Last week my husband, Jason, and I took our daughter to our neighborhood park in New York City. Bryn is almost two. She’s such a girly girl, with her stickers and her jewelry—and she loves other girls. So on this day, she walked up to one just a bit younger than herself, gave her a kiss on the cheek, and then walked along chirping, “It’s a little baby girl! I love her!” Jason and I looked at each other, and I know we were thinking the same thing: If only….
Here’s what goes through your mind when you’re 41 years old and someone tells you you’re going to have a baby: Um, what? But I just had my period! Didn’t I? And aren’t I 41? It was late winter, and I had gone to the doctor because I’d been spotting. He ran some tests and came back into the room. “You’re pregnant,” he said. (He doesn’t mince words.) Jason wasn’t with me, because why would he be? When I told him later that day, his jaw dropped. I couldn’t blame him. Mine had too.
Because my first pregnancy had been complicated, and because I was over 40, the doctor told me that I was “high risk” and needed to take it easy. So I took it so easy. I had to. I was still bleeding, and I was nauseated and uncomfortable—“way worse than last time,” I said to Jason. I felt seven months pregnant even though I was six weeks along. And because we hadn’t planned this, I felt unprepared, like we had so much to do to get ready for this baby. Still, I was excited, if cautiously so, with the words high risk ringing in my ears.
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, you try not to tell anyone, especially if you’re me. (My first pregnancy had been outed by a blogger.) So I told only my assistant and one exec at Skinnygirl—to explain why I couldn’t fly to Australia for a promotion.
One other person knew. We were renovating our new apartment: Bryn’s bedroom was going to be pink (obviously), and we’d have a “man den,” with brown suede paint and dark carpet. When we found out I was pregnant, Jason and I decided to do the den pale, for the baby. But the decorator had ordered everything, and she had to have been thinking, What is wrong with you? So I told her I was pregnant. It was crazy: I didn’t tell my best friends, but I told a woman I had known for three months because it affected the decor.

Happiness, interrupted

In the seventh week, after the doctor showed us the heartbeat, Jason and I went for this great dinner downtown in Tribeca with another couple. We had a wonderful night, and I decided to stop worrying about all the planning we hadn’t done and just let myself be happy. When we got home, I told Jason, “You know what? This is meant to be.” While we’d been putting off pulling the trigger, not actively “trying,” the universe had stepped in. We were glowing and happy, and I think we both started to feel: This is real.
And then it happened. The next day it was warm out, 50 degrees, but you’d have thought it was negative 10, I was shivering so much. I took Bryn to the Central Park Zoo, and I was cold and tired, and felt terrible. Then, in the makeup chair for Bethenny Ever After, I started bleeding. Really bleeding. Jason picked me up, and we went to the doctor. In the exam room the doctor ran an ultrasound, looking for the heartbeat. Something was wrong. “I’m not finding it,” he said. Jason said, “I don’t see it.” And I’m like, “Is this a miscarriage?” I didn’t know.
I got dressed, we met the doctor in his office, and I launched into it. “Is it because I’m busy? My lifestyle? Is this my fault?” I asked. “Absolutely not, absolutely not,” he replied, before I could dump all my neuroses on his desk. “You’re 41. You had bleeding. There’s nothing you could have done.” And I hadn’t done anything. Since I’d found out, I’d been lying down for an hour or two a day and letting others take up the slack. But I blamed myself—of course I did.