn’t let him go.
When we went home we laid in bed and cried until the sun went down.
And you don’t have to tell me how much of a monster I am. I know it. And trust me. I walk with this shame every single day.
This is part of our story that maybe 10 people know about. I’ve never wanted to tell anyone but I feel that it’s apart of our story and she deserves it.
Even when I was pregnant I cringed when I had to pretend like I had never experienced this before.
But I also cringed when I had to complete the papers for my OB that asked “How many times have you been pregnant?”
It was June 22nd and I had an abortion.
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