LIGHT Series 2016: Carolina Miranda – Humanity & Nature (TW Miscarriage)

Throughout the stories there’s a common
theme of choice. You can choose to let go of a pain. You can choose to let go of the image that
someone has of you. Women are still trying to assert their choices. And I’m you last storyteller. You’re
kind of stuck with me tonight as your MC, storyteller, poem writer. In my story, and I just want to, before I
share the story, is about– There’s a part of the studies that I’m
doing is, that, there’s a line of thinkers that, they say that people are in, it’s
their human right, to share their story. Whether you agree or not, a human being’s
life, and that person’s story is their human right. There’s some really amazing scholars right
now talking about that. In my story, is one of a miscarriage. Again, tying back to women’s bodies and
sexuality. And here’s how my story goes. In 2014 I went through my divorce. And on January 1st 2014 I knew, that was when
I got up and I said a prayer and I said, you know, just guide me here, Universe, I don’t
know… My life was gone the way I knew it. I had no idea where it was going. I’m an immigrant, I’m here in Canada by
myself and I’m a single mother. I have no family here, and I really didn’t
have that many friends. So this desire to connect to a friend on mine
that I had broken up with 8 years before came burning. And I knew I had to look for her. And we had separated our friendship because
both of us went through some really traumatic experiences and it was, it just became too
much. And I called Amanda. Remember Amanda? She introduced me to these beautiful women. Amanda Paixão is the only person I know whose
name is actually “loving passion.” Amanda means ‘loving,’ Paixão means ‘passion.’ And she was my very first Brazilian friend
here in Canada. And I just knew I had to find her. And so I did. And it was a very easy Facebook connection. And she was still there, as beautiful as always,
dancing still. And I didn’t have anywhere to crash on the
first weekend that my ex-husband had my children. And she said “Well of course you’re gonna
come here,” and I said “We haven’t seen each other in 8 years.” She said “Of course you’re gonna come
here.” And so I went, and she is that kind of a woman
who is so nurturing that when I arrived there, without having talked to her in 8 years, she
had the couch made, she had the pot going with the Brazilian feijoada ready for me,
tickets in hand to this Brazilian concert that we were going to go dance together, and
red nail polish because she said “This is going to make you feel so much better. And so I– that’s when I first saw Amanda
after 8 years. And Amanda and I have some really weird things,
like when we met 8 years before we were both driving a red Beetle, we were both, well
she was a dancer and I was an actress, and we were both reading this really, really obscure
book in Brazilian literature, like not even Brazilians know that book, and we were both
reading a book by Hilda Hist. And I was like, “This is weird…” And she then, when I left acting, took over
a lot of my work here at the MT Space in town. And so, our friendship just picked up where
we left and grew like that. And we then– I then met these beautiful women
at her bridal shower. And she kept saying “You have to meet my
friend Angelica. You really have to meet my friend Angelica.” And I think she was saying the same to Angelica,
I don’t know. I hope she was. And then, you know, because Amanda and I in
our lives seem to do this, I was so hopeful that I would be able to rebuild my life. She was also in a very troubled marriage and
had since broken up from that marriage and had rebuilt her life. And she was seeing this amazing, kind man
who accepted all of who she was, this incredibly powerful, loving, earthy mother, or motherly
person. And so in July of 2014, Amanda and Eric got
married. And it was truly the most beautiful celebration
of love that I have ever, ever been present. Right? It was magical. They, to give you a sense—that’s not where
this story goes but— They walked hand-in-hand together down the aisle. There was nobody else. There were no bridesmaids, there were no–
There was nobody. There were just these two beautiful brave
souls, walking down the aisle together, saying yes to each other, and they walked down singing. O nosso amor, vai ser assim. And I was sure that I’d be writing a book
because life just started happening and so many beautiful instances of serendipity started
happening, and… You know, Amanda wanted that wedding to be
an explosion of love. I was sure that I would be rebuilding my life
and that fairytale would come true for me and that I’d be writing a book about, you
know, finding love and finding somebody that finally took all of me and we would be happily
