This year, as we celebrated 3 years with our sweet Connor, I also felt like something was missing. Last summer, we decided to try adding a new little one to the family and after a few months, found out I was pregnant and my due date was the same as Connor’s, May 21st. But after only a week of reeling in the joy of this news, I had a miscarriage.
I hate that word: miscarriage. It’s so impersonal, so cold, so unrepresentative of what really happens. I lost a baby…and nothing, I mean nothing, prepares you for that kind of sadness. I felt like I was underwater and just couldn’t get up for air. It was so hard to talk about without crying. I wanted to tell people, to share, to help them understand why I wasn’t quite myself. But it was just so hard to put it into words, to not fall apart and ugly cry. Maybe this is why so many women don’t talk about it.
What did help was to just let myself be a mess, and feel all the big feelings. I took time to be quiet, to be sad, to be angry, to cry and yell. I took time off of work. I spent time alone. I spent time with my husband. I let myself be a mess on Thanksgiving because I would have been in my second trimester and talking about my pregnancy with our family. I let myself grieve. It also helped to talk to friends who have been through the same loss, and connecting with women through social media, like Jessica Zucker, and reading pieces on sites like Scary Mommy or other blogs like Cup of Jo. But at the end of the day, there is nothing you can really do other than feel the big feelings, sit with them, breathe, and wait for the heartache to ease. I am glad I had people around me that encouraged me and allowed me to do that for myself.
So to help me process and allow myself to feel the big feelings on the baby’s due date, I picked up a pen and started writing…and it helped. It allowed me to do something, to say something. To put the feelings I’ve had, but had so much trouble explaining to anyone else, into words. Then I started blogging again…maybe because writing feeds my soul. I kept coming back to my writing and thought I’d like to put my words out there into the universe for another grieving mama to read. So here it is, a very personal piece of my heart and soul. To any mama who may read this that is experiencing the gut wrenching sadness of pregnancy loss, I am so sorry. I am sending you love and light during this soul-crushing time; and some seriously big hugs.
To my baby that I’ll never meet:
Today might have been your birthday. Or maybe it could have been yesterday, your big brother’s 3rd birthday. He came a day before his due date, so maybe you would have, too. What a gift you would have been! I always feel sad that I won’t meet you, but today the hurt is especially raw. This week my belly should be full and my feet swollen. I’d be waddling around and my body would be preparing to bring you earth-side. I should be holding you and kissing your little nose. But instead, I appear to be going about life as usual. Except, I’m not. A lot has changed since the day you left me.
I wonder so many things about you. Would I labor the same? Would I have been calmer than last time? Would you be a boy or a girl? Would you look like your brother? What would your personality be? What beautiful gifts would you bring to this world?
I know a lot of things, too. You would have been so loved. You would have made this family bigger and stronger. Your big brother would have loved you fiercely. You would have added a beautiful, chaotic layer of mess to this house.
When you left me, I knew I would grieve you. I knew it would it would be hard, some days impossibly hard, to move on without you. Although nothing quite prepares you for that type of sadness; the kind of isolation you feel when something was taken from you that you never fully got to have. Just thinking about losing you makes my stomach drop and my eyes watery.
What I wasn’t expecting was to learn from you. You have taught me so much about life and about myself. I learned that sometimes life deals you crap and that I don’t have to handle it gracefully; that I don’t need to smile and fake my way through sadness. You taught me to lean on your dad because he is strong and loving and capable of holding me up. You taught me that my heart has the capacity to expand by light years in an instant. But most of all, you taught me to stop planning my life and just to live it; to be present in the messy, beautiful chaos that life is; to celebrate the good, and lean in to the bad and the ugly.
While I will always be sad I won’t hold you or see you, kiss you or hug you, I will know you. I will know you in the way I have grown as a woman and a mother since I lost you. I will know you from how much stronger you have made me. So on your almost-birthday, little love, I want to celebrate you; because you were real, you were mine, if only for a short while.