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worst day of my life

miscarriage, loss, grief, May 1st

Is there a right or wrong way to experience loss? Is there a time limit on grief? I don’t think so.

May 1st is my annual day of mourning. I don’t know if this is normal or not but it’s what is normal for me. My miscarriage changed me forever. It’s how I get through this. It’s the one day of the year that I am completely still and I allow myself to feel all the feelings because quite honestly, this week just knowing that the anniversary of such a terrible event in my life was approaching had me walking around feeling like an exposed nerve. I changed forever on that day and I‘ll never be the same. No matter how hard I try or pretend to be.

I have cried at song lyrics and at the sound of the giggles of my daughters, knowing that one is missing. There is a hole in my heart that will never be repaired; not for my entire life. When my littlest daughter cuddles into me at bedtime and asks me for baby brother or sister, I hold my breath, push down the lump and pray I can hold back the tears long enough for her to fall asleep. Most days it’s a tiny little ache that I hardly even notice anymore but other days, it’s a sharp shooting pain that steals my breath away and others that confine me to my bed and the space in my head where I am allowed to dwell in my heartbreak.

It’s just one day and it doesn’t seem enough but at the same time, how do you quantify loss?

When I had my miscarriage, I wanted to die. All I could do was cry.I wanted to sink into one of my deep, tear stained sleeps where I had sobbed myself into exhaustion and never wake up. I was given pain killers and sleeping pills to help. I can’t tell you how many times in that first month that I mixed them, hoping to “accidentally” not wake up. The only thing that kept my weary mind and body grounded in this world were my girls and the Big Guy. I’ve never told anyone that.

May 1st is the day that I had my D & E. Two years ago, I went in to my obstetrician’s office for a little spotting, just like I did in both pregnancies previous. Today was the day that my entire world crashed down around me. Then, it became real. My body failed me and my heart shattered into one million tiny scattered pieces. May 1st is the day that I lost my baby. I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I will mourn that day for the rest of my life.

I feel like people don’t understand; not my family or my friends and certainly not the general population. I feel like people are thinking that I should get over it. After all, “It” was just a pregnancy. It wasn’t like I had a child who lived and then he died. The thing that I feel people fail to understand is that “IT” was not an “it” at all. It was my child; it was a Bella or a Gabi. In my heart and in my mind, I loved that baby just as much as I love the two I get the privilege of kissing good night every blessed night.  I lost everything and I won’t ever get over that.

I don’t linger in my loss anymore these days. I live each day knowing that a piece of my heart is missing and it hurts when I think about it. I give myself this ONE day of the year. I don’t need permission or to explain it to anyone. I just need this one day to not buckle under the weight of my own heart, to not choke from the lump in my throat, to cry until there are no more tears left and to be mad as hell that where my baby should be, my arms are empty and will always be.

The pain of losing a pregnancy or a child is like no other pain. If you’ve never experienced it (and I pray that you don’t) just take that all-consuming, unimagined love that you felt for your baby the first time you held her and then multiply that by a million in the opposite direction. That is what I feel like on May 1st, like I am being hit by a Mack truck and the worst part is that I know its coming.

I know I’ll always take pause in remember the day that my world was shattered. Some years the anniversary will hurt less and some years it will hurt more. But every year, on May 1st, I am giving myself the day to feel all of my feelings , even if I feel absolutely nothing but flat exhaustion. Or maybe one of these days, I will be happy dressing my daughter for her wedding or witnessing the birth of my 1st grandchild  and I won’t be overcome with grief or even tinged with sadness. No matter what I feel, it’s okay but I have to do this for myself.

Part of me shut off that day. I pushed it down, way down so I could function but it’s there bubbling beneath the surface. There are feelings that are so overwhelming that I’m afraid to let them in and that is what today is for, to sit still, alone and feel whatever feelings come up.

Can we ever truly recover from loss?

