I don’t remember what day it was, or the time of day. What I can tell you is the exact stall of the exact restroom I was in at work when I realized I was losing my first pregnancy. And then I walked back to my cubicle. What else was there to do but stay at work and try not to think while I waited to miscarry on my own?
The next time it happened, I remember that Van Halen’s “Panama” was playing overhead in the patient room, when our doctor concluded he could no longer find a heartbeat. And then my husband and I went to Target and bought some lunchbox items for our toddler. What else was there to do this time but keep my focus on my daughter and try not to think while I waited for surgery?
I could write volumes about the waves of grief that rolled toward me over time: my husband’s sorrow; the sadness of our moms, in particular; the excruciating amount of time it actually takes lose a pregnancy; my physical recovery; painful conversations sharing the news; and the point where the emotions can no longer be stuffed down.
Even when you are losing a life, it goes on everywhere else. You want it to stop for you and your pain, but it doesn’t. People who have lost family, friends, marriages, jobs, homes and pets know this. So it is with a pregnancy.
After the second one happened, a good friend asked me over lunch, “What are you doing to help yourself deal with this?” The answer is nothing. My husband and I live with the loss because, what else is there to do? “What about a support group?” she asked.
I know that Northern Nevada MISS (Miscarriage and Infant Loss and Stillborn Support) has meetings at The Nurturing Nest; haven’t been to a single one, though. I just can’t. That’s like, the big leagues. People who have really suffered…and I’m just someone who can’t get over a couple of biological misfires. I hesitated even writing this blog post; I don’t want to be pegged as the “one who writes about miscarriage a lot” on this site.
As if the losses themselves weren’t enough, this is what the voice in my head sounds like about sharing my experiences…yes, still, after so many months.
October 15th is nationally recognized as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in each time zone around the world, people all over the world will light a candle in remembrance of their losses. We need to know that this day isn’t only for the one million babies each year carried in their mothers’ hearts and not their arms. This day is for us, too – me, too. The wives, moms, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends who lost and lived. To remember publicly what is not often said out loud.
After so much has been said and done, it’s hard for me to believe that beings – babies – I never met have made such indelible marks on my marriage, my family, my friendships and my perspective on life and love. But that’s the truth: whether or not I share my experiences; whether or not anyone else validates that for for me; whether or not I light a candle tonight.
Your stories of pregnancy and infant loss are welcome here in the comments. Please share here as a way to encourage other moms who might be struggling.