The Invisible Moms’ Club

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sad-mom

My children, Jesse and Sam, are definitely less stressful (in a day-to-day sense) than any children in your house. I can absolutely guarantee it.

They don’t wake me up at nights with endless requests for the toilet or a drink or a cuddle or to banish monsters.

They don’t mess up my stuff, break things, fight with one another or incessantly demand my attention.

They leave me with plenty of time to pursue my own interests, have a shower unmolested and get the shopping done without interruption.

You see, neither of them made it to full term. Neither even made it close.

And yet…they were my children. Are my children.

It’s a confusing issue.

Contentious moral or religious beliefs aside; science tells us that upon conception, what’s present is a human being in its earliest form. Begotten of my husband and I, ergo our children. Initially I really did think it was that simple.

But not having them present leaves more challenges (grief aside) than I could have expected.

How do I respond when someone asks if I have children?

I usually tell them no, cut the conversation short and wonder if I just utterly trashed the importance and the presence of those two tiny people who lived inside me for far too short a time.

When I tell them yes, and explain the circumstances, the conversation grinds to a screeching halt, which may or may not be accompanied by the Pity Face.

Either way is tough.

Yet invisible motherhood happens more frequently than you’d ever imagine…until you suddenly end up the mother of an invisible child. Until you’re able to hold back the tears long enough to talk about it. Then women with similar experiences seem to pour out of the woodwork, heartbreaking stories and empathy shared in equal measures. And I want to ask them “Where were you until now?”

I’d always understood ‘miscarriage’ to be a bit of a dirty word. One of those distasteful things which happens in life; like ingrown toenails or root canals. Unpleasant and Not a Topic For The Dinner Table. As such, I knew very little about it. I knew a few women in the family had had one. I knew of a family friend who’d had a stillbirth.

Not one conversation broached the topic of emotion or motherhood.

It was as though those babies somehow didn’t count.

I think that’s why it took me so staggeringly by surprise. I’d even anticipated that I might miscarry my first, given the family history, but nothing ever prepared me for the sheer weight of emotion that crashed down on me and proceeded, over the coming months, to suffocate me under a dark cloud of anguish.

Nothing prepared me for the waves of anger at pregnant women in the street.

At no point was I told about the blind rage which would leave me shaking when I saw misbehaving tots being screamed at by their end-of-the-tether parents. Or being smoked near. Or being ignored when in need of attention.

I was utterly unprepared for the isolation from my husband, who (at first) just didn’t *get* why I was so upset.

I was defenseless against the accusing voice in my mind, telling me that I was clearly undeserving of a baby/hadn’t been careful enough while pregnant/had done it wrong in the first place.

I was ill-informed about how to respond to throw-away comments from the unintentionally insensitive, which left me feeling as though I’d been emotionally assaulted.

So I dug deep, reached out, and slowly, painfully, began making the connections for myself.

Since then, though, I’ve been keen to do my bit – to give back – to share with those newly invisible mothers some of the things which have helped me.

I began by blogging bits and pieces of my story. The feedback was positive – people began to exhibit signs of understanding. I was thanked for generating conversations and enabling others to support their friends who were in the same position as me.

I created a couple of guest posts where bloggers were seeking to promote understanding of miscarriage and childlessness, with an aim of spreading understanding, empathy and compassion. I’ve entered writing challenges with my story as the subject, all in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible.

I’m gradually becoming adept at talking about it in Real Life, too.

It’s still difficult and it still hurts, but I want to go further from here and take my online presence (and passion for breaking those barriers and trashing the taboos) into the everyday.

I want to be active in working towards a world where miscarriage isn’t swept under the rug; where women can openly acknowledge (and grieve) their losses without feeling uncertain as to the validity of their feelings. I want to be a person who others can come to for information and advice. I want to be at the forefront of a movement which purposefully demystifies miscarriage and aims to establish helpful dialogue on the subject.

I will strive to support the generation of a mindset where each of these little, lost lives is important, and their heartbroken mothers (and fathers) are surrounded by empathy and care, stemming from genuine understanding on the part of those around them.

My children count.

They have changed me, and I am their legacy.

The Unexpected Hatred

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hatred

What surprised me the most about myself when I had my second miscarriage was my capacity to hate.  I’d never really been a hateful person.  Not particularly angry, jealous, or spiteful either.  But when I lost that baby, that tiny, hopeful whisper of a new life was replaced with something horrible and raging.  My hatred was powerful.  It had teeth, claws, and narrow, angry eyes that at first could only focus on one specific group of people: pregnant women.

