I was nearly three months along in the pregnancy. The baby would have arrived in July. There was no real physical advance warning. Sunday I woke up as I always do - exhausted, nauseous and with the normal discomfort. Sunday evening the baby was gone.
I feel as though I have suddenly become part of a group of women. The world seems divided into those who have experienced the pain of miscarriage and those who haven't. And I can never regain that innocence before loss. No matter the future joys that grace my life, a sad twinge will always rest on the corners of my smile.
I suppose, by luck, I have never bonded to a pregnancy. I suffer horribly during these 9 months, often bedridden and in a lot of pain. With my second pregnancy, I thought finding out the sex of the baby might help me imagine who this little one growing inside me was, but I felt no different than I did not knowing. This lack of connection is a saving grace right now. Somehow I don't really feel the loss of a child, the way I would if I lost one of my boys. Mostly I feel disappointment that the baby won't come in July. I feel that I just have to wait a little longer for this little one to join our family, hopefully in November or December.
I am surprisingly not tired. I thought the draining emotions would exhaust me to my limits, but I found myself wide awake last night. Not wired or over-tired. I simply felt like, for the first time in three months, I was well rested.
The strangest part of it all is how normal I feel physically. All of a sudden I can eat a meal and not feel ill, have a bite of chocolate and feel fine. In the evenings I can talk again because the suffocating tightness in my chest is gone. The nausea disappeared. The exhaustion is ended. 24 hours ago I had a tiny life growing inside of me that affected every aspect of my life, and now there is nothing.
I am an ocean of tears, but I cannot discern their origin. Perhaps there is some level of subconsciousness inside that feels the emptiness and is crying out. Perhaps it is the memory of the tiny little fetus, that I can hardly believe might have one day grown to a healthy 7 pounds.
I am amazed at the emotional preparation that was taking place before I knew I needed it. Over the past few months I have been close to good friends as they dealt with the loss of a pregnancy, endure a difficult pregnancy, pray that a baby will not come to early, and spend weeks in a hospital with a baby that did come to early. I have also followed the online journal of a complete stranger, not sure why I was drawn to her life until Sunday - she miscarried in November, writing openly and honestly about the emotions she struggled with as she mourned her loss and then prepared for pregnancy again. Then, this Sunday afternoon before I took a nap, I opened the bible and came to a passage in Psalms that spoke of the healing power that is provided from heaven. And then I opened the current "Anne of Green Gables" book I am reading and read the heartbreaking chapter of Anne's first birth, and how her baby girl did not live more than a day. Each of these was leading me down a road of empathy and then sympathy, which has gently lifted me up from the valley I am in.
I do feel a strange sense of renewal, a revival of energy and purpose. I suddenly have yearnings to get my home in order, to find purpose and industry as a wife and mother. I am dreaming of my very first garden, of woodshop projects, of taking my fingers to the needle and really learning to sew. I am filled with the desire to bake fresh bread and get on the floor to play with my boys.
I have so many things to be grateful for. I am grateful my body knew that something couldn't support this tiny life and that it wasn't good for it to grow. I am grateful it happened early, that I might not become so attached to the idea of my family one soul bigger. I am grateful that the tragedy was before the baby was born, that I might not have to endure unimaginable heartaches of watching a darling baby struggle with illness or perhaps even depart this world early. I am grateful that it is so easy for me to become pregnant, and that in a short time joy will likely fill up the corners of emptiness. I am grateful for family to fill the long minutes of the day. I am grateful for two healthy, beautiful boys who love me unconditionally. I am grateful for a husband who can be near me for as long as I need, who aches along with me and cheers me with future dreams.
I am grateful for my faith and hope which will heal me, for the comfort of scripture that speaks to the heart, and for the atonement of Jesus Christ, the only one who can truly know exactly the sorrow I feel, and what I need for healing:
"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."Right now I am trying to fill the time of my days. When I find a quiet moment, or am alone in the dark at night, or when people have moved to a different room in the house, the tears come unbidden. If I can keep myself busy, my mind in conversation, I find I can forget for just a little while. I pray that this time will be no more than a passing moment until I am again welcoming a baby into our family. And, in time, I pray that I will be able to see the change this has wrought in me for the better, the tugging closer to my husband and children, and the deeper sense of purpose in motherhood.