Some pray, some hope, some cross their fingers until finally the stick reveals the pink or blue line they’ve been longing to or afraid of seeing. What joy and disbelief at that moment that overwhelms your senses and emotions with such elation, you can’t put it into words! Thanks to our societies wives tales and superstitions, some don’t, won’t put it into words until they pass a doctor’s blood test or finally at 12 weeks, they hear a heartbeat, just to be “safe”.
Over the centuries of miracles that have come to be, we as a people have developed an unexplainable phobia for sharing our good news. The term ‘miscarriage’ has become a four-letter word in our society. Women whisper the word, shamed to have to say it at all. In my upraising, it was considered rude to use that word in the presence of another pregnant woman, even if her due date was eminent! It was as if speaking that word out loud to her would be the end all for the baby on the spot. To see it in writing even now makes me cringe a little. Sadly, some pregnancies just aren’t meant to culminate into a bouncing bundle of joy, and no one person here on this earth knows exactly why.
Miscarriages happen more often than actual babies are born during our fertile years. Perhaps you have experienced a heavier cycle than usual a few days later than expected, or maybe you found yourself unable to move due to excruciating pain that doesn’t normally accompany your monthly visit. Doctors believe that these very well could be early pregnancies that just weren’t meant to be. The happy truth about these losses is that most likely, you were completely unaware that you were actually losing anything important. It is when we ARE aware of the life growing inside of us that we reel emotionally from the loss of a loved one we’ll never get to meet, literally a grief period for the loss of a life that meant more to us than our own.
Dealing with your miscarriage is an indescribable emotional rollercoaster. There is no possible way to explain it to someone, as each mother’s loss is her own personal journey. Oddly though, when you do decide to share, you find yourself listening to other’s sad tales of fetal loss, and if you’re like me, you will probably wonder how on earth they think sharing their loss will comfort you with yours. It’s human nature. I believe that women want to share in an effort to show you that they understand, and to give you hope that life goes on or even that it doesn’t mean that you will never have children, as they then pull out pictures of the successful pregnancies that grew to be adorable munchkins who now eat them out of house and home.
It may irritate you because you won’t believe that anyone could really know how you’re feeling at such an awful time in your life. You have that right to be irritated. As a matter of fact, you have the right to feel all the feelings that may overtake you during this time, sadness, disappointment, inadequacy, anger, failure, mourning or maybe even relief. Eventually, you will reach acceptance and maybe even find peace.
Medically, the only answers can be sought from your doctor. Religiously, the only answers can be given from your priest, pastor or through deep prayer and soul searching of your own. What I hope to accomplish with this article is to be both helpful to others working through their own loss, and to help me work through mine.
It is hard to let go. It is hard to feel so defeated. It is hard to see the same feelings reflected in your spouse or partner’s eyes. It is a huge burden to be the source of someone else’s disappointment. I reflect on this journey, which is still at the very beginning of it’s departure, and realize that I have overlooked my blessings, such as the three beautiful sons God has chosen to let me keep for my very own. It is through this reflection that I find comfort in His decision to change His mind. I am thankful for my faith, and find peace and the ability to let go in prayer. There is no other better therapy in my mind. At least, prayer is working for me, along with a few bottles of good wine and my husband’s kindness and love.
You will feel alone, even though your loved ones will surround you. There is help for you emotionally. There are numerous counselors and therapy groups for this very subject. If you’re the type that needs to let go, but maybe can’t in front of those who mourn with you, then complete strangers may be your light at the end of the tunnel. There is most definitely something therapeutic about letting go to others who have stood in your shoes. I cannot say that this was my choice, but I’m sure it is comforting to share with others that can offer up empathy, pure and raw. Myself, I am the type to withdraw, mourn silently, then take my comfort in little things, like a nice cup of coffee or tea, a hot bath, new shoes. I make sure not to put myself in places that may cause a stir of emotion inside, like the infant section of any given store. I avoid those carts with the infant carriers, making sure I don’t peek for fear of breaking into tears on eye contact. Yes, there is no shame in therapy. People have sought it for less important matters.
It is often said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. So be it. Be stronger in heart, in faith, in your community. Search yourself for completion within. There are no solid answers for what baffles us most. We have to pick ourselves up, find a reason to smile, forgive ourselves for taking responsibility for things we cannot control and try, try again. The truth about parenting is, that if you’re truly meant to be one, it won’t matter when or how you are blessed with a child. It won’t matter if you’ve nurtured it from conception, or nurtured him/her the moment they crossed the threshold into your home and heart.
Miscarriage is not a dirty word. It is a fact of life, a medical term. It is devastation and an explanation. It is the one thing most women have in common and that every woman fears most. God bless the angel I will never get to hold. Heaven just wasn’t ready to let you go, but I loved you no less than the angels I tucked into bed this evening. I understand. I mourn. I love you.