It’s been 2 weeks. You probably didn’t even notice the silence. And that’s ok.
I’ve sat down to write several times.
I couldn’t write.
Even as I’ve settled into this recent strange peace of acceptance,
I still couldn’t write.
I’ve always known this could happen. I’ve always known that this DOES happen, and not nearly as rarely as many think. But I always thought I’d handle it differently if it ever happened to me.
I didn’t think it’d affect me the way it did.
I didn’t think it’d shut me down, cause me to retreat into myself, and make me unable to focus on anything else that I needed to get done.
I didn’t think I’d feel this kind of grief.
This is not my first miscarriage. I’d had another, between C and S, when I’d only known I was pregnant for about a week. That one was so early still. I could have just as easily not known I was pregnant. I was sad about that one too, of course, but it was easier to get over and move on from, both emotionally and physically.
This time has been totally different.
It was gonna make such a fun story too.
I was looking forward to the blog announcement. I wasn’t sure how to spin it yet, but I certainly had good fodder.
The week “it” happened:
Friday night: a friend of ours threw a “90s Prom” theme birthday party. It was a blast. And since the high school I went to didn’t have prom, I could even say that this was my first ever prom.
So, to go with the cliche, I might have gotten pregnant on prom night.
Saturday night: my parents were in town and watched the kids at their hotel so KP and I could have a night alone. We had some drinks at the house, Ubered to a friend’s poker party and joked with old friends about the luxury of actually having a night to ourselves. We cut out early to joking jeers of “uh oh, I sense Peck Baby #3 in the near future!” I remember laughing back, “hey, you never know what’ll show up 9 months from now…”, thinking to myself that pregnancy was really more like 10 months, but since the group was mostly singles or those without kids, I figured they wouldn’t know the difference and didn’t correct myself.
We may have jinxed ourselves into getting pregnant.
Sunday morning: We drove to my parents hotel to pick up the kids and met them in the lobby for breakfast. I sat down next to my daughter, gave her a big hug, asked her if she missed me. Without even looking up at me, she put her hand on my belly squish and said “Mama, is there a baby in your belly?”
Yes. It was horribly awkward and we all heard it, and though I tried to laugh it off as maybe needing to go to the gym more often, deep inside…I couldn’t help but wonder.
My 4 year old may have magic senses.
Wednesday: I received an email from a company asking if I’d promote a pregnancy scratch-off calendar on my blog. Considering I NEVER talk about pregnancy related stuff in this blog, even when I was pregnant (other than S’ birth story), it seemed an odd match…or maybe a strange and fitting coincidence? I emailed back:
“…thanks for contacting me! This scratch off calendar does look kind of fun, however, I don’t really have a market for it right now, I don’t think. HOWEVER, my husband and I are open to the possibility of getting pregnant with baby #3 in the next couple months or so. If that happens, I’d definitely be interested…”
Did I already say that I may have jinxed us?
The very next Wednesday:
When you do the NFP thing, you often end up with lots of cheap little tests and you pee on (or rather dip) test strips quite often, so that it practically becomes second nature. So yes. 10dpo and I already knew.
Though honestly, I’d known a week and a half earlier. How could I not have? ALL SIGNS had pointed to yes.
It was meant to happen this cycle.
Except it wasn’t.
Looking back, I feel like I should’ve known. Maybe I did, and just couldn’t bring myself to accept it. I was measuring behind from the beginning, even though I was positive of my dates.
But the heartbeat, folks, the heartbeat. I’d hung my hat on the fact that I’d seen that little flicker.
And then there was that other thing on the ultrasound that almost looked like a second gestational sac. Twins run in my family, and no lie, I was mentally preparing myself for the possibility of a twin popping up at the next ultrasound. I went in half expecting to see two heart flickers…and instead I didn’t even see the one anymore.
I didn’t have to write a blog post about this.
Many women don’t talk about this.
Most people don’t know how to respond to this.
There was a life. That existed. For a moment.
To all but the one who carried it inside her.
To her, it’s part of her very being. And in losing it, she lost part of herself.
Left with nothing tangible to show for it.
The woman deeply feels the void which to mourn, but to everyone else there never was anything there.
And this is why miscarriage isn’t talked about much.
It’s an extremely lonely grief.
A grief you don’t even know if you’re ‘supposed’ to feel.
Or if your body was ‘supposed’ to be able to handle.
You question every action you took. You look for a culprit, something to pinpoint as the cause.
And most of the time, you just have to accept that you likely cannot ever know.
So you pick yourself up.
Let your body reset.
Look to the future.
And say goodbye.
Why am I writing about all this anyway? Two reasons:
1. For myself.
I process things best by writing them out. Though I could have privately journaled my thoughts instead, there’s something about the reality of opening yourself up to public sphere that helps to accept finality. So I’ve put this all out there. It’s done. It’s real and it happened. I was pregnant, and now I’m not.
2. For other women.
I don’t often go off on yay-pro-women tangents, but occasionally I do. I know that the general consensus is that women are catty and competitive and don’t really like each other…but actually, this experience has instead shown me how amazing women are. How strong women are. The awesome beauty and depth of carrying new life within us…however short lived that life may be…there’s a truly profound shared understanding among women when we open ourselves up to it. Being able to reach out to other women (and have women reach out to me) who have unfortunately walked in these same miscarriage shoes – has made an invaluable difference to me the past couple weeks. To know that I’m not alone in this silent grief, that others have walked this path before me and that I, like them, can one day soon get through as well.
There are some things that even the most emotionally supportive husband cannot provide comfort for better than the company of other women who have walked the same path.