Social etiquette dictates that you start a letter with warm and welcoming words. And yet, try as I might, I simply cannot come up with any to start this letter to you. The only words that keep coming to mind are the furthest from warm and welcoming. And they all stem from the many things you have done to me.
You have taken three of my babies from me. Three. Three babies whom I loved. Three babies whom I couldn’t wait to meet. Three babies whom I will never know the gender of and never get to hold. Three babies who never knew the touch of their mother. And all I have left of these babies of mine are sonogram photos — sonogram photos that sit on my dresser and that I look at every day and wish things had been different.
You have robbed my son of his siblings. He doesn’t know it yet, but he has three siblings in heaven watching over him. You stole from him the opportunity to meet them and be best friends with them. You robbed him of his playmates.
You made me have to tell my baby it was okay to let go, when all I wanted to do was beg it to hold on. But as I saw it on the sonogram screen fighting against the odds, I knew that it was only holding on for me, and so I had to let it go. Do you have any idea what it is like to tell your dying baby it’s okay to let go? Probably not. Because if you did, you wouldn’t make someone have to do it.
You have burned in my memory the image of my unmoving baby on the sonogram screen. An image that I both yearn to forget and always want to remember. My precious baby, whose flutters of movement I had just started to feel inside me a week earlier and who had been so active during my last sonogram, was unnaturally still on that screen. It forever ruined for me the sonogram experience.
In fact, you have also ruined pregnancy for me. That joyous time that I yearn for so much is also a time now filled with such anxiety. I will never again be able to enjoy it, and instead will always be afraid of it ending in the pain I have become so used to.
And that pain, it never goes away. There is this unending ache in my heart caused by the loss of those babies. It is as if they physically took a piece of my heart with them. That organ will never be complete again.
I will never be complete again. You have changed me forever. There is a sadness in me that will never completely go away. Most people don’t notice it, but it’s there. I see it in the depths of my eyes when I look in the mirror. I feel it at different moments every day that goes by. It seems that sadness has just become a part of who I am.
You have changed my marriage. You have made me unable to be the wife I want to be. No matter how hard I try to fight it, there are times that the grief overwhelms me, and I find that I am unable to be the silly wife I know my husband misses. You think I haven’t caught on to the fact that he misses the old me? Well, I have. Hell, I miss her too. But try as I might, I just can’t seem to find her.
You have made me hate my body. A body that I once put so much effort into taking care of by working out and eating healthy. And yet this body seems unable to carry the babies I love. And so, what is the point?
You have made me question my faith. I used to have strong faith that God knew what was best for me, but now I wonder if that is true. Why does God keep giving me babies, only to take them away? What did I do to deserve this in my life? Doesn’t God realize how much I want these babies?
You have made my body, once filled with that faith, full of jealousy. The green-eyed monster seems to live in me full-time now. And she rears her ugly head every time I see someone who is pregnant. It’s a terrible feeling, and yet I can’t shake it. It just keeps popping up.
You have made certain dates painful marks throughout the year: January 4, January 21, and September 26. February 24, May 13, and November 10. December 9, January 10, and August 18. The days I found out I was pregnant, the days I miscarried, and what had been my due dates. Every year these dates are painful reminders of all I have lost.
You have made it painful to walk by that empty bedroom in my house. We bought this house with the expectation of putting the second baby you took from us in the extra bedroom. And yet, it still sits empty. It is another daily reminder of all that we have lost and all that I long for.
And so, forgive me miscarriages, but I simply cannot find it in me to say anything kind to you. It seems that on top of all you have already taken from me, you have also taken my ability to follow social norms.
A Mother in Pain