ever after. And sure enough I met Josh at the wedding. And Josh was 6’4” and fantastic, after I had not been successful at inviting
any date to the wedding. And he was actually the most loving, kind
person I had ever met. He was the first person I had met after my
divorce. And we had a very lovely relationship throughout
that summer, which was not sustainable for very many reasons. But you see, I was really sure because I had
met that fantastic man at Amanda’s wedding and our lives were so intertwined, I was so
sure he was my Prince Charming and I was raised on a lot of Disney movies so it
takes a long time to detox all of that through your system, seriously. It really does. I know you think “Oh she–” No, seriously. Seriously. Ariel, mermaid? She loses her voice so that she doesn’t
have to speak so she can fit into a different culture? Let me tell you, oh, do I know a lot about
that. Anyhow. You know it was also when I met Alicia, Angelica
and Carly’s daughter, and Alicia danced with me all night long and sort of kept– It
was almost like she was there protecting me in a way, cause I took notice of this really
smart, beautiful, young– She was just a kid then. She was really tiny, and she’s this beautiful
young woman now. And so I walked away from that relationship
because it was not sustainable. We were in totally different places in our
lives, and being the responsible woman that I am, I always have been very safe, and I
walked away thinking that, you know, one small accident having been so safe my entire life
would mean nothing. I mean, let’s face it, we wore a condom
and I had an IUD. Come on. Impossible. Well let me tell you, life is not predictable
and God had its own ways because it will just make things happen when it wants to happen
and it will throw you for spins when it wants to throw you for spins. So after much denial of being super tired
and thinking “Oh I’m just back at work now, it’s August,” sleeping at my hairdresser’s
chair and I was like “No I’m just working a lot” or gaining, you know,
10 pounds in less than 2 months. It’s like, “Well no, I’m just, I’m eating
because I’m so anxious. I realize, I’m a master of denial by the way, and I realize
that perhaps I should take a pregnancy test. And perhaps I should stop avoiding it, because
deep down I knew. I knew. I had been pregnant twice. And sure enough, as I took that pregnancy
test, a very faint ‘positive’ came back but I knew what that meant. Josh had gone on his straight line path, living
life on the straight lines that we’ve constructed with easy paths for anyone who doesn’t have
to deal with the swirls and the roller coasters and the circles of life. And so, on that day I just had sat down and
I thought “Okay. This takes single motherhood to a whole new
level, doesn’t it?” Because, for all things are worth, my ex-husband
is a great father and we do share parenting responsibilities. And I thought “Why…?” I said “What do I want to do here?” And here’s another kicker from life: I always
grew up thinking “You know, I’m pro-choice, and I know what choice to make and I know
what to do when I, when–” But when life happens and push comes down to shove, you
don’t know what to do. You don’t know how you’re going to react. Because all the feminist in me and all the
pro-choice in me, which I respect and am, knew deep down that I also want more babies,
that I am a mother, and when I looked at my daughters, I thought “Hmm. I’m gonna do this.” Because privilege is really so nasty, but
I am able to do this. And I– All these emotions kept coming and
these thoughts, like I realized how privileged I was, that I could actually do that, however
hard it was going to be, and that I wanted to do that. And that was the worst part for me, was to reconcile with the fact that I actually wanted that baby. Because I wanted more children. And because I looked at my babies and I knew
that I wanted that child. And because life just throws you for a loop
every time and just reminds you every corner and which way that, no, you know, there’s
other plans and life changes… 48 hours of agonizing over what choice to
make, I started bleeding heavily, contracting strongly, and thinking “I can’t do this. I cannot– I can’t think straight. I can’t think straight. I don’t– Every time I make a choice something
else happens. What the heck. I can’t think straight. Nothing is within my control and I don’t
know where to go.” So on 29th of October 2014, I was driving
home from work and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t go any more cause I was just in pain… I didn’t even– I hadn’t called the doctor. I did nothing. I was just there, dealing with that the best
as I could. And I stopped my car at a parking lot at one
of the schools across my house. And I called Amanda. And I said, “Amanda, I need you to think