I didn’t want their babies to be fine.

I didn’t want them to be happy.

I wished them ill.

I hated watching their husbands escort them out of cars.  I hated their round bellies and rosy cheeks.  I hated their maxi dresses and decaf coffees and their stupid swollen feet.  I wanted them to trip on those dresses and spill their coffees all over their dopey husbands.

I wanted someone else to be like me: a miserable, angry failure.  I became an absolutely horrible person.  I took the real me, the generally kind and optimistic person that I used to be, and pulled her deep into my dark depths.  She was gone for a while and even though I was the one who put her away, I couldn’t remember how to find her.

The new, hateful me emerged from those dark depths and blinked at the light.  I was only capable of seeing the world through my own pain and loss and found it impossibly ordinary.  There were all these people, going about their business as usual.  They were astonishingly pleasant and normal.  They smiled, joked, ate and shopped.  They lived while my baby didn’t, so I hated them.  Worst of all were the mothers – both the pregnant women and the women with children.  They were shockingly happy.  Disgustingly fortunate.  They had successfully produced healthy children, seemingly effortlessly, while I had failed.  Twice.  It was almost unbearable.

This version of myself was completely unsure of how to function around others.  Alone, I was okay.  I could hold it together.  For brief periods of time I could lose myself in a book or a movie and not think about the emptiness inside me, the anger in my heart.  But when I had to be with other people, I was raw, a burn victim unbandaged, and I was scared of myself.  I had never before felt emotions so strong that I couldn’t keep them from my surface.  One look, word, or touch of kindness from another person and those emotions would erupt.

I had no control.  And if there’s one thing that I’ve always, always hated, it was not being in control of my emotions.  I always wanted everyone to think I was fine.  Great.  Keeping it together and looking good doing it.  So in addition to hating other people, I really, really hated myself.  I hated my weakness, my vulnerability, and my frightening misanthropy.

There were voices in my head, constantly at war.  They clashed their swords and gnashed their teeth and wouldn’t leave me in peace.  The battles went something like this:

Hateful Voice:  I hate everyone who is happy.  Why isn’t anyone else as miserable as I am?

Rational Voice:  There are millions of people out there who are much more miserable than you, trust me.

Guilty Voice:  Yeah.  Some people have it way worse than you do.  It would be so much more awful to lose a child that had already been born.  A child that you already knew and loved.  Can you even imagine how difficult that must be?  You seriously have nothing to complain about.  You can always try again.

Hateful Voice:  Fuck you.  I don’t care about anyone else.  I just know that I am miserable.  So, so miserable.

For a while, the Hateful Voice was definitely winning most of the battles.  It took a long time for the combination of the Rational and Guilty Voices to gain some ground.  I would love to say that they took over and rescued my better self from the dark depths of despair.  That I healed and moved on because of my own goodness and reason.

But I didn’t.

That’s not to say that I’m not healed now, back to my better self.  Because I am.  But I didn’t do it on my own.  I didn’t even do it with the help of friends and family.  Not completely.

The only reason I can say that I have really and truly come back from that awful, desperate place I was in is that I did eventually have a healthy pregnancy that resulted in the beautiful gift of my children.

I got lucky.  Big time.

If I hadn’t, I really don’t know where I’d be now.  I mean, I returned to my normal life after the miscarriages and before I got pregnant again, and I did okay, but only on the outside.  Inside, I was still devastated.  Broken.  Utterly frustrated.  I’m sure I would have made my way back to living a life of strength and confidence, but I think it would have taken quite a while.

So while I may be one of the disgustingly fortunate ones now, I wish I could let other women who are suffering like I was know that I really and truly get it.  I’ve been there.  It was awful and I’m so, so sorry that you’re there now.  I hope it gets better for you, but please just know that it’s okay to hate everyone right now.  What you’re going through is terrible, and I get it.  Feel the way you need to feel.  Anyone who tells you differently is full of shit.  There is no silver lining.  Sometimes life is just really, really hard.  You’ll get through it because you have to.  Because you are, believe me, stronger than you know.

