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Sunday, October 18, 2015

a miscarriage story : the aftermath, returning, recovering

Eventually, after the pain and crying and the doctors visits… it's just you. And your feelings and the memories of what was a really tough moment in your life.

A week after the miscarriage began, I returned for an ultrasound to see that everything had happened in my body, naturally, to make sure I was OK and not in need of a procedure. The ultrasound showed nothing… just a black hole, in the middle there, like how I felt I'd been in during the process. It was a very strange feeling, and yet comforting too, knowing my body actually did work, it did what it needed to.

image from 

Eventually the red stops…
Eventually the idea of having another one creeps in, and you're not sure if that's comforting or terrifying.

You have to face people, who will look at you weird, like you're fragile or going to fall apart at any moment. And you imagine, am I going to fall apart at any moment? People will want to hug you, or not say a single word for fear of saying the wrong thing and that will make you angry and also upset and alone at the same time.

You'll go back to work, where you'll be exhausted but feeling like you already took 3 days off from work and that should be enough. Enough? What's enough after this loss? Who knows? There is no maternity leave for something like this, no standards.

You'll do mundane things again like grocery shop and return phone calls and emails. You'll pick out clothing and fumble through making dinner. You'll try to be normal.

You may want to eliminate reminders... like the prenatal vitamins you aren't sure if you should keep taking now ... and the outfit you wore to the doctor's office the day you found out the bad news. You'll want the trash taken out and to never see a pad again. You may just want to return to a regular routine.

All with an aching in your heart, that won't subside and then it will, and then when you aren't planning on it, it'll return, even a dull aching, but still there, inside you, where that loss originated.

You've tried making sense of it by now. You've asked a thousand questions and Googled, and perhaps even seen the doctor. You've had that visit confirming it happened, the M-word that you can't say straight now, yet is becoming easier, because now it applies to you. And yet you still have questions, despite how many you've asked.

You've probably gone hours and even a day or so without crying now. Time is passing. You are physically stronger and perhaps even emotionally you're getting there. You are getting there. Through it. Not over it, perhaps never over it, but through it, to the other side of that unknown, defeating feeling.

You return. A part of you and then another part of you becomes "normal" again. You are changed, forever, from this loss, this experience, the M-word. But you are stronger for it. It doesn't mean you feel grateful to have had this experience, but maybe a part of you now realizes it happened and there perhaps is a reason out there in the universe, and maybe, just maybe, you don't need to know all the answers.

You return to the world and you see that you are healing, recovering, getting through.

And you wonder what it's going to be like on that date you planned to tell everyone, or on every single Friday when you know in your mind you'd be changing another week in pregnancy and now it's just another Friday… You imagine that the due date month is going to be painful and sad, and you wonder how you can make it any easier for yourself, if there is even a way to do that.

Yet, you know you're going to get through this now, when just a few days ago you had no idea if you ever, ever would survive this pain. Now, you know. You know you are strong. Strong because you had to be, like the quote says. Strong, because that's what mothers are, ultimately, that's what we are.

And we are mothers. Even those without the child here, we are mothers.
And we are courageous and brave and fighters.

You can do this.

You can get through this. You will make it.

Hope will be something you cling to and what gets you through. You will.

"She said she didn't believe it could happen to me… 
I guess we're all one phone call from our knees…"
-Mat Kearney 

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