A post in honor of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month…
I was going through my pictures & came across one that made my heart do a little jump. It was of me & my son, T, cuddled together on the couch. He’s smiling sweetly. I’m also smiling, but I have a foggy look in my eye. My face is a bit puffy.
One look at the date & time confirmed what I had guessed from the glazed look on my face: this picture had documented something I didn’t really want documented. My second miscarriage.
Why had my partner wanted to take a picture of us that day? Why did I let him?
My smile looks like it was a compromise. As if, I was happy in that moment to be holding my son, but still overwhelmingly sad.
Mine was a missed miscarriage, but the miscarriage had already happened by the time my partner snapped that little picture. I remember sitting on the couch that week a lot. I didn’t want to be in bed. I just wanted to sit, still & empty in our living room.
Revisiting that time, prompted as I’ve been by that picture to contemplate my second miscarriage, has been emotional in its own right.
It feels like it happened long ago & yet my memories are still vivid. I remember the time before, during & after the miscarriage itself. And strangely (thankfully), some of my most vivid memories are actually good ones. Like going to see the Sponge Bob Square Pants movie in 3-D (yes, we did) on Valentine’s Day with my partner & son. We also went to our favorite little restaurant & ran into dear friends. We quietly shared our news. They were sorry for us & sensitive.
Yet, in revisiting the memories, the pain & grief bubble. The echos of emotions that are forever etched into my mind & heart. A lump comes to my throat as my eyes tear up.
Those emotions are raw & have changed who I am today… The woman, mother, daughter, friend, sister, cousin I was has been transformed into someone more.
I have my “rainbow” baby, but the depth of that hopelessness I felt (even in the moments I knew that was an irrational emotion in light of all that was good & whole in my life) cannot fail to leave scars.
That second miscarriage challenged my understanding of the world, of myself. At the time, it was hard to believe that anything would turn out alright.
Now, I know that I am not me without those emotional scars. I am here. I am strong.
Sometimes people remark on the age difference between my children. It’s a big gap. A gap where we thought someone else would be. But I know how these things go… If there were someone else, we wouldn’t be here. It’s easy to be okay with that now that we have the baby. But it was a painful journey nonetheless.
If you are there now, in that hopelessness, know that you are not alone. The echoes that pain are all around you.
Because one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.
The commonality of the experience doesn’t make it any less painful (statistics rarely invoke emotional relief) but if one in four also speaks up, we can help ease the pain of our sisters.
I have forced myself to be open & matter of fact about my miscarriages so that I can be a source for others. Carry the torch, my sisters. You are all strong & beautiful!