Just like that, a dream was gone. Just like that, my baby was gone.
It was a Thursday morning a little over a month ago — the doctor came in and immediately said, “I’m so sorry. There is no longer a heartbeat.” But, I just heard the heartbeat the week before. It was strong and healthy. What happened? What did I do wrong in the last few days? Just like that, it was gone. The dream was gone. The light was gone. Just like that, my baby was gone.
She called it a missed miscarriage.
Those next few days were a bit of a blur. It was just sadness, but I held it together. Something deep down held out hope that they were wrong. Part of me really thought I would go in on Tuesday and they would hear a heartbeat. So, I contained those raw emotions and held them close…just in case.
The wait for Tuesday was…weird. Nothing had happened. The pregnancy hormones were still raging. I had no cramping. I had no bleeding. So, that little bit of hope stayed lit. However, part of me was grieving already. Most of me knew that tiny life in me had passed. And, the doctor confirmed it. But, I kept it together. The worst part was still yet to come, right?
When I had to go back a couple of weeks later I began to feel some of the emotions I was expecting but had been avoiding and pushing down. All the women in the waiting room were pregnant. I could hear the heartbeat of another’s baby pulsing during her ultrasound in the room right across from me. A mother and her newborn were sitting across the room. I had to sit there for about 45 minutes after my ultrasound before I met with the doctor. The whole time thinking that was going to be me. These practices need better planning and scheduling or separate waiting areas for patients like me. That was torture, but this is the first time I have said that. It is the first time I have mentioned it.
I have had a few weeks to really process what happened, but the truth is, I’m still protecting myself. I know that because the other night a friend of mine asked how I was. I said I was fine. But, a couple of minutes later I walked ahead in the dark and the flood gates were opened. The flood gates were opened, but I still couldn’t properly verbalize what was going through my head. I didn’t even want to admit why I had just broken down.
Sharing my story, and the full range of emotions that come with it has been difficult, and I really don’t know why. Could it be because discussing pregnancy loss is normally taboo and makes others uncomfortable? Maybe. Or, is it because I feel like I failed? Now, I know miscarriage happens for many reasons. I know I did nothing wrong. I know sometimes a baby just does not develop properly. But, on the surface, I still feel like my body failed. I failed. I could not give my family the son or daughter or sister or brother they had been dreaming of.
My son deserves a little brother or sister. He wants one so badly. The fact that I could not give him one right now is the worst pain. He is only five. Fortunately, kids are so resilient. I have to remember that. He keeps me strong.
I also think about what could have been — visions and ideas of what this baby would have brought to our lives. When you are pregnant, you imagine all those grand things — baby giggles, the kids playing together. You imagine decorating the baby’s room and pick out names.
It hurts. I want to cry because it makes me feel better, but I keep pushing those feelings down. I’m okay with those tears. I need to have those tears, but they don’t come often enough. I need to do it more often. It is your body’s way of helping you heal. It’s good for you. Cry. Cry those pretty little eyes out.
I know some things in this world just don’t make sense, and this is one of them. I have another scar now. I wish I didn’t. But, I do believe these things do have a way of bringing more to you — more dimension, more story, more strength, more understanding. It also brings with it more humanity and empathy.
This world chews you up and spits you out. How are you going to take it?
That’s your choice, but I hope you choose to keep you. I mean, don’t let it cause you to lose sight of things that are important. This is another root of your life tree that will shape you. Don’t let it down you. Don’t let it pull down your branches. Someone still needs you here. Someone needs your story. Someone needs your support.
I’m going to be okay. You are going to be okay. Don’t forget to ask for help. Sometimes it may be just too much, but you don’t have to do it alone. Talk about it. Write about it. Feel those feelings and do your best not to push them down because they eat at you like acid. Be honest. Be bold. We need bleeding hearts spilling out onto the page. Who knows? Maybe it will help someone else.