Updated: Mar 4
So here you are. You're in a cold, white, ugly room in a hospital, or maybe a doctor's office. A boring room with cheap decor that no one would remember from any other medical room- but you do. You remember the crack in the ceiling that you noticed while laying on your back waiting and praying for good news. You remember the uncomfortable red vinyl chair your husband kept shifting his weight in and he told you "everything will be just fine". You remember the tech's bright blue eyes and the vein's in her hands as she rubs the doppler over your stomach. You study those eyes like you are studying for the most important final exam of your life- trying to read them, because everything looks like static on the ultrasound screen. The ultrasound tech says nothing negative, because she technically can't- but she says she will be "right back" and avoids eye contact with you.
You're left in the room where your dream is about to end, and you can feel it. Even though you feel it you try to smile because your husband is in the chair next to you and he doesn't feel it yet. You can feel your heart pound in your head, and you're staring at that stupid ugly crack in the ceiling "why don't they get that fixed?". It's surreal really. You're laying half naked on a cold hard table, knowing that your dreams are about to be shattered and you're so fucking concerned about a crack in the ceiling and the ugly red chair, why is the chair so old?
It's been half an hour now- maybe longer, or maybe it's been 2 minutes. Time doesn't matter anymore. You start praying to any god you can think of. You start bargaining with him or her. "I'm sorry I don't talk to you- but if you could just let "my bab-" No don't say it. If you say it, it makes it real. "If you just let this be okay... I promise I won't smoke another cigarette, I'll volunteer somewhere, I'll remember to write the stupid thank you notes I forgot about...."
And then a doctor walks in. You've never met this doctor. He shakes your hand and you realize you're dripping sweat in this cold room. He looks more at your husband than you. He say's "I'm very sorry, there's no heartbeat." Everything fades out. Everything echoes. All you can hear is "no heartbeat" over and over. You're confused. He's confused. You've tried for months, or years for this. You knew this was coming, or maybe you didn't. You try to wrap your mind around this, that you're carrying a dream that is no longer alive-but before you know it he says "it's very common" and walks out of the room. You stare at that fucking crack in the ceiling. Your husband says something reassuring but you don't hear him. You somehow get dressed. You somehow get home.
And then, it hits you.
Your dream, you child, is gone. But you're supposed to be fine because "it's very common" and it must not be a big deal because it happens to SO many women right? So why do you feel like a failure as a woman? Like someone you've known your whole life has died? Like you were stupid to be excited. Stupid to dream.
If you told anyone at all, they won't know what to say. The nurse at the medical office said "at least you can get pregnant, right?" That was maybe the worst of all. Someone else might say "it was only 8 weeks, not even a baby yet." , " You'll become a mother when you're ready, just stop trying and it will happen."
WAIT. NO. HOLD UP.
It WAS a baby to you, because you wanted that baby. You wanted it with everything in your being. You carried that baby, maybe you'd already thought of names for that baby! You are a mother. You will ALWAYS be a mother because you had a child inside of you, a child that you had dreams for. A child you wanted. And here you are grieving for someone you won't ever meet. No one has told you it's okay to talk about this openly. No one throws a funeral for a fetus. So what do you do with this?
This huge loss that envelopes your entire being? You probably do what you have to, you move on. You go to work, you smile, you politely make up an excuse for why you can't go to your friends baby shower ( because if you went you might break down) and no one is supposed to selfishly ugly cry at baby showers.
So you just feel guilt. Guilt for not being happy for that friend.Oh- And then there's the guilt about feeling so sad about something that is apparently so "common", and for your body not being able to do the ONE thing that's supposed to just happen. So you try to forget. But you don't forget. You won't forget. And guess what? That's fucking lonely. It's lonelier than hell. But Mama, you don't have to mourn this alone.
It took me awhile to realize that the stigma surrounding miscarriage is antiquated. Why can't we talk about the loss of a baby like we talk about the loss of a relative or friend who passes away? If it's so common, then why is it less socially acceptable to mourn more publicly? Why can't we admit that the pain is so intolerable that we scream and cry and fall to our knees? Why can't we plant a tree in memory of that baby? Of that dream? Why are we as women expected to stay calm and composed and move on so quickly?
Don't do what they expect you to do Mama. Scream your pain from the rooftops if you have to. Do what helps you to heal. Drink an entire bottle of wine and cry. Punch a wall. (ouch) or don't. Write a letter to your baby. Write an angry letter whatever God(s) you believe in. BE SAD. Stay in bed and watch sad movies all day. OR, BE ANGRY- if you want to be angry. You have every right to feel any emotion right now. You suffered a real loss. No matter how many weeks pregnant you were when they uttered those words. Your loss is real, your feelings are normal, and most importantly- You will ALWAYS be a Mama.
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