Content warning ~ This post discusses pregnancy loss. Written earlier this week ~~.
Today, July 5, marks three years since the day I said goodbye. It’s the day I had a D&C to remove what the doctors called a Missed Miscarriage, and what I called my baby.
Miscarriage can be really hard. Definitely harder than I ever expected it would be.
Sometimes it’s super quick, a loss of something that was known about for a day. Sometimes it’s mid-way through the pregnancy, or a late term loss. Some people may not feel so devastated about an early loss, though some people absolutely do. Some people become pregnant again afterward with their Rainbow Baby, and that helps with healing. And some women are sad for years after the fact, whether they have another baby or not. Not all the time. But when the anniversaries come up, it’s just hard.
Three years ago, after book club had ended, as I was getting ready to go home, I used the restroom and saw some bright red blood, and came out and pretended like nothing had happened, like everything was ok. Told myself nothing was going on. Discussed cute, fun pregnancy talk as I made my way out the door, while a blaring siren went off in the back of my mind saying, “You might not get to have these conversations much longer, if you’re losing the baby..” I turned away from that feeling, headed home with my little (then- 2 yr old) boy, picked up my husband from work. At home there was more bleeding, more fear, lots of tears and panicked feelings, a call to the nurse help line who told me to rest and see a doctor as soon as possible. That was June 27. On June 28, I went to the doctor, and was told I’d lost the baby. (Well first I was told I needed to rush to the next hospital for an emergency ultrasound. There is where they told me I’d lost the baby.) And July 1st, maternity insurance began (i.e., I got bills for months regarding tests done on June 28, tests that ultimately wrecked our checking account and did nothing to save my baby…)
And July 5th was my surgery. Just one week shy of the second trimester…
So, July 4th? Wasn’t a happy holiday that year! Or since, unfortunately. I haven’t been able to enjoy it. I actually really like flags, parades, BBQs, celebrations, the whole wearing patriotic colors and making little crafts, or cute themed food to celebrate the holiday. I even like fireworks (though I understand the many reasons not to be a fan of them.) It can all be so much fun! It’s great!
But, I just can’t do it. I wasn’t ready for it again this year. I wanted to be. I thought I would be! But I’d gotten behind, overwhelmed with juggling new tasks, and forgot to ask friends about the ONE local celebration I knew of, and by the time I remembered I’d wanted to check in with someone for details, it was over. I felt like I’d dropped the ball, and felt sorry for myself, and down on myself for “always doing this” and “missing out.” But then I also just felt sad generally, too, dreading today. Thoughts of my dreams for that baby floated through my imagination, and I just… needed to grieve some more, I guess.
Part of what sucks so much about it is imagining others thinking you “should” be over it already. Others maybe thinking you’re “crazy.” Like who knows if anyone is actually thinking that, but it feels like they would be. I almost didn’t want to write this, because I kept telling myself, “People are going to think you’re nuts and just can’t get over it, like you should be able to…” But I’m writing it. Because it’s important.
You know what makes it really hard, I think? It’s the fact that when these feelings do arise, it’s such a lonely feeling. No one else thinks about the little lost one I loved and desperately wanted. I alone carry her in my heart. Sometimes I wish I could just let go more, but most of the time I am able to remind myself it’s NOT unheard of or silly or anything like that to remember the beginning of someone. To feel how I feel. I was sad and dreaded today, thinking it’d be so much worse than yesterday.
But it wasn’t. By the time I woke up this morning, the time I’d had my surgery three years ago was long since past. It was over. And then… it felt over. At least for now. Once I get past June 28, July 4th (with the memories of the holiday I couldn’t bring myself to celebrate), and July 5th (the day I had to truly say goodbye), then I am in the clear for a while… At least until Jan 11, the would-be due date. It’s kind of like the end of a season, and once I’m past it, I can just sigh and breathe again. I don’t have to brace myself against the memories, or wade through the melancholy, and associated mixed feelings about the melancholy. Getting to this day is getting through the other side again, feeling my own personal mourning, and then letting it go for another several months or maybe even a year, depending on what the emotional impact is of the next go around of these dismal anniversaries.
More and more, I try to just celebrate what I DO have. I have a sweet and loving husband, an amazing little boy, a cute cat, and silly little dog. They all drive me crazy sometimes, but that’s part of the human experience, I think! Being driven mad with love! I adore them all to pieces.
And I also remember to celebrate the little life that could have been, but wasn’t. The little life I wanted in my life, that caused me to dream and plan and made me feel so enamored and blissful and magical all over again. I’m grateful for the first trimester we did have together, and try to remember the sweetness of those first weeks.
Will I have more children? If I do, will that heal my heart? Or will it just be a happy blissful joy in my life to enjoy on top of the quiet mourning that (may always?) occur(s) alongside my joy? If I don’t, will I continue to just heal with time, slowly but surely? One can hope.
There’s always hope.