It's been nine years to the day since I laid on a hospital gurney in a hallway outside of operating room two. Shaking, silently crying and clutching my middle. "Let me give you something to help with your nerves," the anesthesiologist said as he walks to my bedside. I look at him blankly and say nothing. My nerves are hardly the problem but whatever he pushes into my IV has the desired effect I stop crying, I stop shaking, but my hands stay clutched to my middle. A nurse comes out and pushes me into the operating room. It's freezing; there are more nurses and a doctor inside. My eyes scan the room and land on the stirrups suspended from the ceiling. Dread and humiliation wash over me and mingle with the deepest sorrow I have ever known. The people in the room are talking amongst themselves, about their day, plans for their weekends, something on TV. I am silently falling apart. A nurse asks me a question and smiles; I mumble something back, this is no place for smiling. I'm asked to count backward from 10. I make it to seven before darkness. The days that follow are the darkest of my life. It takes me a long time to put myself back together. There are cracks. Twice more I end up in the hallway outside of that operating room but I was more prepared, not caught off guard, the walls had been put firmly in place.
Nine years to the day.
Now I have three beautiful living children one of my heart and two of my body. The ending is happy and full of genuine miracles but the beginning still happened, it is the dark bits of my journey to motherhood. I speak openly about it all now, but for a long time, I was so full of guilt and shame in my body for not being able to do what it was supposed to do. I felt ashamed for being so affected by my miscarriages, no one else seemed to be falling apart like me, why couldn’t I get over it. As I grew bolder and stopped caring if I was making other people uncomfortable, I found that the more I told my story, the more I heard in return. There were so many women just like me that wanted to be seen, heard and have the lives of their babies recognized and remembered.
From that truth, this project is born. I've asked women in my community if I could take their pictures and if they would share their stories to accompany them. My goal was to help spread awareness if only in our small community, to help women who feel alone and maybe give them the courage to tell their own stories and most importantly spread a little healing.