How to Cope With A Miscarriage

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Mere weeks past conception, my first child passed away, and I was left bereft and overwhelmed; not sure how to handle the situation. I did it the hard way, but I wish someone had given me advice on what on earth to do. Months later, I also lost my second child at an early stage of pregnancy. I was a little wiser this time, and took the advice I had created for myself when I lost my first. The grief is less now, and time has begun the painstaking process of rebuilding my shattered heart, but the ‘How To..’ details remain few and far between. So I took the best of the advice I was given on coping with a miscarriage by friends and relatives, mixed in a few ideas of my own, and came up with a list of hints and tips for anyone who’s going through the agony of losing their baby….

1. Stop to acknowledge the passing of your child. I didn’t, and it remains my deepest regret. Everything else can go on hold. Don’t hang on, teetering on the brink of that darkness – let go, fall into it and begin the grieving process. You have been a mother since you conceived. The loss of your baby doesn’t make you less of a mother, nor does an early loss ‘count less’.

2. If you can, tell people what’s happening. They’ll probably find it hard to hear, but they will at least then understand why you’re (probably) not functioning to par. They can’t cut you any slack unless you let them know you need it. They can’t extend compassion if they are uninformed.

3. Get your girlfriends around you. Friends or relatives; it really doesn’t matter – you need women you can trust. Women you can cry with. Women who can hug you. Because no matter how sympathetic a man is, a woman will understand you in a very different way, and part of the healing lies in fully comprehending the loss, all its implications, navigating the train wreck and beginning to get a little perspective.

4. Try not to let distance grow between you and your partner. This one’s easily done. He’ll see the whole situation differently. He might try to fix it. He might wonder why it’s taking you so long to get over it. He probably won’t have a clue about the million and one ways it affects you every day. Unless you explain it in terms he’ll understand.

I used the analogy of coloured dyes with my husband; his brain processes experiences as individual jars of colour, which he can take out and examine one at a time, whereas my brain processes them as though they’d all been poured into a bowl – they intermingle, interact with other areas of life, and tinge everything.

5. Take your time to ‘get over it’. Grief affects everyone differently. Don’t anticipate a certain length of time before you feel ‘normal’. Go with what works for you in the moment. Don’t rush. Whatever you’re feeling is normal, has been felt by others before you, is not completely mad. If you need it, seek professional help to get through this.

6. Take care of yourself. It should go without saying, but it’s easy to let grief swallow you whole. It’s a vile, heartbroken place to be, (and you may hate me for saying it if you’re still in that darkness) but you did not stop living. You will do yourself no favors in the short or long run if you grind to a halt. You need to eat, you need to wash, you need to get up in the morning and do *something*. Even if these things seem hollow and pointless, keep going – persist and it will help you later. Do it for the ‘you’ in a few months time.

7. Expect sex to be a little weird at first. Whether you’re straight back into trying to conceive or you’re having a break, it’s unavoidable that at some point, you’ll realize that this act of love is what led to the pregnancy which led to such heartbreak. Don’t beat yourself up if your attitude to sex changes. Maybe radically for a while. Try to offer explanations to your partner, which let him know that you’re not rejecting him; that it’s not about him; that you still care for him. Back this up by showing him lots of physical affection in other ways if the idea of sex is too much for you to manage at the moment.

8. Expect the unexpected. It may well be that one day, when you’re no longer even thinking about your lost children, something quite innocuous triggers a descent back into that place of grief. Ride with it. Let those around you know what’s happening. You’ll be back up again soon. The peaks and troughs will gradually even out to a place where you’re able to look back upon them with a small, sharp tug on the heartstrings, but no longer that panicked, howling anguish.

The loss of a child in pregnancy is a terrible tragedy which can never un-happen. If it’s happened to you, you’re part of the Invisible Moms Club. Your life was altered the moment conception took place; you are a Mom, and it’s heartbreaking that you haven’t that child to show for it. Yet Good can still be wrought, even of this pain – whether it’s sharing your story so that understanding and compassion can be spread, or being able to offer a shred of comfort and hope to a young woman suddenly faced with the loss of her unborn child and all that entails.

Moving Past a Loss

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loss

Last year on this day, I was 6 weeks pregnant with my third pregnancy. It was unexpected and I was conflicted and overwhelmed, but I was excited at the possibility of another baby in my arms.

Today, my sister-in-law went in for her first appointment for her first ultrasound with her first baby. She is 10 weeks pregnant.

Last year, when I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I went into my obstetrician’s office for an ultrasound. I was spotting. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I was told that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. Part of me died in that moment.

Today, I was texted a photo of my sister-in-law’s ultrasound with the outline of my beautiful and healthy new niece or nephew. I was thrilled and then almost immediately, I felt kicked in the gut.

