So, these past several months I’ve struggled with sharing my thoughts and emotions. I haven’t really even been sure how to put them into words and the ones I felt I could put into words felt too rough to share, as they may have been offensive to some. Therefore, I decided to stay silent. Much like I have tried to keep my sadness silent to those that see me everyday.
After our loss in July I started developing my own expectations on where I should be emotionally; even physically. With each week that passed I expected to be better. I expected not to hurt and for the sad feelings I had, to disappear. I expected to move on and continue with my life; just as those around me already had. I expected to be my normal self again. But the reality is that I won’t ever be my old self again. What we experienced in July changed who I am forever.
As I’ve been reflecting on the expectations I’ve set for myself; I started wondering if they were really expectations I had set for myself or if they were expectations I set because I saw everyone else had moved on and therefore so should I. The more I’ve pondered this thought; the more I believe that it’s a mixture of the two. I, no doubt, have high expectations of myself in my work and anything I do; so it’s not unreasonable to think that I also have high emotional expectations as well. You see, I come from a long line of strong, independent women; being weak isn’t in my bloodline. So, my ‘weakness’ over the last 5 months has been very new to me and very difficult to handle on my part. So much so, that I willingly admit to seeking medical help for my emotions and the depression that has sometimes consumed my life so much that I’ve been unable to finish a work day or even remember if I used shampoo in the shower. I struggled with resorting to medical help; and even more so with sharing this piece of my journey; but it’s real and I’m not the only one so why should I hide it? I don’t find it to be a fix all rather than an aide to help me through my most difficult days..because there still are very difficult days ahead. Something I think most don’t realize.
Just like any other loss; those that aren’t directly affected will be there for those mourning during those first few days, weeks, and sometimes months. Then, normal life sets back in and your pain and mourning is not at the top of their minds. With a miscarriage loss, I believe most think that the pain you have happens on the day that you lost your baby and that the following days and weeks you spend recouping from what you experienced and the loss. What I don’t think most people realize is that the day of loss is only the beginning. You see, I was 15 weeks pregnant. I still had, at most, 25 weeks left to be pregnant. 25 weeks. That means for the next 25 weeks I got to watch other pregnant ladies bellies grow. While mine shrank. I got to watch others hold gender reveal parties while my heart ached for the date that came and passed for ours to be revealed. 25 weeks of seeing pregnancy announcements both real and fake (for another time); fill my news feed. 25 weeks left to cope with the fact that my due date would come and pass and most likely no one outside of our immediate family would even remember that we had a son that didn’t make it to his birth day. My intent is not to sound bitter or upset at the joy others around us are experiencing. Because I’m far from bitter or upset. I am no doubt happy for those that are blessed with a healthy, full term pregnancy; for I wouldn’t wish what I experienced on anyone. I’m just sad for the moments that my family is missing out on and for the life that I never got to meet. And more sad that most days it feels like my husband I are the only ones that even remember that little life I had inside of me for 15 weeks. Knowing that this is most likely not the case; but still wondering if anyone else misses what could have been the way we do.
I completely understand that those not in my shoes may find it awkward to bring it up. That they may fear bringing it up will hurt me or make me cry. Or that they don’t even know what to say; so silence it is. I can’t speak for every miscarriage mother; but I can tell you that for this miscarriage mother, not bringing it up hurts more than bringing it up ever could. That doesn’t mean that every time you see me (or any miscarriage mother) you should bring it up; but it does mean that a simple text saying “Just thinking of you and hope you are doing well.” or a call to say “You’ve been on my mind and I just want to ask you how you are doing?”, with the understanding that it may not be a good day to talk about it but knowing you remember my loss and care enough to bring it up will do wonders for a weary, mourning soul.
I’ve been blessed with random texts and calls from friends and family and can tell you that those have been instrumental in helping me move forward. So, please if you know someone that has gone through a miscarriage, whether within the last 5 months, 5 years or 35 years. Reach out to them and let them know you remember the life they lost and understand that they are still mourning that loss.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. – Romans 12:15