in a straight line because right now I can’t. I need you to do the thinking for me because
I don’t know– What do I do here? This is the mess and the puddle that I am
in. Can you pick up my pieces once again please?” And Amanda, being the “loving passion”
that she is, said “You’re going to call your doctor. You’re going to call your therapist. You’re going to take a day off work. You’re going to stay home, and you’re
going to take care of yourself.” I said “But tomorrow is Halloween.” It was actually the 29th of– 30th of October. I said “Tomorrow is Halloween at school. I can’t, I have to be at school.” She’s like “Carol, no. You don’t. You’re going to take the day off, and you’re
going to take care of yourself. And, I did. The first Halloween I’ve ever missed at
a school, ever. And people thought it was really weird because
they don’t realize that all of that is going in your life. And so, life went on. Back on the straight path, after a few weeks. And I realized, recently, that my fairy tale
was never about a Josh. My fairy tale was never about anybody else. And the book that I actually am in fact writing
is about Amanda and I. Because as my beautiful friend Mary always
says, “Time will tell.” On the 30th of October 2015, a year later,
Amanda calls me. She says, “Carol, can I crash at your place? I have a gig at the MT Space in Kitchener.” And I said, “Of course you can.” And she said to me, “Guess what!” I said, “What?” She said, “I think I’m pregnant.” I was like, “Oh my gosh!” She’s been trying for a year, or two. And I journal a lot; I am a writer. And I knew right then when she said it,
I thought, “Holy cow. Time. I think this about a year after my miscarriage
when I called her from that parking lot.” Sure enough, I went back to my journals. I have them on the computer, and it was around
that time, within a day or two. And I thought, “Do I tell her? She’s just finding out that she’s pregnant. Do I tell her that this is like an incredible
synchronicity? But then, like, is that gonna creep her out?” And then, when I picked up my daughter from
daycare, and I swear to God, you can go on my Facebook and you will see this right up
there. When I picked up my daughter Yolanda, who’s
3, from daycare, my daycare provider is going, “I don’t know what’s going on
with Yolanda today, but she drew this picture.” And Yolanda comes, “Look mommy, you’re
pregnant. And it’s me in your tummy.” And I’m going like, “There’s no one
pregnant around Yolanda right now… There’s no one that she knows that’s pregnant.” And she drew two women and a baby. And I’m going “Okay… Okay. Let’s go home, Tia Amanda’s coming to see
you.” When Amanda gets home, and I bought her a
pregnancy test as a gift, and I, like, tied it into a bow… Amanda gets home, she sees the pic– She’s
like “Oh my gosh, that’s me and you. And I’m pregnant.” I said, “Yes I think you are. You better go test it. I think you are, and I think somehow this
picture…” And Yolanda had drew, and swear to God, you
can look at that on my Facebook like I said. She drew the picture, and Yolanda who’s
3, said to me, “Mommy. The hand, there’s a claw on the hand. There’s like little spikes and there’s
a claw on the hand.” And I was like, “A claw on the hand.” And then Amanda’s like, “Oh there’s
something wrong with my baby!” And I said “No I don’t think that’s
what it is.” And then Yolanda’s like “No it’s really
clawed. It’s like–” And I said “Amanda!” So I put it all together, I said “Amanda,
a year ago I had a miscarriage. Yolanda draws this picture. The baby’s fine. We can talk about my miscarriage. Your baby’s fine, it’s clawed right there,
that’s the claw. You’ve got it. Like it’s there. Don’t worry. It’s not going anywhere.” And I told her I was going to share our story
tonight, and I said “I know you can’t make it because you’re kind of really pregnant.” And I said “But is it okay if I share, and
is it okay if that becomes our story because I think that’s actually the book that I
am writing about.” And she said “Not only you should share,
you should also let people know I can’t make it because June 22 is my due date. So, my book is not– is about Izabel. And Izabel is the baby that we’re awaiting
tonight and the light that we’re awaiting tonight to come into this world. And it’s about the story of Izabel being
named after her great-grandmothers who are, by the way, one on each side both called Izabel. And it’s about women connecting through
their roots, literally in the case of Amanda and I, because we came together through our
cultural roots. And it’s about mothers that are just going
to make space and create safe shores so that that little baby can make the choices that she
needs to make as she grows up. And it’s a very beautiful story that I hope
you’ll read one day. Thank you.

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