And then there were two.
I spent yesterday mourning. A week ago, I took a pregnancy test, and got a positive. Yesterday my body decided to expel the contents of my uterus over the span of several hours. It was like a period, but worse. It was waves of cramps and lots of big red blood clots. It was feeling hungry, but also not wanting to eat. It was tiredness and a backache.
It was also not wanting to talk to anyone. Nobody knows what to say when you tell them that you are currently in the middle of a miscarriage. I mean, how do you say, “Sorry your tiny baby didn’t make it?” without coming across as a complete ass? I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate people sending their love, but sometimes it can come across as so strange. No woman in miscarriage wants to hear the facts about how many pregnancies end in miscarriage. We know that 1 in 4 women have a miscarriage. We know that every miscarriage a woman has increases her risk of having more. I’m now on my second miscarriage, increasing my risk to 30% of recurrence. But knowing that it’s “not my fault” doesn’t make it feel any better. Facts are not reassuring. They’re terrifying.
There is so much guilt swirling around miscarriage. You don’t want to talk about it. This is why I cringe and hate writing this, but if I don’t say it, my heart will break and I’ll go mad. I didn’t talk about it last time, and it kills me that I never said anything. So here it is:
Yes, I have had two miscarriages. Both of them were early. 6 weeks 3 days for baby #1, and 5 weeks 6 days for baby #4. But let me be clear: they were both BABIES. They both EXISTED. They were both wanted and loved from the moment we knew they were there. And yes, I grieve for them, because grief only exists when love lives first, and YES, they were so loved.
But let me also tell you what they weren’t:
- They weren’t blobs. They weren’t a mess of unrecognizable cells.
- They weren’t “easier” to lose because they were so young in their development.
- They weren’t barely there.
- I won’t just think of this as a “late period”. They weren’t just a lack of good record keeping on my part.
- They weren’t “good luck” because they didn’t continue to grow, because maybe they had disabilities and Mother Nature was doing what she does.
- They won’t mean less because we already have two kids.
There are no “at least” comments that help. “At least” comments are trying to make the situation smaller, easier to ball up and dispose of so that the uncomfortable emotions go away faster. Because lets be honest, shall we? I was pregnant, I was in labor, and I delivered a baby. Considering my experience less than that dishonors the fact that I held life. It doesn’t matter how long I held it.
Maybe I sound angry. Maybe I am. The healing process is a hard one. I guess I’m mad that pregnancy for me is a scary road, but one that I adore so much. I have always wanted a big family with lots of beautiful babies. I love who Adam and I are as parents, because they make us better people every single day. Our kids are our greatest adventures, and also the ones that have brought us closer together. So I am mad, because to know the risks of what could happen and still want to go forward is so hard, but one I will do with my partner again, hopefully.
I read a quote yesterday that exactly expresses how I feel:
There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.
The moment that a couple gets a positive pregnancy test they begin preparing that place in their heart. Seconds could pass by, but a palace of love has already formed in their lives, carefully constructed together in their minds. We plan for them knowing that they will be so cherished, and we pile our hopes and dreams for them in this palace. Maybe we name them already. We look at the time of year they will be born. We talk about when the baby will be born, and what we’ll do. We tell others. We smile about our secret glimmer baby.
And then we grieve when this baby goes elsewhere. Sometimes when you win, you lose.
This is such a jumbled piece. I’m sorry. There isn’t much I plan to do about it, besides write it. I can’t stop writing it, because it’s in my head and my heart and my blood and my bones. Nobody talks about this stuff. It’s like death is unacceptable. I get this feeling that maybe I should be quiet, because nobody wants to hear this stuff, but why??? I’m not asking anyone to share my grief. I’m just saying that I am grieving, and that’s ok. Don’t try to make me feel better. That’s not your job. That’s my job. I don’t need help, I don’t need food or a hug or company. I don’t want distractions. Why does everyone want to distract me? I want to feel this. I want to notice the tearing feeling deep in my stomach and remember that I CAN CARRY LIFE. And I did carry life! And it was awesome! And I am so proud of myself, and I love my missing babies, and I’m gonna be ok!!
But I do want to grieve. And that’s ok, too. I don’t have to hurry. I can be lonely for a while in this one person body. Lonely doesn’t always mean it’s bad. I can let my body release everything gently, and I can be grateful for the process. I can be grateful for the love my husband pours on me like warm honey. I can be grateful for the smell of sunshine on my kid’s heads. I can be grateful for the opportunity to try again. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted by the wonders that exists all around them.
Once you are real, you can’t become unreal again. It last for always.
-The Velveteen Rabbit
If you read all the way down here, thank you. I appreciate you. I know how it feels to be stunned by someone announcing their miscarriage. The best and most gentle thing to say is “I’m sorry for your loss” and leave it at that. Moms of miscarriage know it’s hard to respond. We appreciate your kindness and love. xoxo