I’ll never forget my midwife sorrowfully revealing the bad news that I was already aware of.
“You miscarried. Baby didn’t grow.”
She said a bunch of other things trying to comfort me and give me a safe place to unleash my emotions, but honestly, my memory of that day is foggy at best. Heck, I might have even misquoted her above…
All I remember was losing my baby. My third baby.
I’ve read and read and read stories of my friends and strangers online enduring heartbreaking miscarriages, but since I had two healthy pregnancies, I thought it would never happen to me. I struggled with secondary infertility, which made conceiving Juliana a very long and grueling process. It didn’t even dawn on me that miscarriage was another possibility since infertility was already whooping my ass left and right.
When I miscarried, a light went out and then back on in my life simultaneously.
The loss of my baby made the whole world seem like a dark place. I was thankful that I was blessed with two kids, but that didn’t make the loss of this baby any easier to cope with. Even though I knew that the pregnancy was doomed before I even had an ultrasound, the news still hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t expect to be flooded by emotions (and oceans of tears) when the official verdict was announced to me.
However, the loss also helped me realize and sympathize with the amount of hurt that those friends and strangers online actually went through. I don’t believe you truly understand the gravity of a miscarriage until you experience one yourself.
Unfortunately, when you have a miscarriage (especially a blighted ovum), people say the dumbest, most inconsiderate things to you.
“You just had a baby, that’s probably why you lost this one. It was too soon.” Juliana was only 3 1/2 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. That is NOT the reason behind my miscarriage. Women have 2 under 12/18 months all the time.
“At least you lost it early.” I don’t even want to imagine the pain those that experienced the horror of a late miscarriage or stillbirth. I can’t sit here and act like an early miscarriage is even remotely the same as actually giving birth to a baby and having to say goodbye. NEVERTHELESS…I don’t play the pain olympics. Pain is not a competition! Your hurt, my hurt, her hurt does not make anyone else’s hurt less than. We’re all grieving.
“At least you didn’t have a miscarriage when you were trying for Juliana.” I’m a realist. I KNOW that it would’ve been tougher to handle had I lost the pregnancy with Juliana. After trying for 18 months, I would’ve been absolutely devastated. This is one of those things that is okay for me to say, but not for anyone else. I look at Juliana, and the thought of not having her here sends me into a panic.
“A blighted ovum isn’t a real miscarriage. You didn’t lose a baby.” This is probably the most hurtful out of this list. No, the baby didn’t form. My body killed that process before it even began to form. When you get a positive pregnancy test, you start thinking of that baby instantly. You think of what she’ll look like, what her name will be, how you’re going to manage 2 under 2, etc.
I lost a newborn learning how to nurse.
I lost a one-year old learning how to walk.
I lost a five-year old learning how to write her name.
I lost an eight-year old learning how to multiply and divide.
I lost a sixteen-year old learning how to drive.
I lost an eighteen-year old learning how to navigate the world as a new adult.
I lost a lifetime with my third child.
Isabella and Juliana lost a sibling.
And, of course, you have these gems…
“Everything happens for a reason.” No. Sometimes life just sucks.
“They’re in a better place now.” No. The best place for my baby is in my womb/in my arms.
“At least you know you can get pregnant again.” No. I wanted THAT pregnancy and THAT baby.
“I’ve lost a child, I hear myself say,
and the person I’m talking to just turns away.
Now why did I tell them? I don’t understand.
It wasn’t to get sympathy or to get a helping hand.
I just want them to know I’ve lost something dear.
I want them to know my child was here.
My child left something behind that no one can see.
So if I’ve upset you, I’m sorry as can be.
You’ll have to forgive me. I could not resist.
I just want you to know that my child did exist.”