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Telling my daughters was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. My husband decided to tell them the truth out of concern for me. My 4-year-old has been begging to be a big sister and he was afraid that in my fragile state, her relentless requests would be to torturous for me to endure. I think we should not of told her. My 4 year old took it especially hard. She is devastated. All I can do is cry.

The morning of my D& C, I awoke at 3:30 A.M. My 4 year old woke soon after and wanted to say good-bye to the baby. She put her arms around me and whispered quietly to my belly, “good bye, baby. I love you!” Then she begged me to get a photo of her baby for her. My heart broke into a million tiny pieces. Then she looked up at me and said, “ Maybe if I knew the baby was in your tummy I could have loved the baby more and he wouldn’t have died.” I whimpered, holding back the flood of hurt and pain that wants to come crashing out and consume the entire world. I have failed her and cannot give her what she’s wanted so badly.

5:30 am May first, 2012. It was a warm Tuesday morning. I walked into the hospital feeling lost and discombobulated, in a fog. We slowly made our way to the registration desk. It all seemed otherworldly, like it was a bad dream and wasn’t really happening but I couldn’t make myself wake up.

After what seemed like an eternity they called us back to prep for surgery. All I could think of we’re my children; my oldest trying to understand and comfort her sister, my youngest mimicking my inner breakdown, completely distraught that the baby was dead, and my baby who I loved so desperately but would never have the chance to hold, to look into his/her eyes, to kiss and nuzzle their tiny head.

Everyone was extremely kind to me that morning and I will always be thankful for their kindness. The kindness of strangers has truly helped me to survive the last few days. I’ve realized that sometimes its easier to speak to those who don’t really know you because they can offer an empathetic kindness and understanding unlike those who love you and have known you your entire life, because they are too vested and behind their love and support, you can see the pain and heartbreak they share with you and sometimes the burden of causing that pain is too much to bear.

The doctor arrived and I told her that I needed one last ultrasound to be certain there was no heartbeat. I. Had.to.be.certain! There was no heartbeat only a beautiful, perfect baby with a profile that reminded me of my oldest. I was thankful for one last look and asked for the ultrasound photos so that I could grant my daughter at least this one simple request. I did not get overly emotional. I did not cry. I had my photo. In had my proof. Proof that my baby ever existed.

The procedure was explained to me in ad nauseum and I was reassuringly told that it would be over in ten minutes. I found that to be the most unsettling thing of all that my entire life could be altered, my baby’s lifetime of promise and all of our hopes and dreams completely gone in a matter of ten minutes.

Tuesday morning my life was changed forever. I am not the same woman I was yesterday or the day before. She is gone. I am part of a new club, the saddest club ever. The one filled with all the mothers of the world who never got to meet their babies. That morning, one of the worst of my life, I met 4 of the kindest nurses I’ve ever met, 3 out of the 4 had experienced miscarriages. Each time they offered their sympathies and shared their own loss, I found myself feeling overwhelmed by my sadness for their loss.

I feel like a raw open wound and the wound is my heart and I’m not sure it will ever truly heal. I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster in hell and I cannot get off and I so desperately want to. I just want my mind to quiet and my heart to stop hurting so badly. I just want to survive. A quote was sent to me by one of my readers and it made me cry but I think it is beautiful, so I am sharing it here.

 

An angel in the Book of Life wrote down our baby’s birth and whispered as she closed the Book: “Too Beautiful for Earth!” ~Anon 

It ‘s beautiful to think of it that way but it doesn’t stop the pain. I hope someday, I will meet my baby again and get the chance to hold him/her in my arms, kiss her upon her cheek and be his Mommy.

*This and the previous post were written in my notes on my phone, as I was experiencing the hell of this week. It was written in a very vulnerable state and it may not make sense, or there may be misspellings or grammar issues, or jump all over the place because it’s hard to write logically when your world is falling apart and you can barely see to write through the tears and swollen eyes.

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