One in four is just a statistic until you’re the one.
I never dealt with my miscarriage until many years later. I was trying for my fourth baby when I finally began to mourn the life I carried within me and lost eight years prior. I held my fourth and final son in my arms and stared at the smallness of his eyes, lips, nose, and fingers. As the months passed, I began to grow weak thinking of the baby whose face I never saw. People grieve differently. I didn’t lay in bed and cry in November 2008. I could watch a diaper ad on television and not bat an eye. I could walk past a new baby being strolled around the zoo without getting a lump in my throat.
I went to work the day after my miscarriage began and lived my daily life essentially unchanged. But, something like that never leaves you. It stays with you forever. I wanted to try again ASAP. I wasn’t ready to process the lost. I wasn’t ready to mourn. I wanted nothing more than to move on. If you’re like me, it’s okay. If you’re not like me, that’s okay too.
But, something like that never leaves you.
Miscarriage isn’t the taboo word it once was, but it’s still not talked about like it should be. The different ways people deal with miscarriage aren’t addressed at all. We need to attend the funerals for the couple who chose to grieve for their baby that way. We need to not raise our eyebrows at the couple that is pregnant again just eight weeks later. We need to not tell the mother who can’t go to playgroup anymore to perk up. We need to not consider the father who cries because he lost a baby just eight weeks into the pregnancy weak. We need to realize that when he lost his baby, he lost a piece of his partner at the same time. We need to not judge the couple who chose to name their baby or the couple who didn’t.
I’m certain my baby was a girl. I’m not sure why I know that, but I do. I haven’t shared that with a lot of people for fear of them thinking I’m crazy for claiming I know that. Her due date was my husband’s birthday (July). She would have been my summer baby and admittedly, I always wanted a summer baby! It was perfect. Until it wasn’t. We had told people about our pregnancy without ever suspecting anything could happen. We had told a lot of people, actually. We were excited. We told our two-year-old son. He didn’t understand, but we told him. We then were forced to share our heartbreak, but I didn’t want to. Again, that is okay. I’m glad people knew. I’m glad I had the support system even though I didn’t use it ten years ago.
She was wanted, she was prayed for, and then she was gone.
As fast as I had fallen in love with this little one, she was ripped away from me. I lost more than a baby. I lost thousands of firsts I should have experienced with her. I hid the anger I had towards God. My goodness, I was so angry. I remember cursing him. I had a perfectly healthy baby when I was 18, barely out of high school, scared to death, and ill-equipped to care for him, but I managed. Now here I was married, stable, somewhat established, planning for a baby, and he ripped her away from me. That cruel God! I questioned him and his authority. I questioned him and his power. I questioned him and the love he supposedly had for me. I stayed angry with him.
Four months after my miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant again. In July of 2009, just a week before she would have been due, I found out that identical twin boys would join our family in the fall. I was no longer angry, but only because I had no time to be. My life became a whirlwind and days turned into months, followed by years. I now know God has a sense of humor. I cursed him and his power. I questioned his love for me. He laughed and handed me, twins.
In 2016, I had my fourth and final son and I was able to come to grips with my loss. I was covered in grace for years and was granted peace until I was ready to feel the heartbreak of miscarriage. All the while, I believe God has kept my sweet girl safe and will continue to until the day I get to meet her. I know that not everyone’s story ends like mine. Some women experience loss after loss and fight through a storm to never see their rainbow. I see that now, but I didn’t ten years ago. I’ve come to grips with the pain and I like to think I’m now better equipped to be there for someone else. I want to help them grieve the way they want to, not the way I did. Not the way their mothers did. Not the way Facebook tells them they should, but the way their heart leads them
Recently, I had someone very close to me experience a similar loss, and I have known others to experience the same heartache.
Not one of those women has grieved the same way I did.
All I know is to be present, so that’s what I’ve done. I’m made myself present for my friend. I’ve visited her house when she wouldn’t leave it. I have offered to take her four-year-old off her hands, so she can lay in bed and not feel guilty for not being in the mood to play with her child. I have done my best to be sure she showers at least every couple of days. I’ve hugged her and I’ve let her cry. Sometimes I’ve cried with her. I’ve tried to make her laugh. I mask the pain with humor and sometimes I band-aid other people’s pain the same way. When I think I see a glimmer of confidence in her leaving the house, I invite her somewhere. I accept no, but encourage her every step of the way if she says yes. I’ve just been a friend because that’s what I needed ten years ago whether I admitted it or not. That’s all you can do in seasons of that level of sorrow. Just be present. You will feel awkward, 100% out of place, and absolutely clueless. You will not say the right thing and you may sit in uncomfortable silence. You will be nervous, but be present anyway.
Is it crazy to think that all these babies are in heaven happy and whole, not knowing the love and longing their parents on Earth have for them? If so, I am crazy. Institutionalize me if you must. That’s how I choose to find comfort, but it won’t be that way for everyone. I believe God is keeping her safe, along with all the other babies that were destined for wings. She doesn’t mourn me. However, someday she’ll know. Someday I’ll hold her. Will she be a grown woman or a baby? I’m not sure. No matter what though, I’ll hold her. I’ll hold her and then she’ll know the love I’m certain she never even missed. I look forward to someday.