My daughter is a miracle. From conception to birth she battled to be born. Even now, as we gaze into each other’s eyes when she nuzzles and nurses, I’m amazed she is really, truly here.
(By Eve Hinson. Originally published Summer/Fall 2009)
Still, I can’t get enough of her and nibble her tender toes, cheeks and belly. Her skin is warm and sweet. I rub my face against her downy auburn hair and am thankful she’s alive. I’m relieved we both survived.
Trying to believe
Pregnancy wasn’t easy. I suffered secondary infertility after the birth of my oldest son. I was diagnosed at 27 with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). My odds of conceiving again were very slim – and that would be with the help of fertility aids.
One doctor told me it was a miracle I had my son.
Another told me, after ruling out Cushings disease, it was the worst case of PCOS she’d ever seen.
The syndrome did more than clump my eggs and prevent conception. It ravaged my health. In less than eight months I gained almost 100 pounds. My blood pressure skyrocketed to stroke levels and I was put on meds. My hair thinned to the point of embarrassment.
I went from outgoing and active to depressed and closeted. My only thought was another baby. I hated my body for denying me.
The searing grief was eventually numbed under the thick callus of time. The pain didn’t truly dissipate until the birth of my youngest son. He joined our family through adoption.
After a few years hemming and hawing about adopting again, Jim and I decided we were content with two.
So, as you can imagine, it was a heart-jolting surprise to find out after 15 years I was expecting again. When a tubal pregnancy was ruled out, everyone — but me — rejoiced. The protective callus I thought was gone had come back.
“I thought you’d be happy. This is the baby you wanted for so many years,” Jim said.
“No. That baby is down the hall, sleeping in his room.”
Jim gave me a perplexed look.
“It’s going to take me awhile to wrap my head around this.” He was right. I ought to be shouting with joy so loud the neighbors heard me. Instead, I was terrified.
What I wouldn’t tell Jim … what scared me so badly … women with PCOS had high early-pregnancy miscarriage rates. I wouldn’t feel better until I could hold the baby. I promised myself I’d at least relax if I made it to 12 weeks – the time when the fetus would take over my faulty production and produce its own hormones.
Well the day came and passed, but I never unknotted the yarn of worry that wound through my gut.
It’s human to think different.
Eve Hinson | July 2017
Evolution of Eve | Rediscovering life then and exploring the now
Memory loss, scattered focus, inability to track time, and an ill-known stigmatized neurological disorder, plus PTSD symptoms, have erased or complicated recall of Eve’s first 37 years of life.
Now in her mid-40s, Eve is Autistic AF (born that way) and left with a brain that doesn’t include filters (she says fuck. a lot), likes to glitch and, after the memory wipe, created a new personhood. Eve is different to those who’ve known her from childhood. She is unknown even to herself and seeking to learn about her life from back then, and embracing life now.
This series focuses on self-discovery after the onset of severe mental illness, memory loss and permanent disability. It’s a different life and a worthy life.
Contact Eve | firstname.lastname@example.org