***Trigger Warning*** this blog discusses pregnancy loss
The first thing I did after I found out was ask myself if I was allowed to cry. Then the tears immediately began to well up and pour from my eyes. Asking myself if I could cry was like asking myself if this experience was real enough. It was like asking myself if the life within me was real enough to lose. Of course it was real. Although I had never heard a heartbeat or saw an ultrasound, I had felt joy. I had told myself how amazing it was that I already loved this baby forming within me. I had put my hand over my very small womb and dreamt of having an autumn baby. I felt giddy over the thought of summer dresses stretching thinly over my enormous bump. I pictured three little boys running in a loud little boy train from the bedroom to the living room. I pictured what it would be like to have a girl, soft and demure, with frilly pink head bands and puffy lilac dresses. As quickly as those dreams washed over me, they were ripped from my hands.
Those early pregnancy tests that I had taken before my missed period read positive. All four of them. Then I began to feel the familiar aching in my tailbone that I had felt in my previous pregnancies. This was always the first sign that I was pregnant. Then, the first test I took after my missed period was negative. Nine tests later, I knew that I had lost the pregnancy. Everywhere I looked online told me that it was a “chemical pregnancy.” I wondered if that meant that I was allowed to mourn. I wondered if it meant that I truly had suffered a loss. If this was 45 years ago, would I have even known that I was pregnant? I decidedly answered yes to that question. I knew my body. That is why I took the early test in the first place.
This was not just some failed cellular experiment. This was life, and though that life did not thrive, it was still within me. It was the beginnings of something. It’s very early death did not make it any less alive or true or real.
Six days past my missed period, I finally started to bleed. It was the confirmation to what I already knew. My loss flowed from me, yet I had no one to talk to about it. I have many people in my life to talk to, but I did not know how to start this conversation, lest I sound melodramatic, lest they say something well-meaning that only confirmed to me that I was not allowed to cry.
The things that people say to try to be well-meaning only sting. I realize that there is nothing anyone can say. I just have to let myself be hurt. I have to let myself feel the loss, tuck the joy of that life that I felt deep within a pocket of my breaking heart.
My healing is coming from acknowledging that what I had growing within me WAS life. I loved that life. I wanted to nurture that life. I wanted that life to thrive. I wanted to hold my baby in the fall and tell her she’s beautiful. I still do.
Since I have asked myself if I am allowed to cry, I have cried many tears. Buckets and Buckets of tears.
I sit here in this very moment, waiting for the bleeding to end, and knowing that we will not try for a while. A new baby was not in our plans. Maybe we will try in the fall.
I will hug my boys and be appreciative of all that I have, but I will also allow myself to grieve. One thing I have learned through all of this is that grieving is not conditional when it comes to the loss of a pregnancy, a baby, a life. “Chemical Pregnancy” just doesn’t do it for me. However early the miscarriage, it is still a miscarriage.
Twelve days ago, I was watching the pinky-orange sunset set the Kansas sky aglow. It was the most beautiful sunset I had seen all winter. I felt that God gave me that sunset just to tell me that the life within me had crossed to the other side. Tears poured from my eyes. Adele’s song, “Don’t You Remember” came on, begging the question, “When will I see you again? You left with no goodbye, not a single word was said. No final kiss to seal anything. I had no idea of the state we were in.” I know that the song has nothing to do with mommies losing their babies, but it asked the question that I was too confused and shocked to ask.
The only thing I know is that God is with me through my pain. He cares and loves for me and will nurture me through my heartache. He holds me when I am too weak to stand, and gives my soul the voice to sing when my voice withers. I need not say a word because he hears my thoughts.
“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18