April 25, 2013 by Katia
Sometimes when you blog, it feels like you’re writing into a void. I am so happy to say that the voices of the women who gather here to talk about their personal stories of miscarriage and infertility are being heard. Last week I’ve been approached by two websites, expressing an interest in this initiative. Donate a post is also being tweeted and retweeted. Those of us who’ve experienced miscarriage and struggled with fertility know how isolated we’ve felt at times. Thank you so much for sharing this content on your social media networks to help spread the word, so that others struggling with the same know they are not alone.
Today I am grateful to have Lauren from On Fecund Thought posting here about her own experience with miscarriage. Her website provides the reader with a raw and fascinating insight into the mind and heart of a woman who miscarried. It is also a great resource for other women who are going through the same.
You are due exactly 2 months to the day before I was supposed to be and it makes me want to scream. Again.
If I had the courage, this is what I would tell you to your face.
My pregnancy was longed-for and long awaited. When I found out I was pregnant, I was ecstatic. The month I carried the growing life inside me was one of the most contented of my life, and certainly the one that carried the most meaning. After a tough few years, our tiny baby was the promise that everything would be alright, even if nothing was perfect. He was our beacon and for a month his light shone bright. And then it went out.
I bandy about phrases like “this is the biggest disappointment of my life” and “I am heartbroken,” but neither begins to describe the earth-shattering anguish I live every day. I try not to count how many weeks I would have been (um,14 and 2 days today…) but I will always know how old my child would have been because all I have to do is subtract two months from the age of your child.
As I write this, it is the day before my 35th birthday – the cusp of that medical tipping point between being considered young and fertile and of advanced maternal age – and I am terrified.
Terrified of the thought of never being able to conceive again. What if that pregnancy was my one chance?
Terrified that I will miscarry again. How can I take comfort in statistics when my first pregnancy already falls into a small percentage?
Terrified I will never carry a healthy baby to term. How would I cope?
And I fear being judged by you and other friends and family members who might not understand these powerful feelings. How can I begin to explain them?
They are so powerful that I have to take a deep breath and turn away when I see a pregnant stranger, and remind myself I don’t know her fertility journey. So strong are they that I have to hide my pregnant friends’ Facebook status updates. So very real are they that I have run from the ob/gyn waiting room and waited outside, sobbing, for anyone passing by to see. The humiliation of bawling in public is easier to bear than emotionally torturing myself.
But your beautiful growing belly, your sweet unborn baby, and your young family are the most painful reminders of everything I have just lost. Just thinking about them plunges me into a state of dark grief and that is why I can’t see you right now.
I can’t even promise that I will be able to visit you in hospital, knowing I would have been 32 weeks’ pregnant. I can’t promise that I will want to hold your newborn. I wish that I could promise you these things, to know that by the time your baby arrives I will be so past my grief that I can focus on the joy of the occasion. I long to feel normal again, but I don’t expect to before your baby is here.
I desperately want to want to see you. I want to be one of the first few who get to meet and hold your little one. I want to be pregnant by August for so many reasons, one of which is to be able to fully celebrate the birth of your second child.
But there’s no guarantee that I will be pregnant by then. I don’t want to make you feel bad in any way, so I am avoiding you. I don’t want to interfere with your happiness or rain on your parade, so I am limiting your exposure to the envy I am so ashamed of.
Just writing these words is a powerful reminder of just how much grief I feel. I need love, time, and space.
Lauren’s first pregnancy ended silently in a missed miscarriage at the end of February 2013. She started her blog, On Fecund Thought, a few days later to chronicle the physical and emotional aspects of miscarriage as they happen. Lauren is drawn to Buddhist wisdom and practices mindfulness to help her cope with the rollercoaster of grief she currently finds herself on. Through her writing, she has connected with women all over the world who have come forward to say, Me too. She feels strongly that our voices be heard and that we give each other our support. You can connect with Lauren via her blog or on Twitter @OnFecundThought.
If you would like to contribute to the series, please email me at iamthemilkblog (at) gmail (dot) com.