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.|
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 Pregnancy.com
Supporting friends and family after their loss from American Pregnancy.com
Conspiracy of silence, resource for fathers from Pregnancy.org
Blog devoted to increasing chances of fertility naturally at naturallyknockedup.com
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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)
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