I read a piece a sister of mine shared on Facebook. (I say sister without quotes, without italics, but she’s not blood… doesn’t make her not family. Regardless, I wanted to clarify- my big sis, Jessica, is OK!) THIS was the article. It broke my heart. Just the day before, Dave and I had learned she had lost a pregnancy.
I won’t mention who, how far along, of if she has other children, if it’s happened before… because it doesn’t matter. There is never a “hardly pregnant”. Or a “get over it”. ALL experiences are different, but knowing how many women suffer in silence, I beg you to reach out.
My own story makes it hard for me to not cry for my friend. I recall the day I read “PREGNANT” across the digital screen. Dave and I had only been “trying” for a month! But I didn’t feel sure. I couldn’t get excited… I felt so tired and scared. Something in me wasn’t right. Two days later, the same test read a different story. So I took more tests. Different types. The digital screens kept differing. The second line was growing more faint. Finally, on a Friday morning, I knew it was the end. I sat blankly at our dining room table looking at my breakfast and told Dave we weren’t having a baby. I was bleeding, differently than ever before. I was in pain. Serious pain. I asked him to not tell anyone. I got up, took a vitamin for whatever reason, and left for my first day at a new job. I didn’t eat, I didn’t stop working except to tend to myself using the most giant pads I could find and a lot of Tylenol. This idiotic reaction is what got me the full-time position I held up until the day I gave birth. “You’re so determined,” the boss said. “Yes,” I replied with my eyes down. I never told them why.
Keeping the secret was killing me. I finally told my Mom, who was the only other person who knew I’d been pregnant. I tried to rationalize and tell her that it was only 5 weeks. I shouldn’t have tested so early. I had nothing to cry about when she had lost my brother- a live birth- at 27 weeks. But she cooed through the receiver, “You are in pain as any mother would be…” I was a mother. For the briefest of weeks, I was a mom.
My mother-in-law pressed me about my withdrawn demeanor and I told her. A friend finally pushed my buttons and I broke. The walls came down. I was bruised on the inside. I was hurt… and talking to other women, friends and family healed me. We made Addie… life goes on. But I will never forget that my body decided that the child I was carrying was not fit for this world. Maybe that’s why I know Addie is so special. Why I know she was meant to do great things. Why I know that the odds that we have to beat in life are not things we cannot handle.
But it still hurts. The piece that I read said it best: Miscarriage is death.
There is no hardly or not real yet-s. There are children we, as mothers, never get to kiss, to nurse, to carry, to send off to school, to watch graduate, to live their dreams and ultimately fill ours. Even at 5 weeks, I’d imagined the next 50 years.
I band together with you, sisters. There is nothing that we cannot face together. So share it, scream it, cry it. Do you feel that? It’s my arms wrapped around you. Blessed be to all of our lost ones who watch over us daily.