Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm Not Going to whisper About Miscarriage

What does it feel like?

I'm sitting down to write this on day four. On day one, I was depressed and angry, but calm. We had gotten through miscarriage before,* and we could get through it again. I wrote to a few friends letting them know what happened and watched our latest Netflix arrival. Later, we received the call from my midwife who said we could indeed use pills (Misoprostol) and not have to endure another D&C. What a relief!

We picked up our prescription and stopped at a park on the way home. Still a prisoner in morning sickness hell, I watched my husband and daughter from the sidelines--all I could think was, I'm so lucky to have them!

Cramping and lower back pain made falling asleep difficult, and by early the next morning the pills were fulfilling their duty. My body began releasing the pregnancy that had ended approximately two weeks prior. Ok, I thought, get this thing out! And at least I'm already feeling less sick, which means Hallelujah! I can eat REAL FOOD soon, instead of dry toast and white rice! Later in the morning I felt lightheaded from the blood loss and month of poor nutrition, so I lay low until my husband returned with bags of super foods and vitamins.

First trimester food. The only green item I could digest during sickness was avocado, possibly because of its high fat content.
By day two I was stuffing my stomach ruthlessly with spinach, sweet beet salad, sweet potatoes, red peppers, zucchini, tofu, kidney beans, kale salads, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and drinking Naked brand fruit concoctions and.... water! Did I mention I could barely keep down water while sick?

It felt so good!

But then, there was a day four--today--I'm nourished, I'm hydrated... enough to feel so much better physically that the obvious hadn't hit me until now: Feeling well again doesn't make up for what happened! Did everyone see that coming but me? So I'm crying here and there even though I don't want to be sad, going into work even though I could sit and watch clouds float by, carrying on with life--some housekeeping, making plans with friends--and meanwhile I'm quietly Freaking Out that I might never have another baby.

I...                     want...                        to...

My quick attempt at a visualization. The sky (soul) holds the rage while the sea (physical body) peacefully accepts the death and recovers quickly. The figure stands still and releases the anger in screams.


And it doesn't end. I can't just will it away or push it aside when it's inconvenient: I go to the store alone. I see a beautiful pregnant woman, and I want to be happy but can't help but to become emotional. I know from my last miscarriage that these feelings are just part of what is hard for me personally, and that they will pass along with my due date in October. I take that knowledge in stride and push onward.

Then I see a new baby, and I smile, but I'm tearing up as I smile so I can't stay too long or the parents might worry about the staring stranger. This will not pass with time though eventually I can hold back my tears a little better. I know now, really know, how precious each little life is.

What can I do?

Then there's all the women I know personally who are pregnant now or just had miscarriages too. I think of them often, worry about them, want to know if they are ok. I think of the women I've been talking and emailing with: women who've lost six, women who told no-one, women whose sisters had miscarriages and women who are pregnant.

In sharing I can connect with them--and together we can heal, celebrate pregnancy and enjoy life. That's why I'm not going to whisper about miscarriage. I want to be part of the solution even if it means that a few people think I'm crazy for writing this or think I'm not being "polite" because I'm sharing something they don't want to hear. Not every woman can or wants to talk about her experience, but if I put this out there, then even the ones who cried alone will know that they are not alone after all.

A few people who remembered the box idea* from last year asked if I would again make a box for this loss. That answer is definitely no. Having more than one box is too disheartening, so I will just add a couple items to last year's box and remain hopeful that we won't ever need a larger one.

When will it go away?

It's been a week, and the hurt is still raw in my heart. I know it just has to run its course, that it just takes time, and a day will come that brings more peace and less anger. For now, the fury just sits trapped in my body, as if confined in a canister that I can't pour out. We're powerless to tip it over. Writing this post and sharing with others at least opens the container of rage so that it can begin the slow process of evaporating. Opening it feels like releasing a butterfly, letting her go free.

Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville, NC in 2005. Holding a butterfly is surely one of life's cathartic moments.

I asked my husband how he was feeling. He paused and said, "I don't know... I still miss the first one." Dads hurt too, and after writing this entry, I searched for a father's version and found this: Please view the powerful story (and accompanying artwork) of My First Son, a Pure Memory by David Hlavsa.

