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Lessons from Miscarriage

Lessons from Miscarriage

I really didn’t want to write this post. I really really really didn’t want to. I came up with every excuse I could, but I know that I’m meant to write it. The universe sends me signs everyday to write it. I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t ignore it anymore.

 

 

I have strongly felt the pull to write and share with others but with this specific topic I have been finding other “more important” things to be doing. I saw the beautiful quote above posted online, I saw a friend Bex share about her miscarriage and another friend Jenny share about her father’s cancer. I thought to myself that these are the only things worth sharing. These things that matter, the things that can help ease anothers’ pain and let them know they are not alone. I can do this. I can share this.

 

I finally woke myself up at the crack of dawn this morning in January. It’s 1 degree outside and I’m cozy underneath a blanket and I’m sitting down to write. No more excuses. It will probably be months if not years before I actually post, but baby steps (as you can see I didn’t post until about 6 months after this!). Healthy Little Bit was built on baby steps when it all seemed too scary to start. I can do this.

 

On September 27th I miscarried at 15 weeks pregnant and it completely shook my world. It’s now June, 9 months later, and I’m still not pregnant again. The compassion that I now have for families who struggle with infertility and miscarriage has skyrocketed. The day we lost our baby girl was the worst day of my life and I will always struggle to understand what it means and why it happened. There are of course no answers for me and “nobody really knows why it happens, it just happens” kind of answers.

 

On September 26th, that whole night and next morning I had bleeding and severe cramping. My husband was out of town which was the only 24 hours he was gone all year long so it was a bit shocking for both of us. Once I started throwing up, I knew something was very wrong. I texted my sister that I needed her to come NOW. It’s absolutely no surprise to me that something woke her at that minute and in her mind told her to turn your phone on. She immediately came to get me and bring me to the emergency room and was with me the whole time. I don’t know what I would have done without her.

 

I remember every detail so vividly. The moment my water broke and I knew I was definitely miscarrying. The grief when our baby girl came out still floods my body when I think of it. My sister running back in the room with her hands on my face pulling my hair behind my ears telling me “I know, I know.” Or at least I think that’s what she said. My midwife telling me how sorry she was that she didn’t make it in time. I had the most amazing ER nurse with me, but my midwife didn’t make it down from the birthing center in time. The nurse was overcome with sadness and even shaky. They turned the lights down low.

 

When I think of it today, I almost feel like it was a movie I watched, my mind tries to separate myself from it.

 

My immense grief turned to silence and staring and wanting to go home. I kept asking to leave but my blood pressure was too low so we just sat there and waited. They asked me if I wanted to see the baby and I said no. I still question that decision every day of my life. That I didn’t honor her by looking at her, that I should have looked at her and held her, but I knew she was only 15 weeks and wouldn’t look like a fully formed baby quite yet and I just couldn’t do it in that moment. I decided in a flash instant knowing my body wouldn’t be able to handle it. I go to bed telling her every night how much she meant to me and how much I miss her, and hoping that my decision to not see her didn’t make her feel like I didn’t love her.

Somebody from the hospital called me after I got home and whom I imagine is an angel sent from heaven asked me if I wanted the baby to bury or if they could cremate at the hospital. God, what a job to have to have to call me. I still remember her voice, as full of love and compassion as is humanely possible. I will never forget that call. 

 

I of course had asked my midwife that terrible, unanswerable question, “what happened?”  “What did I do wrong?” That’s the part I want to write most about, that sentence is what just made me break down in tears as I wrote it. Our female tendency to instantly blame ourselves. What did I do wrong?

 

My midwife, Stephanie, responded to me that unless I was shooting up cocaine, I did nothing wrong. That this just happens and we never really know why. I of course had to laugh, even minutes after miscarrying. It’s a bit extreme but so very true.

 

That massage you got did not cause a miscarriage, the coffee did not cause a miscarriage, even that one glass of prosecco you let yourself drink at your wedding anniversary did not cause a miscarriage. You telling your husband after months of severe morning sickness that you wished you had never gotten pregnant, that it wasn’t worth it, that statement didn’t cause the miscarriage. These of course were all the things I blamed myself for. And I blamed myself hard. I found it immensely difficult to share with you that I regretted the pregnancy because I felt so sick. How could I have said that?

So, insert whatever your reason is here. We all have one. It. is. not. your. fault. Your body is strong and so so very smart and if the baby was meant to be it would be. Yea, ok, easier said than understood, but ok.

 

I went home, called my best friend in hysterics, couldn’t talk to anyone else, and tried to sleep. I remember telling her I was trying to eat an apple and couldn’t do it because eating an apple is such a happy act. I think she thought I was crazy. I had just never been so deeply sad before and couldn’t process it and was trying to describe it to her in word vomit. She was the only person I could talk to and I am so grateful for her every day of my life but most especially that day when she listened and bawled with me and listened and bawled some more.

