This story will feel, at times, disjointed and hard to follow. I promise it will make sense in the end, just stick with me. Hi! My name is Krista Gervon, I’m 33 years old, I have three year-old son named Michael and my husband, Dave, is my partner in crime. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and I am still best friends with some of the same people I knew then. I studied and received a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island, where I became a news and political junkie. After college I moved to San Diego on a whim; I had no strings keeping me on the east coast and I figured it was now or never. Before moving, I had been working at a cancer research foundation in New Canaan, Connecticut, but quickly realized that if people were unaware of a problem, effective change would be impossible. To me, visual story-telling was always the most compelling way to to open up people’s eyes, so I decided I wanted to work in the media and bring those stories into living rooms.
I completed a certificate program in News Production at San Diego City College (SDCC) where I immersed myself in writing, editing, and anchoring live news broadcasts for the school’s weekly televised newscast, Newscene! I was in all my glory, and after the year of honing my skills I landed a PA job at KUSI, a local San Diego news station. K-youuuuuu-SI, people would say when they heard where I was working. It was a dig at the famous (infamous?) weather man, John Coleman, who coined the phrase and also founded a little known TV station called The Weather Channel. He also doesn’t believe in global warming, but that’s a blog for another day!
My shifts were from 3am - 11am, after which I went to my other job so I could make ends meet. I made 10 bucks an hour and was just und
er full time, so received no benefits. I worked on Christmas and New Years, but thankfully I was in the good company of my equally miserable co-workers. To break the soul-crushing loneliness of wanting to be home with our families, we would listen to heavy metal or watch Journey videos to make us laugh….Separate Ways still holds a special place in my heart. The holidays of 2007 were just about the most depressing days I can remember. I recall sitting alone in my apartment on Christmas Eve eating a reheated can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, thinking “What is my life!?” It was 8pm and I had to be at work in 7 hours.
Working in local news was not what it was cracked up to be, so I reconnected with my teacher from SDCC and she told me she was beginning production for a documentary that would focus on how the October 2007 wildfires of San Diego affected the lives of three groups of migrants heading north from Mexico. I told her to sign me up! I didn’t even ask what she would pay me, I just needed something different. This is what I wanted to be a part of; creating something meaningful, something that told a real story. Not some regurgitated story from the AP, reduced to thirty seconds of garbage, followed by yet another weather segment or squirrel on water skis. Yes, this really aired on the station I worked for. Anchorman was actually based on true-ish events. Plus side of working at the news station: Met Hanson, Jon Lovitz, and Ed McMahon.
I was assigned the role of Production Assistant for the film and my tasks were to transcribe interview tapes to give to the editors. This is a very time-intensive job which required me to literally write down every spoken word and the times attached to the beginning and end of each interview. My right hand has never been the same. I also helped with marketing the film and emailed different news stations across the country urging them to televise the film once it was complete. We were able to secure spots on PBS San Diego, Chicago, and Phoenix, as well as UCSD TV. There was a big viewing party for the crew at the co-producer’s home and it was such an amazing feeling to be surrounded by passionate film makers. In 2009 the film was featured in the San Diego Latino Film Festival and nominated for a Pacific Southwest Emmy award.
After the film wrapped, I was unable to jump onto a new project, but bills needed to be paid so I went back to my roots in non-profit. Between 2008 and 2012, I worked as the Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Community HousingWorks (CHW), a San Diego community development organization that did everything from real estate development, financial education, and also housed Lending and Realty departments, solely focused on low to moderate income first-time homebuyers. From this angle I was able to create the stories from the frontlines, and present them to the media in hopes that they would be compelled to air stories of hope, strength, and community empowerment. Our organization and many of our staff members were frequently interviewed as experts during the foreclosure crisis from 2008 to 2010. As that issue began to resolve itself, I pitched stories and wrote press releases about how we were affected and what we were doing about the California budget crisis, apartment ground breakings, and our bi-annual neighborhood restoration project, FaceLift. The best part of my job however was creating visual success stories. Producing videos was where I thrived and wished I could’ve stayed longer to help make more.