I’m not super sensitive or depressed but the fact is that last year around this time, I found out that I was pregnant. On April 31st at 10 weeks and 4 days along, an ultrasound tech told me that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. It was the worst moment of my life. The next morning I was wheeled into surgery to have a D & E because of how far along I was and because nothing was passing on its own.

I still have the photo of the ultrasound that I made them take again before I went into surgery that morning, just to make sure there was no heartbeat. It’s on my phone. I am afraid to erase it because I am afraid that I will erase the fact that my baby was ever here. That photo is my only tangible evidence my baby #3 ever existed.

Today, my sister-in-law, who I truly am very happy and excited for, went in for her first appointment, she is 10 weeks pregnant. She texted me the ultrasound and suddenly, what I thought I had learned to live with, those feelings, that pain came bubbling to the surface.

She sent the text as I was headed to afternoon pick up so I had all those feelings swishing around, trying to boil over, my heart hurts and I just want to cry. I can’t because my kids are here. I can’t write about it on my own site because I don’t want my sister-in-law to read it and think that I am not happy or to worry that her joy is bringing me misery. It is not.

I am happy for her and my brother-in-law; it’s just that every progression of her pregnancy is a reminder of my loss and the sadness I feel about it. These residual emotional time bombs left over from the loss happen at the most inopportune times. So I have to write about it to process it or I will explode and start blubbering inappropriately. I want to be excited with her. I want to celebrate. I want to embrace it all but my heart has not caught up with my head yet.

When will this ever stop? Will I ever feel truly happy again? When will I stop feeling like I’m going to burst into tears every time someone I love tells me they are pregnant?

Perspective

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seed

Perspective is a funny thing.  There is no way to predict how the pain of now will translate into joy in the future.

When Matt and I lost our first baby to a late first trimester miscarriage, it was – by far – the worst thing that had ever happened to me.  I didn’t know where to turn or what to think.  I had no markers or guideposts to cling to in such grief.  The pain was so constant and overwhelming that it seemed certain that others could look at me and see the hole left by the end of my pregnancy.  Lost expectations choked me daily and clinging to the fragile hope of a second pregnancy did nothing to ease the drag of days.

Matt tried to help me. He held me as I sobbed. He drove me to the surgery and held my hand through the IV and the cramps and the pain.  He let me talk and talk and talk about our disappointment and my grief and my fears that I would never be able to have a baby. That this would be my experience of motherhood.

I have a strong belief in doing.  I don’t sit passively and let anything happen to me and I refused to let grief happen to me.  If nothing else, I would be an active participant in distracting my own thoughts.  I researched miscarriages and fertility.  I comforted myself with the statistics that said that miscarriage was common and a couple able to conceive so easily had a high chance of eventually carrying a baby to term.  I applied for a new job overseas because – dammit - if I couldn’t be a mother, I would have the dream career that I wanted. I wouldn’t sit still and hope for something out of my control to change my life.  And, I researched adoption.  Matt and I had talked about adopting often before we decided to try and have a baby. We had always felt open to different ways of building a family.  I applied to volunteer at a small orphanage in the mountains outside of Port au Prince, Haiti.  Just to see, I told Matt, for information and so that we can start to understand the process.

Months past.  I got the job and we began the arduous process of relocating our lives overseas for the second time in our marriage, but I didn’t get the baby.  Despite our best efforts, the pregnancy tests I took so hopefully “three days before the start of my period!” stayed resolutely negative.  Each one took its own little chip out of my hopes.  At Christmas time, I heard final word that they had room for me to travel to Haiti and work at the orphanage for four weeks in January.

I kissed Matt, promised, futilely, not to give my heart and soul away to orphaned children half a hemisphere away and left ridiculously early on a freezing cold January morning. After a long night on the gritty airport floor in Miami, I arrived in the oppressive, tropical heat of Haiti, drove the rutted, mountain rode to the orphanage compound and promptly gave my slightly battered heart and soul away to orphaned children who now sat in my lap, clamored for my attention, slept in my arms and filled my days and my thoughts.  Grief lost the battle for my consciousness to industry and giggles and dirty diapers and an exhausting routine with “my” eight children to love.

I flew home changed.  I wanted to be a mother through adoption.  I was already a mother a second time. I missed my period in Haiti.

Eighteen months, reams of paperwork, several ultrasounds, an endless labor, endless waiting and hoping and filing and an exhausting series of flights across the country later, I held my fourteen-month-old daughter and my twelve-month-old son together in my arms for the first time.

