A story of pregnancy and loss.
“I know you don’t have the right words to say to me when I’ve just told you I’ve lost my baby…Instincts tell you to say that you’re sorry and that everything happens for a reason. Saying you’re sorry is enough; you don’t need to justify anything. Friends and family, all the same. Just tell me you’re sorry and listen to me talk out my feelings. I don’t want you to say that everything happens for a reason. Chances are, your reasoning and my reasoning aren’t cut from the same cloth. For me, that reason is scientific; it just didn’t work. But I want to know why it didn’t work this time. I don’t want or need to hear that God has a different plan for me. Miscarriage is explainable; leave God out of the explainable things for me. Verbalizing my feelings and asking questions…that’s how I get through tough situations. You don’t have answer my questions; they aren’t questions to be answered by you. Just nod your head and refill my champagne glass when it is looking low. You don’t have to tell me I’ll get through it. I know I will. Because I’ve done it before and millions of other women before and beside me have done the same. Just sit and let me talk. Your silence means more to me than you will ever know. Nothing you say right now will make me comes to terms with it any better. I have to be okay from the inside first.”
Every woman is different. Every woman chooses to be comforted in a different way but until you’re close enough to that woman and know her very deeply, just say you’re sorry and be there for them. She will open up to you and express how she wants to be comforted when she is ready. Give her some time.
I wish I had the courage to say how I really wanted to be comforted with my earlier losses. Perhaps I wouldn’t have become so angry each time it happened. I became irritated easily when I was told “everything happens for a reason.” I know the intentions came from a warm and wonderful place but nothing is warm and wonderful in miscarriage. Everything is painful. Physically and emotionally painful. It is frustrating to know that your body isn’t allowing a child to grow any further; my body literally cannot do what it was meant to do. Am I broken? Why me? Why me again? Why me a third time? There is nothing more defeating as a woman than losing a child.
I would watch all around me, women becoming mothers, near and far. I became an envious soul.
Social media is a terrible place to be when you experience recurrent miscarriage. You watch everyone around you “easily” becoming pregnant. You grow cynical and angry at the screen, wondering why it’s so easy for everyone else and why your body can’t just cooperate. You say these things to yourself out of desperation. You see countless pregnant women in pubic, with three other children in tow. How can she be having four when I can’t even have one? In reality, you have absolutely no idea the struggle your fellow women are going through and the pregnancies you thought were so easy could be products of infertility treatments and countless years of trying. We are so quick to judge. We are so envious of the things that we should be able to have but don’t…yet.
I’ve been there. I’ve been there all too many times. But now, I have one that is working. I have a “rainbow baby” that is growing; they are healthy and warm and safe in my belly. And I’m so excited to share it with everyone because I finally have a pregnancy that is working. And I’m sure that someone, somewhere sees me and thinks that my pregnancy was “so easy.” They don’t know. They don’t know because I never shared my struggles with this roller coaster journey of pregnancy and loss.
With October being National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I hope every woman who has experienced loss of some degree knows that they are not alone. I know it feels like it’s only happening to you but miscarriage is so common. Chances are, the pregnant women you know have experienced a loss of some kind. We shouldn’t be afraid to share our stories of loss. Our stories and how we coped individually could help another struggling woman find peace with what is happening in her body. Starting the conversation, that’s what we should be doing. Talking it out and finding someone whose coping methods work for you too.
I am here for anyone who needs to vent, if that’s how you cope. You can talk. You can ask questions. You can vent. I am that person that will allow you to do so. I’ll sit and listen and let you go, all while filling your champagne glass when it gets low. And just let you go. My silence means more to you than you will ever know. After all, you have to be okay from the inside first.
“Not until you really go through it do you understand what it means [to have a miscarriage]… It’s not really about me and my experience, it’s just kind of about being able to talk about it and women knowing that it’s so common — and it’s not their fault.”