Montag, 26. März 2012

5 years as Mijnssen or Parenthood is never Painless

Tomorrow marks 5 years since Ivo and I said "Ja, ich will" in Zürich's Civil Registry and began planning our actual vows for our July wedding. 5 years ago, Ivo had just returned from Kiev and I had just been discharged from the Waidspital, my body having rejected a porcine plug that was meant to aid my chron's ravaged body.

3 years ago tomorrow, Ivo and I began our path to parenthood. Tearful conversations and beautiful trust-building sessions with a family psychologist readied us for the adoption process.

5 years ago at City hall, I used my German to say that I agreed to legally bind myself to Ivo Mijnssen for life. But it was in July that he and I used one another's native languages to promise one another our best intentions, our trust, fidelity and support.
Tomorrow we are eligible for adoption in Switzerland. I've come far enough that I could conduct that process in Swiss-German, filling out forms in high German and translate what is necessary for any American adoption agency. But I don't think we will do that. No, this week, instead of using my Swiss German to re-start the process to adopt a child, I am learning the vocabulary of loss. Last week it was confirmed that Ivo and my miraculous pregnancy (Schwangerschaft) has ended in miscarriage or "Fehlgeburt". Fehlen means "lack" or "abscence", but it also means "want." I choose the latter of these definitions, because our future child is so wanted. A beloved friend told me this week, that we are not having a Fehlgeburt but a Nachricht, or a message. My body has rung a bell and told us (along with all of my doctors) that we are able to get pregnant, that my body did a great job during the pregnancy and that we may naturally become parents.
We are so blessed, because the weight of this Nachricht is so great, that the weight of loss is more manageable. Chrohn's had no effect on this loss, it is blessedly typical. In fact, it happens often to many healthy women.
While preparing to celebrate that civil stage of our partnership, Ivo and I are preparing for our loss. In the meantime, I learn words like "Fruchtwasser" (amnionic fluid) which I produced well and "auskratzen" (the cruel German word that turns "dialation and curetting" into "scratching out", should it come to that.)
Throughout this new experience in our relationship, Ivo and I use our bilingual stock of vocabulary to hold to our vows and love and support one another. This path to parenthood just keeps getting more and more interesting and our partnership continues to prove strong, no matter how it's tested.


  1. I love you for sharing, and with your beautiful, painful words you've conveyed what every woman experiences with miscarriage. Big hug sent across the ocean to both of you.

  2. I admire your candor, your resilience and your optimism. I know firsthand how difficult this subject can be, and even harder to share.

  3. I love you, Jessica. This is really, so lovely. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.