Loss. Lesson. Love: Healing From Miscarriage
I have lost my keys, my phone, and arguably at times, my mind. What I have not lost were my two daughters. I always knew where they were; they died and that’s ok to say. In an effort to respect the obligatory condolences about miscarriage, I smiled and said thank you when people mentioned sorrow for my lost children, but this always pissed me off.
Opening a dialogue about sad topics is such a beautifully powerful healing tool and we are so sorely under developed in this culture that it breaks my heart.
So let’s talk…for real.
I struggled for years with infertility only to be told I would never get pregnant. I’d like to think I’m a progressive woman yet this made me feel entirely useless in a primal way. Miraculously, after years of unsuccessful treatments, we conceived with no intervention. There were no words for the hope, the love, the beauty, the gratitude I felt over this tiny life in me. I bonded with this baby immediately and I can’t explain the sensation of never feeling lonely or alone. I sang and talked to this little lentil bean and I loved that she loved vinegar and cheese then changed her mind within two minutes of ingestion. I had two ultrasounds very early because of my high risk status; hearing a heart beat was the loveliest song ever composed.
Going in for another routine ultrasound at 10 weeks I was feeling great and had no trepidation. The moment the technician went silent and told me to wait for the doctor, I knew my baby was gone.
Walking out of the office through a waiting room full of women with live babies in their bellies while mine was dead was the ugliest contrast I have ever known. I had a D&E because she would not come out on her own. I remember waking up from anesthesia wondering who was screaming in such agony until I realized it was me crying out over and over “my baby is dead.” I still cannot adequately explain what it feels like to have the life you created and nurtured and were responsible for just not exist anymore.
I was lots of things after this but mostly I was in awe of the sheer ignorance of the way we approach death in our culture. I wanted to talk about my baby and honor her legacy. I was so grateful for the 10 weeks she lived inside me and how she bridged a gap in my marriage; quite frankly, she saved me. I grieved that I could not do the same for her or her sister three years later. I did not want to hear that it was for the best or that it is the body’s way of taking care of an abnormality. I didn’t want the topic to be ignored and I found out so harshly that most people give your grief a shorter shelf life than milk. These things made me angry, but somewhere in this process and believe me it is a process with no proper beginning, middle, or end, I realized there were two ways to come out of this. There is bitterness and there is, as I have come to say, looking for the lesson….in all things, these are the options.
Here is a tip next time you have a friend experience loss: go ahead and take the casserole, but eat it with her.
Also: Don’t forget the father hurts just as badly. Oh, and put your arms around her even though she hasn’t showered in four days…and sometimes just don’t say anything at all.
I thank you, Madison and Johanna, for choosing to breathe new life into me and Daddy and for teaching us about true love and the healing that comes from raw brokenness.
Thank you for so eloquently saying what I thought.
Perfectly said. Thank you.
Exactly exactly exactly how I feel. I’m so sorry for your loss. Well, for all of our losses really. I’m sharing this article multiple times over.