Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Today is national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. I knew that I wanted to write about it but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. This morning, I heard the song that played as we drove to the hospital for my D & E ( A Thousand Years by Christina Perri). This week my professor assigned this video for my storytelling marketing class and suddenly, it all came flooding back like it was yesterday.
My miscarriage happened on May 1, 2012 but to me it feels like yesterday. I’m sure it’s like that for all moms. It’s a day that we never forget and a child that we think of daily, even when no one else remembers. Just because our children are not in our arms does not mean that they do not live on in our hearts forever. They do.
I would love to say that the pain of missing a lost baby or child gets easier but it doesn’t. It dissipates to a tolerable level of grief but it never goes away. There is always a void because something is missing; a huge part of ourselves, our child. I loved my baby from the first day I knew I was pregnant with him. I loved him as much and as deeply as I love Bella and Gabs, every bit as much.
It didn’t matter if I got to hold him or meet him, he was part of me. He grew inside of me for an entire trimester. He was endless possibilities and promises and then he was gone. Gone.
There was no medical explanation. He wasn’t sick. Everything was normal. He was perfect but his heart stopped beating and on that same day, in many ways, so did my own. I am not the same woman I was on April 30, 2012, and I will never be that woman again. When he died, so did a part of me. If you’re a mom who has experienced a pregnancy or child loss, you know exactly what I mean.
The news was so unexpected that we were completely blind-sighted. There was nothing I could do but cry. I have never felt so helpless, angry and sad in my entire life. There is no other pain like it and I can’t imagine a worse pain for a mother than losing a pregnancy or child. It felt like a betrayal, like the universe and my body cheated me and didn’t keep their end of the bargain. It felt like I was watching the whole thing from outside of my own body.
First, I was so overwhelmed with sadness and despair that I sobbed the most primal howling animalistic cry that I’d ever cried. The sound that emitted from my broken body and heart was pure grief. It was a loss greater than my own death because it was the loss of my baby. It completely broke me. I sobbed in bed for weeks trying to understand how to go on without my child.
Then, I went numb. Numb and quiet like the green sky before a tornado destroys everything in its sight. I had cried so much that I felt weak to my very soul. I became too tired and weary to fight my pain.
I looked into the face of my grief and gave myself over to my fate. I sank so far down into my despair that I thought I would never come out of it nor did I want to. Somehow, moving past it felt like disloyalty to the baby I lost but staying in it felt like a disservice to my daughters.
So despite the hole in my heart, I lived each day looking for the light in my daughters’ faces. I forced myself to be there for them, even when I had to push myself back together and function in pain. Finally, one day, the pain became tolerable enough to live with.
There is nothing I can do to change what happened. I am not alone and there are so many women who observe national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day because it is a day to honor the babies we loved and lost. I am writing about my pregnancy loss because it helps me process and it reminds others that my baby was here, he mattered and he is missed. It’s not a dirty secret and I didn’t do anything wrong. We need to remove the taboo of remembering the babies we lost and let moms speak freely about their experiences instead of holding all of that pain and grief inside alone.
Over the years, I’ve written many posts on my experience with my miscarriage. I will list them below:
The Truth about Life after Miscarriage
Surviving the Aftermath of Miscarriage
When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart
Some Things Change You Forever
Chrissy Tiegen is Every Mother Who Suffered a Miscarriage
Why it’s so Important to Reflect on Loss and Grieve
The End of the World as We Know it
How to Survive the Loss of a Pregnancy