In the spring of 2011 I was surprised to find out I was pregnant. I had been dating my now husband, Dave, for all of six months, and had known him as a good friend for about a year longer than that. Shocked, scared, confused...these were my initial reactions to finding out about my first pregnancy. But I knew immediately by Dave’s reaction that everything would be ok. He gave me a hug and told me we would get through this together. He was all in. The pregnancy was an uneventful one; I didn’t have any issues, besides the normal discomfort that comes with growing a human being inside your body. Michael William Gervon was born at a healthy 7 pounds, 11 ounces on January 7th, 2012. He could not have been more perfect. Beautiful skin, eyes, toes, and little bald head. Just perfect. He nursed, he slept, he wasn’t sick every other week; he just adapted to life on the outside like he had been here the whole time. We felt like the luckiest two parents on Earth, and still do.
Dave and I decided it would be best to move back to the east coast to be closer to both our families, so in July of that year, we swapped perfect San Diego weather for New Jersey and Hurricane Sandy. Fair trade, no?
It wasn’t until September of 2014 that I was able to find full time work that provided benefits and I didn’t want to try for a second child until that was secured. By January of 2015, we were finally ready to begin trying for our second baby! Michael had just turned three. We found out I was pregnant on January 23rd and couldn’t have been more excited, “Wow, that was easy”, I thought!
A week and half later, the day after my 33rd birthday, my obstetrician called and after looking over my bloodwork, she concluded that I was in the early stages of miscarriage. This was a blow to say the least and I was in no way ready for those words. Even though I had been spotting for a few days, she had examined me and everything looked ok, so what can we do? There has to be something that can be done! There is no reason I should not be able to make this work. But there wasn’t. It was over. And I had to concede to the loss. But how? How do you accept that this living creature in your body is no longer there. It is a weird and very unnatural feeling and one that I had no concept of before it happened to me. Of course I knew (through only whispers and usually second hand) of women that had been through this before, but wasn’t there something wrong with them, or didn’t they do something that endangered the life of that unborn child? Thankfully, I discovered, the simple answer is no. It is an all too common occurrence, usually caused by an unfortunate genetic match that would never be able to sustain a life.
In the days and weeks following my experience, I read and talked about it as much as possible. Facts and information helped me to process the loss and move on from it. I decided I wanted to share my story and encourage others to share theirs as well. I reached out in a Facebook moms group that I am part of and asked if anyone was interested in sharing their stories. I explained that I had no idea how we would use this, but we had to start somewhere. I collected a few stories and then a close friend of mine (from the aforementioned small Connecticut town), shared an article that she had found on Scary Mommy that dared to ask the question, Why Don’t People Talk About Miscarriage? Intrigued, I read the article and looked up the writer. I discovered that the writer, Ann Zamudio, was directing and producing a documentary called Don’t Talk About the Baby, a film whose mission is to break the silence around miscarriage and infertility. I contacted Ann right away and we discussed how I could be involved in the film since I had the documentary and media background, in addition to the personal connection. It just all made sense and I am beyond excited to be part of this project.
Coincidence, I don’t know. I am not a religious person, but I try to tune into why certain things happen or don’t happen. In this case I have to imagine that there have been forces in motion for sometime that ultimately brought me to this project. In my head, when people would ask me what my dream job is, I would always think, “to make documentaries”. But sometimes it seemed so out of reach, so I would say “to tell stories that matter, in any capacity, but that’s what I love to do”. Out of a horrific experience, I am able to live my dream while at the same time affecting real change and saving women in the future from feeling isolated and alone. My hope for this film is that it will help women who experience miscarriage or infertility know that they are never alone and that the more we talk about these issues facing so many of us, the more change and healing can occur.