4 years

No one likes to talk about this stuff, not even me.

But for some reason it feels right, and even important, to touch on the feelings of the day.  I need to be my own witness to the journey so that I don’t forget how far I’ve come.

Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of the day we say goodbye to our baby.

First of all, can I just say that the word miscarriage is terrible?  In a situation where women often navigate the mental anguish of blaming themselves, can’t we find a better word than one with a subtext of finger pointing?  Can’t we come up with something better than “you carried the baby wrong?”

I don’t know what that word would be. But whatever you call it, the result is the same.  I walked into the hospital pregnant and walked out empty handed.

Four years later, I have done the work to find a safe place for my grief.  I don’t fight it but I don’t need to process it often, either.  I’ve learned that my journey involved two distinct kinds of grief:

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1.  The child

This one is the obvious whammy… and the one that hit me right away.  I had to walk through the pain of letting go of this child; I had to grieve the family that would never be because of this loss.

There was a hole inside me (and our family) that stayed there for a long, long time.  And it wasn’t filled by our next child, as many might think.  It was filled by time passing and the loving care of friends and loved ones who held me up when I wasn’t sure I could face the world.

Today, I don’t feel that gaping hole.  Today, I feel the presence of that child in my life, maybe even more than when I was pregnant.

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2.  The way it happened

Far less apparent, the grief around how the miscarriage happened is still gut-wrenching.

Even now, I struggle to accept the actual events of that night.  I am still overwhelmed with sadness and anger at how I was treated in the hospital.

To say B and I were scared would be an understatement and I was in a lot of pain. But once the doctor knew there was no fetal heartbeat we were left alone, for hours, behind a flimsy ER curtain while I was in labor.

We deserved better than that.

There were impossible questions to be asked and terrible choices to be made that night.  No one walked us through our options or even explained what would happen next.

We deserved better than that.

To accept that we lost our baby was heart breaking.  To accept that our loss happened in such a terrible environment has proven to be a longer journey.

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I share all this not to elicit tears.  I share this because other women shared their losses with me; their stories paved the road to my new normal.

I share this because somewhere there’s a woman who wonders why, after so long, she can’t seem to get past her loss.

I share this because I want her to know she’s not alone.

 

If you or someone you love needs support after a miscarriage, there is help.

You can find it here and here.

 

 

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