 

I lost a lot of blood and almost passed out trying to play with my daughter the next morning, so I took it easy for a while. I hesitated sharing that I have a child. I do have a child already, a little girl named June.  I hesitated because I want this to help those who are struggling to have a baby and I could not fathom how hard it would be to go through this without already having one, but I do want to be honest about it all. I have a daughter who helps keep my mind busy all day long so that the only real times I cry are at night when I have a moment to think and remember. And it still isn’t easy. We tried for 8 months to get pregnant with our daughter June, so it hasn’t been the easiest ride, though I know many women have gone 10 years or their entire lives trying and for those women (& men) I give every ounce of love and compassion I can muster.

 

The day after Gabby Bernstein sent me the book Spirit Babies. It’s about mediums who can speak with the spirit of your child and help you understand what your spirit baby is trying to teach you or even just going through themselves. I flipped open the book to a passage on a little spirit telling the medium that the reason he wasn’t coming in to this life was because “my parents want me to be a girl, and I’m a little boy”. My heart stopped.

 

I was so obsessed with having a little girl. I wanted sisters because I have a sister a year younger than me and as I mentioned before, we are very close. So I wanted another little girl, very, very, very, very badly. I couldn’t wrap my mind around having a boy. I was over the moon about the second being a girl, and then we lost her.

 

So the fact that I opened to this page was shocking. I later ended up reading the whole book because I thought it must talk about this throughout the book, there’s no way I just opened to that one page that mentions this. But it doesn’t. That’s the only page, the only passage where it mentions a spirit baby possibly wanting to be the other sex than the parents so badly want, and not wanting to come into this world in fear of disappointing them.

 

Flash forward to now, June 2018, every close female in my life who wants to be pregnant is pregnant. Another lesson I’m trying to sort through. Six women in total, with a seventh baby just born. So whenever we ask our daughter what she thinks the sex of a friends baby will be she replies with, “Just a baby!” We must have asked her 20 times now and every time, “Just a baby!” Finally I got the message; just a baby, just a baby. The sex doesn’t matter, it’s just a baby. This may seem trivial to some people but for me it was a big deal, a huge lesson.

 

Now, after 8 months of trying for another baby after miscarriage, I’ve let go of the sex. Truly let go. In fact after seeing my daughter’s toddler-ness I’m hoping for a boy! Just kidding 😉 Any sex! It’s just a baby. A beautiful baby.

 

My husband seems to think the same soul comes back, I wish I could fully believe that as it would make things a bit easier for me. I still feel like my 2nd little girl is lost, and I think about what could have been, and I think about what I did wrong, but mostly I try to think about what did that little soul want to teach me?

A phenomenal fertility acupuncturist, Aimee Rauf, said something to me along the lines of a lot of little spirit babies don’t want their mothers to lose themselves. For me, this had happened. For me, this meant my work, my writing, and I vowed right then not to let it go. Which is why I am writing now, sharing, and hoping that through sharing my experience I can ease somebody else’s pain. To help another know they are not alone, just as others in my life had done for me.

 

Like the mom friends that I met through a play group and didn’t know all that well but really enjoyed spending time with. They knew I was pregnant and lost the baby and reached out to me, each with their own story. They told me they weren’t sure if it was the right time or if they should say something or not but they did anyways and I truly don’t know how I would have gotten through without their support; without them feeling courageous enough to tell me about their pain.

 

I cried when they told me their stories and with each one a small weight lifted off of me.

 

One shared the story of loss of her first pregnancy also at 15 weeks, another of being told she would never have children (but went on to have 2!), of failed IVF rounds and miscarriages. Friends and family close to me have dealt with multiple miscarriages, a stillborn at 39 weeks, loss of an infant at 4 days old, years of failed IVF.

I thank god that as women today we feel so comfortable sharing our experiences. How hard it is, how sad it is, how every month you get that gut wrenching feeling of the negative result or getting your period. To be a woman and want a baby and not be able to have one, it’s an incredibly distressing and agonizing feeling. Had I felt alone, I’m not sure how I would have dealt with it all.

 

I want you to know that you are not alone, there is nothing wrong with you, we are all in this together. Thank you for every person who shared their story with me, for lifting the weight of guilt off of my shoulders, I so very much hope that I can do that for you as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you feel like it would help to share your story, please please please do so with me here below or on my facebook page or in a private email. I would be truly honored to hear it. I know that others will respond to it with pure love and understanding and compassion. I hope this has made you feel less alone. If you know someone who may benefit from reading this, please feel the courage to share with them.

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