I cherish the healing hugs from the women of Lisa Ross Birth and Women's Center, a note in the mail from a friend, hand picked flowers, all the many emails, gifts and all the love I have received.

We're far from giving up hope, but for now the maternity clothes are packed away.

*Last year's miscarriage

Resources for you:
Surviving emotionally after a miscarriage from American
Supporting friends and family after their loss from American
Conspiracy of silence, resource for fathers from
Blog devoted to increasing chances of fertility naturally at

Please feel free to leave a comment and remember that what you say could help a future visitor.

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a mood has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hop or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

--e e cummings


Erica @ ChildOrganics said...

Please accept my sincerest sympathy for your loss. I admire your courage in telling your story. I lost my 16 month old daughter and wasn't really able to put any of it to words until recently. I can relate to your experiences of seeing pregnant women and new babies and being brought to tears. "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart" is a great book that may be something for you to look into.
For every tear that falls from the eyes, a tear falls into the heart. There it moistens the fertile ground of awareness, giving birth to greater compassion and love. - This is a quote I use in my signature that reminds me of my experiences with my sweet Bella. I thought it may comfort you as well.

Libby said...

I am so, so sorry to hear this news. I know it took a lot of courage to write so openly about this experience and how it has affected you and your family. That was so brave of you and I believe talking about it can only help heal the wounds.

Rebekkah said...

Excellent post. I'm sure there are many women who are not as comfortable sharing their experiences, but will find comfort from you sharing yours.

Anonymous said...

This post is so raw and open. This is a type of pain that you will never forget. I had a miscarriage in between my first & second babies. I got my ultrasound on our 3rd wedding anniversary. That's when I found out I had a blighted ovum. I cried so much. I thought to myself great now everytime we have our anniversary I'm going to be crying (which hasn't happened, thank God).
When I did get pregnant with my second I couldn't celebrate, even my husband said let's not get too happy. I held my breath that whole pregnancy.
I took those pills too I didn't want a D&C. I would have to say having another baby has helped ease the pain from our miscarriage. However every time the month of march goes by I think of my lost child. So sorry that you had to go through this. Keep hope and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing.. I'm so sorry. It's so frustrating and sad. You are in my thoughts.

Frugalissa Finds said...

So sorry to hear of your loss but I really appreciate your rawness and vulnerability.

Kristen said...

Isha, I'm so very sad to hear this. And I am glad you wrote this post. We lost our first child to miscarriage, and prior to that happening, I thought miscarriages were rare. I took some sad comfort from all the people who stepped forward -- strangers included -- to share their own sorrows. My children know about their older "sister" and talk of her frequently, which brings some form of comfort after that dreadful loss. We all look forward to meeting her someday. Hugs to you!

jae said...

Isha, I share your tears. It is a struggle to continue a daily routine with a broken heart and you have been in my thoughts. Thank you for being so compassionate to share your experience...what an achingly honest and lovely post.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ben and Isha, I'm very sorry about your miscarrage. Talk as much as you want, I think it is helpful also.It seems you have good friends to talk with but if you don't think you are doing as well as you should there are support groups if you need me to get you the info. Sometimes it is easier to talk to strangers, with friends you might not feel free to share as you are afraid of what they would be thinking of you.let us know if there is anything we can do. Donna Z

Shannon said...

Such a powerful post! And such a strong title! I believe our truest, most beautiful words come from the depths of us that we are told must remain silent. Bravo to you for speaking out.

That said, I am so sorry for your loss. That sounds trite, and I wish I could say something more... unique, but I'm sure you'll know that my words are sincere. I've never met you, but the more I get to know you through cyberspace the more I feel like we have met in person. Much peace and much love to you, my biracial sister.

Lady Jayy said...

Isha I am so sorry to hear about your loss. As I sit here in tears I know what you are going through. With my due date only a few days away knowing I won't be holding my baby in my arms I feel for you. I pray one day you will have a brother or sister for your beautiful baby girl, and when the time is right I will start my family. Thank you so much for your honesty in this post. Your words come at such a tough time for me, and they really helped.