No one warns you that going through a hard time or mourning a loss can also begin to drive a wedge between you and your spouse. The way you handle these situations can make or break a relationship. Marriage is something you must fight for and dedicate yourself to. Communication is the key to success. Once you neglect to talk to each other about your raw emotions and bearing all truth, things begin to crumble quickly. Although, keeping your heart on your sleeve seems like a double edged sward at the time, not wanting to talk about something that hurts you so much, because each time it is brought up you relive every feeling. The easy way out would be to pretend it didn’t happen but knowing if you don’t talk, your partner will have no idea what you’re going through/what you need and visa versa. We were told that women often feel intense guilt after a miscarriage, so the man has a special job to remind his woman it wasn’t anything she did or failed to do. Women also have an immediate bond and have such a connection with the baby growing inside them. Men sometimes have a harder time knowing the immense loss a woman feels because he is only seeing the hard-to-distinguish baby in the ultrasound pictures, every few weeks.
I wrote a previous blog about our first miscarriage, and my career altering injury. With some work, tears and hugs, our marriage only seemed to blossom after our painful loss. Ed was so supportive and caring which made our marriage grow even stronger. He reminded me the miscarriage wasn’t my fault. He started the conversation on whether we would try again, explaining whatever my answer was he understood completely and stood behind my decision whole heartedly. He explained that he married me for me, not a baby. Saying all he wants is to spend his life with me. Rather than continuing to mourn our loss I became thankful for the man I have by my side. I am overjoyed for the amazing man I chose to be my husband!
The day after our miscarriage and surgery, I was back rehearsing. I didn’t know anything else. It kept my mind off things and it was my only outlet. Three short weeks after the loss of our baby I had to go on tour for ballet to Vero Beach, Florida. I reluctantly went, knowing I desperately needed my support system back home. I was thankful for our busy schedule in Florida, to keep my mind off things. I honestly don’t remember much of the trip. For the most part I was zombie-d out. My friend, who I confided in, always knew how to make me belly laugh. She cranked the music up and we jammed out to Afroman – “Colt 45” as we sang every lyric and nasty profanity at the top of our lungs while wearing our angelic ballet buns, sitting in the minivan rental as we drove from our hotel to the theater. It turns out a little Florida sunshine was just what my soul needed!
After I returned from my week on tour, I was supposed to leave for my So You Think You Can Dance call-back in Los Angeles. It is crazy how something I was so excited about now was something I was dreading more than anything. Traveling alone, sleeping in a lonely hotel room, and in a city where I knew no one, did not sound like anything I wanted to do at this point. I ended up finally making a decision and packed my bags the day before I was supposed to leave for LA. When I arrived at LAX there were 10 other SYTYCD hopefuls with bright smiling faces and crazy excessive energy waiting for our car to take us to the theater. As I was desperately holding back an exaggerated eye roll at these peppy 18 year olds, the producer arrived. The first thing he told us was that we had to be happy, energetic, and look nice at all times because cameras would be in our faces every moment we would be there. All three things I was seriously lacking… I wanted to keep my sad eyes, lack of energy and sweat pants on. Little did I know this was the best thing for me. I have always been determined and giving up is not in my vocabulary. A little friendly competition has never hurt me. I was already in L.A. so I was going to give it everything I had.
I was still not feeling 100%. Four weeks after the surgery I was still recovering. My boobs were huge, stomach was thicker than usual and my hormones were all over the place. Not to mention I started one thing no one warned me about… My first menstrual cycle post miscarriage and D&C. To say the least it was scary and it caused me to be very light headed. I wish I could begin to explain my emotions during this time, it made losing our baby feel even more real. Solidifying our loss. I remember shaking and wiping my tears in the restroom stall. I then counted my blessings and sucked in my stomach before I exited the ladies room. I was also experiencing horrible cramps and of course I wasn’t wearing the most modest costumes.. Some including little booty shorts/bra top and salsa two pieces. Joy!!
I smiled through it and still gave it my all. I ended up making it through the first three rounds of elimination. Out of around 3,000 dancers total they kept me until the last 40-50. I also got to take away all the judges advice and wise words, as well as meeting so many great people! I was completely inspired being surrounded by such talent and diversity. I was ready to go home and get to work again! I was very proud of myself given the circumstances. I am sure the camera men would have loved my story and tears for ratings but I was definitely not ready to talk about anything… Especially on national television.
Being painfully honest the best thing about the trip was the day I got eliminated. I was reaching my breaking point. They were working us to the bone. Not seeing anything but the inside of a theater. They had us dancing 12-18 hours straight. We were sweaty, blistered, sleep deprived and hungry… Which makes for great television I assume! After I was cut the crew searched for my flight home. They couldn’t get me a flight home that day since I was eliminated at 3:00pm, so they booked a flight for 3:30pm the next afternoon. As much as I wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep for 48 consecutive hours… I explored! I had an entire day to walk my sore ass around LA. I fell in love with the area! Organic whole food restaurants and raw juice stops were on every corner. (That is something the Midwest is seriously lacking). While sipping on my freshly squeezed green juice I stumbled upon an outdoor salon. I indulged in a much needed hour massage. I will never forget this moment; the first time post miscarriage I got to take everything in, allowing myself to finally relax. The California sun was kissing my shoulders as the breeze was ruffling my hair. Complete bliss. Not to mention the masseuse was phenomenal, she worked out every kink and knot. I walked away feeling like I was walking on the moon. Then I went shopping, buying a few non-maternity clothes and a new purse. I then found myself at a wonderful restaurant and ate my delicious meal in peace. I then found a place near my hotel. I was sitting outside while sipping a glass of red wine, watching the sunset. I took this time to reflect and soak in every experience (good and bad). I have never experienced this. There was absolutely no agenda , nowhere I had to be and nobody to see. In fact, I knew no one. Nobody knew who I was, what my story was or what I had just been through. I have never traveled alone for pleasure. Of course, this was only one day of freedom but it was invigorating. It left me feeling empowered and independent. It is something I think every woman should do at least once in her life.
Although, the vacation came to an end and I was back at home working again. It was quickly me and Ed’s first year anniversary. This day was like 99% of my days… Chaotically busy! I had one last matinée performance from a run of shows. After my performance, tear down and load-out of the show, I rushed home, showered, and got ready for our special night. Instead of a wedding guest book, we asked people to write messages on wine bottles that we would open on our first, fifth, and tenth anniversary. During my pregnancy Ed and I joked about how I wouldn’t be able to drink our anniversary wine. Now that I was able to drink, it was a little hard for me to swallow. Although, it ended up being an absolutely wonderful night! A much needed date night at a marvelous restaurant overlooking the city and watching the sunset. I was feeling blessed looking back at our first year of marriage and our success after our setbacks!
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. The timing and set of events after our first miscarriage on March 3 couldn’t have been better. There was always something positive around the corner to look forward to. With my tour to Florida in March, filming for the television show in April, our first year anniversary in May, to a positive pregnancy test in June.
Wow, we were pregnant again! We knew all of our positivity and leaning on each other paid off. We believed this was the light at the end of the tunnel we were praying for…
TO BE CONTINUED: “Second Pregnancy”