Loss...

I don't know how to write about something real. I realized this in the past month when I went through the worst time of my life. Give me an assignment to write a list of what your drink says about your personality, about the benefits of synthetic lumber, or a dozen product descriptions in half an hour... no problem. But each time I tried to sit down and write about my own life, I found I  had nothing I was brave enough to share. I was too raw, and it was too painful to put it to words. Perhaps a small part of me felt that if I did not write or talk about losing my baby, I would still have my baby.

Logic prevails and now, over a month later I think I am brave enough to tell my story. It is important to tell my story because it is through other stories of loss that I found hope. Even as I read through tears, and dread, and deep spiritual pain, I still found hope that one day I could speak of it, maybe even look back and see it in some sort of wise perspective. I am not there yet, but I do have hope.

This was not my first miscarriage. I lost a baby at 9 weeks years ago, and to be honest I was rather unfeeling about the whole thing. It was more like a period, and within two months I was pregnant again and had my beautiful daughter. In fact, when the doctor asked me if I ever had a miscarriage I answered, no. I actually forgot. . . I wondered in the pain over the last month if this was punishment for not feeling enough the first time?

It began with a little blood, not much, I called my doctor's office and they confirmed what I already knew. That it was likely a normal part of pregnancy, and to take it easy until my appointment the next day. She scheduled an ultrasound just in case. I tried to take it easy. I was sure nothing could go wrong, after all I was in no pain and it was a very small amount of blood. I was well into my pregnancy and I even thought I felt the baby move a time or two. I was sure nothing could be wrong. I took my son to baseball practice and as I sat still and tried to take it easy. Then I felt a horrid stabbing sudden pain. I froze. I knew what it meant but did not know what to do. I did not want to bring attention to myself, I did not want to scare my children sitting in the bleachers next to me. I sat still and hoped it would go away. I was in denial, and also hoping if I was losing the baby the worst would wait till I returned to the privacy of my home.

Then my waters broke. It was violent, everywhere, painful, and humiliating. I was blessed to have two other mothers there who blocked me from view and called 911. My mind shut down to be honest, I don't know what I would have done without them. I remembered that my husband was working dispatch and I did not want him receiving the 911 call about his own wife so I called his cell and he arrived before the ambulance.

At the hospital each moment was a nightmare. The staff was polite and they did their job according to protocol, but I was not needing stitches or a cast, I was having my heart broken. I would not want to be in their position. The baby was fully formed but oh so tiny.  Ten tiny toes, and fingers. Two eyes, a mouth... the legs were closed and the baby was laying on its side when they showed me. I did not have the courage to push the legs apart to check the sex.

I will regret this forever. But I think, even then, I was still in denial. I don't know how I could have been, but I don't think it was real yet. I did not know it was the only chance I would get to see the baby. It was the last chance I got, my baby who was well past the first semester and almost at the sixteenth week was taken away and treated like medical waste. I wish I fought for the right to bury my baby respectfully. I would not have made a spectacle, even my other children would not have known, but it would have saved me from the nightmares each time I fell asleep in the following weeks.

I went home late that night feeling worn down, and in need of pulling my children close. They took the news well, and I put on a brave face. To this day they have not seen me cry, I don't know if this is a bad or good thing but I wanted to protect them from my pain.

I thought the worst must be over, but I woke up the next day and discovered that I was broken. How do you survive as a broken human? I cried at the drop of a hat, a lot of time was spent hiding in the bathroom or going for a walk for privacy. I felt like anything could happen to my children. Like they could be taken at any moment too. After all I was just sitting at a ball field when my baby was lost. I guess part of it was hormones from losing the pregnancy, and part was dealing with the loss. So much love and hope was tied into this baby and now I did not even have a name to grieve over.

Through it all my testimony in the love of our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ did not waiver. I am not saying this as a point of pride, but to let you know the only way I survived. When I first got pregnant, it came as such a shock that my reaction was literally a grateful feeling that God still noticed me, he still cared and trusted me to be a mother yet again. I felt humbled and grateful. When I lost the baby, I wondered for a moment if I had done something to change his mind. But then I knew that God had nothing to do with the horror I was experiencing, he did not cause the pain but him and his son would help me survive it.

I read stories of other women who survived late term miscarriages, and even baby loss, I thought of a friend in my community to lost her beautiful daughter at six months old. And I knew that I was not going to die, although I was not sure how I was going to live in such pain.

Then one day, I woke up and did not feel the physical pain in my chest and gut. I went to my follow up doctor appointment and got the all clear to try again, but to be honest I am not sure I will. I would love to hold my baby in my arms but you can't just replace a child. I don't know if he/she had a spirit yet but I feel such a loss that it seems crass to just replace the baby. Although sometimes when the pain is unbearable, all I want is what I had restored. Luckily my husband does not give in to my heartbroken pleas. A baby should come from a place of love, into a home that is ready to emotionally support it. For a while a least, any baby we make will be just to heal our broken hearts. That does not seem fair to the baby.

I have more good days than bad, I even have great days. I don't constantly think about what I lost any more. There are some triggers, like when my husband's co-worker revealed the gender of her baby who was the same age as mine, I cried my heart out even though I was happy for her and I thought I was over my loss. And when I realized that I was happy to be losing weight I felt guilty because it means it really is over, so I sabotaged my diet. I guess emotional stability, and happiness will be fleeting. But I find comfort in my family, in Heavenly Father, and in music, as trite as it might sound it helps when I am feeling low. I know it is going to be a life-long journey, and I know that many woman have suffered greater losses and came out strong. I will try to handle this with grace, and continue to be the person my children need from day to day. 

I am not the type to share so much, but when I am up late at night with my heart torn in two, feeling lost and alone these stories that other women have shared have saved me. I will share mine, and tell you now if you are going through this you will feel better. You may even feel guilty for feeling better. Do not give into the guilt. Enjoy the good moments and know that you are stronger than you feel right now.





 

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