I lost our baby.
“It’s not your fault, you did nothing wrong, something was wrong from the beginning, you wouldn’t want the additional heartache of carrying the baby any longer…” all perfectly legitimate and true things, but they don’t make us feel any less empty. Our baby is gone. Our due date in June will be just another day. Where my body was once changing rapidly to accommodate the massive job of dividing cells into a real live human being, who at 8 weeks would have been starting to grow little arms and legs, I now feel completely empty. Cold. My insides are cramping, and not in the way that they were previously to rearrange and make room for our baby. They’re working to squeeze every last drop of evidence out of my body, and out of our life. I haven’t let Rob into the same room for any of that. I want to protect him from having that visual. I can’t protect him from the memory of the look on my face at our friend’s house, ten minutes after we told them we’d be having a baby, the look that told him something was very wrong. I can’t protect him from the horrible sound I made when we got the news in the emergency room that we’d lost the baby. I can’t protect him from the random crying jags in the middle of our living room while clutching a bottle of whiskey that we’ve been using novocaine. Our baby is gone, my body is emptying, he doesn’t need to see that to know.
The statistics of miscarriage that go around are vast and confusing. One in three women miscarry, but 30% of all pregnancies are miscarriages, and there are multiple kinds of miscarriage. Ours was a spontaneous abortion. There was something so wrong with our baby from the beginning that nature wouldn’t let it live past 8 weeks. My husband is a scientist, so he explained it to me in the way he knew I would understand. DNA has letters that must match up exactly. If there’s an error in the spelling, or the proofreader notices a glitch, the pregnancy cannot continue. We had a major typo.
But my point is, one in three. 30%. Whatever number they are throwing out there this week. Not one in a million, not one in two billion… The nurse in the practice I saw yesterday, the receptionist too. The multiple women who have reached out to me upon hearing the news. We are not alone, and yet going into this I thought that nobody lost their babies, and that miscarrying meant that your body was horrible and unfit and not meant to have children. Why do we have to feel this way? Those who know me know that I keep everything close to my heart and I would usually rather walk across hot coals than so candidly talk about the inner workings of my life. Some of my closest friends have no idea that we were even trying to have a baby. Some don’t know that I’ve been seeing a mental health professional to get my shit under control since my anxiety hit critical mass over the summer and I had a nervous breakdown. Well, there you go. Our dirty laundry is out and flapping in the breeze so judge away, but we need you. Even if we don’t know you, we need to know we’re not alone, and this isn’t a freak accident that only happens to us. We are letting you in. If there is a time to put aside our commentary on how other women are handling their lives and their facebook feeds and instagram accounts, and support each other, it is in times like these. Everyone is different, many people are very private and ashamed when this happens. Fuck, I’m horrified about this, but one of the things I’m working on every week is asking for help. I feel like this is one of those taboo topics that should be less so.
Oh you’re thinking about kids? Here’s a very real set of statistics about miscarriage. It could certainly happen, so be prepared, but it doesn’t make you less of a woman. It doesn’t make you less of a viable candidate to be a mother. It doesn’t make you unfit, or unwell, or unlovable. If we had this conversation I’m not saying that it would hurt less, or feel less like a failure, but we would know that we’re not alone. Thank you to the women who have reached out with kind words, encouragement, stories, feelings, and to the men who reached out to Rob to give him a safe place to speak candidly.
We are mourning the very real loss we’ve just had. We cry off and on, and I absentmindedly rub my stomach and wonder why. Not that we’ll know, but it’s human nature to want to know why and what we did wrong to do better the next time. Our Huckleberry is gone.
Last night I looked up at Rob and said, “I just want you to know that if we aren’t meant to be parents, you’re enough.” He agreed. While we have been reassured time and time again over the past three days that we are young, healthy, fertile, and we will conceive again… If we can’t, don’t, do and miscarry time after time, we can look at each other and know that we are enough. In the meantime, we’re going to be sad, but together in this. We’re not alone.