Today is the day I muster up the courage to tell you that I miscarried. It has been overwhelming, and to be honest, the idea of telling even one more person makes me want to cry. I feel as if every time I talk about it, I am moving backwards, sucked back into the past of one of the most horrific moments of my life. Every time I have to tell someone, my stomach feels sick.
It’s amazing how when something horrible happens, we just want to skip over it and already be in the future. But I don’t believe we can be happy, until we have examined the past. I can hold hope for a future pregnancy, but I can’t just forget this child existed. At least for me and my well-being.
I was just about four months along, almost half way through. The nausea and vomiting were subsiding. I thought I had made it through the worst part of the pregnancy, and I would never experience morning sickness again. And then it was all over.
I felt like I was whisked away to the hospital for a D & E, and in the course of a week and a half, I went from a mother to my fourth and final child to an empty husk of a woman. I felt hollowed out, and it hurt. I couldn’t bare to touch my stomach because although still swollen, the life inside me was gone. Out like a light switch.
I wore sweats for days because wearing maternity clothes made me start sobbing, and my regular clothes didn’t fit. So I stayed home, wearing one pair of gigantic CLU pants where I could hide and heal. In addition to the emotional pain, the physical pain was pretty bad. I’m a woman whose had two c-sections, zero vaginal births, and I don’t get period cramps. So the cramping post D & E woke me up in the middle of the night in so much pain I couldn’t breathe. And for anyone who knows anything about pain, once it escalates, it takes time to bring it back down, under control.
I was a complete mess, amplified even more when my milk came in. So there I was, a woman wearing hospital underwear and pads with swollen, leaking breasts, in terrible emotional and physical pain, but no baby. I felt all the things we feel after birth, except the joy. I didn’t realize how much happiness can make you forget how tender and beaten up your body feels after delivery; how every pad you change, doesn’t phase you because you have your baby.
This is absolutely not the same after a miscarriage. Every time you leak through a shirt or have a child jump onto your chest or you have to use the restroom, you feel pain. And it is only now, when these symptoms have subsided that I can feel hope. Hope that we can try again. Hope that we will be ok. Hope that the world has not ended.
And so although I am waiting for my future, I can prep. My house is the cleanest it’s ever been, and we’re working on those areas that never seem to stay organized. Although this last pregnancy knocked us off our feet, we will hopefully be more prepared for the next one, and oh so grateful. Even though I’ve had two simple, healthy, full-term pregnancies that resulted in three children, it was this one short pregnancy that has shown me what a gift children really are. Motherhood is a blessing, and despite my heartache, I have a lot to be thankful for. Gratitude has become my mantra, a lifeline in the darkness.