I thought it that day and still think it now when I watch my six-year-old “twins” play and laugh and fight and giggle.

Just maybe, losing a baby was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Knowing

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loneliness

In my journey, I don’t know much. But I think I know enough.

Sometimes.

What I don’t know is…

What it feels like to have a child. For the first time in my life, I accepted the fact that a baby was coming, and my life would no longer be my own. We bought books, and laughed at our inabilities and ignorance. I threw up in a toilet, knowing that every pain I was enduring was making our baby stronger. My husband had his first belly-holding smile, knowing there was us, inside. We saw ultrasounds that made our education feel inferior and inept; what we saw was a glimpse of life we were unable to interpret. We worried about money and daycare. We thought of names, and painstakingly rearranged summer plans of boozing on the beach to painting the baby’s room and taking prenatal vitamins on time.

We then felt the pain of accepting that the baby inside of me was not strong enough to become who we wanted it to be; and that no matter how hard we tried, it would not take 9 months to create a life. It would instead take 3 months to prove that this young life was not meant to be. It’s hard to accept that our little creation couldn’t find it’s heart, but if you look back-there is no other way to truly want a child, and prove how badly you will commit to it’s happiness, unless you lose that hope. Those feelings never go away, they only become stronger, which means our love and preparedness will only grow. The next one? That’s one lucky kid. We are waiting for you and can’t even imagine how much you will be loved.

What it feels like to be content. I have always been on the path of the next big venture; gotta be the best, the smartest, the most well-spoken. Living with the pressure of “gotta be” is not only painful, it’s counter-productive, yet I only brought it upon myself, weighing heavily upon my own shoulders. You miss out on the little moments that add up. Turns out, I’m thirty, and still waiting for the payback. Meanwhile, I look back at all the times I wish I’d cherished then, rather than had to relay in memories. I was always in a rush; a race to get my education, to get the guy, the perfect job, the ideal house. I ran so fast that I forgot to remember that the brain processes change much faster than the heart. When running a marathon, you only gage your thoughts on the next checkpoint. Gotta make it, in time, I can do it, just focus. But at the end, you only look back at your accomplishment, forgetting the struggles you had to reach it. You look back at the mileage and only see the total; not the stopping, grasping points. You actually forget the pain and only remember the gloating semblance of accomplishment the finish line feeds you. It’s as if you simply overlook the journey and accept the ending; but your strength was built upon the pain and struggle. The brain is smart-it wants us to remember the aftermath so we will continue to tread along the rocky path. But the heart and soul, that depth only focuses on what defines our character, with not even a glimpse at the ending point. It remembers the choking and exhausting minutes that defined our journey. It awards our faltering seconds, our grappling, but it blinds us with victory, so we will continue to strive.

What I know is….

I have a family that many people dream of. I have a Mother that lives her life, takes her every breath, upon my happiness. This is something that I took for granted, unknowingly, for some time. As much as I pray to be a good mother, there is a part of me that realizes I will fail. I have the greatest Mother of all times. I have the Mother that gave me wax wings, beautifully crafted and strong in our own world, made so that I never flew too close to the sun. Yet if I did, I will follow the path Icarus swept and as not intended, she will be there to catch me. I have the Mother that comes to a hospital and holds my hand, grips it tight, but says that she must leave so that my Husband can take the leading role in my survival. I have a Brother that cannot sleep, no matter the time difference, until my Husband writes, “she’s okay, asleep, will call you in the morning”. I have a family, that no matter how tough of an image that we portray, literally cannot function unless everyone else is aware. And we fight it; not picking up phone calls or not returning a text message…and as silly as it seems to say aloud, we are not whole until we feel confident that all of us are accounted for. We will forever be bound as our lives are closely knitted to those that we love, no matter the mileage or change that occurs. And guess what? It is these times that make a family, strong with a glance, or a quick and momentary conversation, as thick as thieves. And we feel no remorse nor regret. We are what we have created, and we would take nothing less. I strive to be the like the Mother I was given.

