Yesterday and for a few days before I was fine.
My anemia symptoms are gone now. Milk that came in was quickly dried up again with herbal tea consumed and cabbage strategically (albeit uncomfortably) placed. Physically, I feel normal again.
In spite of that, today has felt like more of a falling apart kind of day.
A friend of mine reached out this morning, the timing of it could seriously not have been more perfect. She said how this all feels in a way that was so well written:
I don’t understand the pain that you’re going through, or will go through. But I get what you mean. I was thinking about it all this morning, about you and about (name removed for privacy)… how terrible miscarriages can be. I came to the conclusion that it’s because, not only is it a loss that you’re dealing with (as many of us do)… but a miscarriage is directly and solely yours. A personal tragedy. Only you can know what has taken place, the horror that your body has gone through. And for that, I empathize with you.
One of the first questions I had for my midwife as this all unfolded was, “What do I even call this?” I seriously wondered if I even was allowed to call it a miscarriage since it was so early. The well meaning people surrounding me and asking me if I was sure that this was in fact a miscarriage did not help in the processing of this question. I must have had at least five or six conversations over-explaining myself and how I knew for a fact that I had been pregnant and that I was sure this was a miscarriage. The last post on this subject was just that: wordy me, over explaining. I guess I wrote it with the hopes that I wouldn’t need to have one of those awkward conversations again if I wrote it all out and knew my answer to that question.
Some of you may or may not remember or know this, but this happened to me once before. Since I figured it out so far after the fact though, it did not hit me like this has. I have had many new doctors over the last few years because of insurance and job changes and as any of you know when you get established with a new doctor a review of your health history is part of the process. On almost every form there is a part where there are separate entries for number of pregnancies and number of live births. I have always put 4 pregnancies and 3 live births on those forms, but upon discussion with every single doctor (the exception being my wonderful midwife in Ventura) they always say, “Well it was so early that we won’t note that in your chart,” or “That really doesn’t count as a miscarriage.” It’s not so shocking really, the point when I miscarried is the point when it is still OK in our society to have an abortion.
A few years ago a friend of mine that doesn’t blog anymore shared some of her fertility struggles back when we were all blogging and bloggy friends. I remember her words impacted me so much and helped me to finally somewhat process through the miscarriage “that didn’t count”. She said that in a world where the unborn are regarded as disposable nonentities at the early stages of pregnancy, there is little comfort for those of us that suffer a miscarriage during that part of a pregnancy. Miscarriage is so common (and I hate that word in this situation), but no one really knows how to deal with it or those of us that have been through it. Her specific words have stuck with me, “My unborn children were people with a soul. The loss of that unique person left an enormous void in my life.”
In early miscarriage we don’t have a funeral. We don’t know the sex of the child and cannot name the child, a suggested coping mechanism on several articles I’ve read on the subject. I did not ever feel my babies kick, hold their hand, gaze into their eyes. No aunties, uncles, cousins or grandparents got to know this person or hold them and thus feel the void of their absence.
Post-partum hair loss has started, but there’s no baby to show for it. It’s a deep ache that is hard to share with anyone else.
My husband’s cousin that knows this tragedy, sent a card that said, “There are no words for the pain.” She’s right. But in some small way those that have brought meals, sent texts or messages, brought flowers, sent cards, books, have prayed and offered their condolences have helped. It has not gone unnoticed even if I have not responded directly to everyone. They can’t share in my grief or understand it. They never knew and can never miss this person, but knowing that they care helps. It helps me to know I’m not alone in something that I am going through alone.