St. Patrick’s Day… I’d been waiting for today… excited to share some news with family and friends… Lucky Baby #4 was “coming soon”. Our very own little 4 leaf clover!
Pause. Rewind. One week ago, I lay on the bed for an ultrasound and I happened to catch the look on the technician’s face. It was subtle… but I knew. “There is no longer a heartbeat.” I was 13 weeks along. I’m not sure what she said after… The walls were closing in on me. I blacked out everything that followed.
It’s still fresh. It’s still raw. I thought we were in the clear. I allowed myself to daydream of onsies, all nighters and projectile poop. I haven’t shared the news of my miscarriage with many people. I’ve kept my circle small. But even within that small circle, I was surprised to learned how many have also suffered a miscarriage. I never knew. And I couldn’t help but wonder… Why aren’t we talking about our miscarriages? Sadly, it’s a question I can now also ask myself. Because until now, I too, have only shared with my nearest and dearest. Why is that? Is it too painful? Too soon? Am I ashamed? Do I feel I’ve failed somehow? Yes to all of the above. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these reasons were exactly why I needed to talk about it.
No one knows what to say to someone who has miscarried, especially if they haven’t been through it themselves. Truth is, there are no “right” words. In fact, there are NO words. Just BE. Be there.
A good friend said to me, “Let me know when you’re ready to get drunk.” I hesitated, somewhat surprised, “I don’t really want to.” Her response? “That’s exactly why you need to. You’ve got to let it out… talk it out…. cry it out… When you’re ready.” And she was right. Because we tend to clam up. Bottle up the pain, the loss, and the anger. For whatever reason, we wait until that golden 12-week mark before we share broadly the news of our pregnancies, and if a miscarriage happens within that time, we internalize.
Because let’s be honest, a miscarriage isn’t as tragic or devastating as say, the death of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, life-threatening illness of a child, etc. Regardless, a miscarriage IS significant. And it deserves to be acknowledged for the loss that it is. By not talking about our miscarriages, we risk minimizing it to something less than what it is. Because it hurts, alot.
For me, it comes in waves. Waking up in the morning is the worst time for me… because the reality of it sets in all over again. It wasn’t just a nightmare… it happened, still. I was chopping vegetables and tears just started to roll off my cheeks. I immediately sat the kids in front of the TV, and went outside, got in my minivan, and I screamed and cried at the top of my lungs, and I pounded that steering wheel until my hands were blue. Because it hurts, alot.
I see pregnant women. I see mothers pushing strollers. I see newborns. I even look at my own beautiful children. And I’m reminded that Lucky #4 isn’t “coming soon”. And it hurts, alot.
I watch my husband scurry around, not quite sure of the best way to handle it. He’s been loving. He’s been supportive. He’s taken my lead on when to talk about it. But it’s also his loss. He’s also sad. And that hurts me, alot.
I know some women have experienced multiple miscarriages. I know I’m fortunate to have 3 healthy beautiful children. Trust me, I know. Everyone’s story is different. It’s not about comparing mine to yours, and yours to mine. It’s about bringing life to our miscarriages.
So this St. Patrick’s Day, I still want to bring life to my Lucky #4. Because ironically, that’s what Lucky #4 gave me, life. It gave life to new possibilities. It gave life to my wants. It gave new life to MY life. Though a great blow, my miscarriage strangely made me look at my life through a new lense. ‘Cause the truth is, no matter how much I hurt, I can always find something that makes my life “lucky”. My family. My good friends. My health. Laughter. Even my tears. And so my Lucky #4, when your heart stopped, it gave mine new meaning. And that’s something that makes you worth talking about. So while for only a short time, I dared to dream there’d be an “us”, for you, I count my lucky stars! I got this, baby.
Cheers, Red Whino
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