I have a husband who loves me. Not the kind of love where he would stand on a street corner and croon-but the kind of love where we have a great life… the kind of love where you are sitting in a doctor’s office and given the worst sort of news…and your husband looks at you…not for confirmation but for direction. Anger, in fact, that the news was delivered to us together, whereas he would have preferred to accept and interpret news without my knowledge and pain. I have the Husband who wants to take the bad news away from me, to digest it and make it as palpable as possible, before it hit my ears. How I got him, I have no idea. But I have him, without intention of letting him go. And, to make matters even moreso entwined, my Mother trusts him. She trusts him, to make me feel whole. That is a feeling that is not easily transferred, but earned. Not only earned, but expected. If my Mother is giving duties, they are dealt out based upon expectation and hope. Her love is transferred to my Husband, and he accepts it without hesitation. But I believe, in my heart, that a glance existed sometime, and was accepted by both parties. My heart has been transferred, without knowledge but with full-fledged intent, to the only Man whom my Mother deemed deserving.

Life is not what you planned. Or hoped for. Or wished that would occur on it’s own, entrusting morals prevail. Life is what happened when we were living each minut day, and praying. Life is who we are, when we least expected to be watched. Life is what happened when we heard someone else’s version, and we added our two cents, comparing and laughing. Life is not a culmination of who we dreamt to be, but who grew to become. Without regret, or comparison to the norm and obvious. We are who we believe we are today. And in my family, we are unconditionally loved.

That’s what I know. For now.

Some Things Change You Forever

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giving-flower

It was a sunny Monday morning. I had just dropped my 4 year-old off at preschool. I had approximately 2 hours to get to my OBs office and have her check me and tell me nothing was wrong. As I lay there alone on the cold, hard table in the ultrasound room, I expected nothing to be wrong. I had some spotting, as I had with both of my previous pregnancies. Both times previously, everything was fine. I had overreacted. I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant with our third child. I just needed the ultrasound and the confirmation that everything was okay and I could continue on with my full day of errands. I wasn’t scared at all. That’s why my husband wasn’t with me. I was wrong.

The ultrasound tech made idle chit chat, apologizing for the wand of the vaginal ultrasound and any pressure that I might be feeling. Then her face went white. I knew. But it had to be a mistake. She continued on in silence. Then the words came, as if in slow motion from across the world, “I’m so sorry, I can’t find your baby’s heartbeat.”

I was in shock. All I could think was, she must have done something wrong. There is a heartbeat; she just doesn’t know what she is doing. I lay there for a couple more minutes, paralyzed and horrified. Embarrassed and humiliated, I wanted to disappear. I wanted to die. I wanted to be dead with no heartbeat, just like my baby inside me. I couldn’t talk. I didn’t cry.

I was interrupted from my internal psychotic break by the ultrasound tech taking my hand softly and telling me, once again, how very sorry she was for my loss and that she would take me downstairs to see my obstetrician “the back way”. I know it was so I wouldn’t have to walk through the waiting room filled with beautiful round bellies full of life. I knew. But it felt like, I was being taken down the back stairs because I was not worthy.

My body had failed my baby and me. There was malfunction and all I could do was take one step at a time and try not falling to the ground and crying forever. It felt surreal like I was watching this happen to someone else. I was outside of my body as I found myself in the Ob waiting room downstairs, not sure if I should politely smile or cry at the other expecting mothers. I was jealous. I was pissed. I was hurt. I felt like my initial reaction of surprise to this pregnancy had somehow made me unworthy to hold my baby. I could not speak. I saw my doctor. She explained the situation. I could barely hear her through my own thoughts. My head was so congested from holding in my pain. I was afraid to open mouth because all of the emotion would come pouring out and drown us all.

I was physically aching. My legs were shaking, my mind was racing, my head was spinning and I was alone; more alone than I have ever been in my life. I needed to hear my husband’s voice. He had to be told. I was the only one who could make that call. He knew I was at the doctor’s office. We’d been here before. We worried for nothing. It was always fine. Not this time.

I dialed the number through my blurry vision, I heard his jovial voice on the other end, “How’s our baby?” I was silent. “Is everything ok?” his concern was palpable. I started to speak, but it didn’t sound like me. It couldn’t be me speaking those words. I opened my mouth and the words came out like a death sentence, “ We had a M…………” and then I began to sob in an uncontrollable and animalistic way in which I have never experienced before. I could not finish the word. It was choking me. I could not say it out loud because then it would be real and then my baby would be dead. The promise of our baby would be broken. Life would be different. I would be different. It would all be less. I would never get to hold my baby in my arms because my baby was gone.

How do you survive a miscarriage? You don’t. You are changed forever. On the day that you lose a child, you lose part of who you were and become someone new; different. Your destiny is changed. You will never be the same. Eventually, you learn to breathe again, you get up of the floor, you stop crying and you somehow carry on.