*Trigger warning: miscarriage, child loss, grief
The first time I miscarried I was nine weeks when I found out that there was no longer a heart beat. I started to bleed and released the small embryo-who we named May after finding out that she was a girl- one month later, at what would have been thirteen weeks. That loss felt like losing a child, a best friend, a daughter. The grief was incredibly real and piercing and took a long time to heal. (And it probably will always be in the process of healing).
When I got pregnant again eight months later I felt so much excitement, but unfortunately fear also clouded that joy. What if a miscarriage happened again? Would I be able to handle it? What if a miscarriage didn’t happen, then I would have a baby in my arms in nine months? Am I ready? Is my husband going to be excited or afraid? Or both, like me?
I shared the news with him. I bought an infant outfit and a child’s toy and presented it to him wrapped as an early birthday gift. He opened it and was shocked and excited. We shared joy together in that moment. For a few days I felt very “off,” not quite fully nauseous but definitely heading in that direction. But that only lasted a few days and suddenly I felt normal again. I had my blood work taken and the results confirmed my fears–we would indeed miscarry again. At five weeks and three days I started to bleed and my period resumed. I sobbed into my husbands arms that I didn’t understand. Why me? I prayed so hard and so often that this wouldn’t happen again. I had prepared so differently this time. I actually prepared this time. I took a prenatal and vitamins for three months prior, I was eating a healthy and wholesome diet, I was exercising, and had reduced my stress load. All of these things I was doing “right,” and yet it still wasn’t enough.
The doctor said that this was “so common” that they didn’t do any tests to see why this might be happening until it happened three or more times. If there really is something wrong, I’d have to lose another forming child for an investigation to be done. Or I’d have to find another provider. My heart ached for all of the women who had to suffer through this in silence. The many women who have had one miscarriage, two miscarriages, three or even more. The feelings of grief, the feelings of resentment of yourself and your body (terrible and untrue, but present nevertheless), and the feeling of hopelessness that this is your fate and you will forever miscarry your babies. To have to go through that alone, or even just between you and your husband, can be isolating and extremely depressing without a community or others who have experienced the same thing and can relate.
A dear friend who has also gone through this pain said this to me after my second miscarriage: “feel all the freedom for your grieving to look all the same, and feel just as heavy, or for it to be totally different. Give yourself grace to feel whatever comes.”
Give yourself grace indeed, friends. My fellow sisters who have experienced this. The husbands who have gone through this with their wives. Give yourself grace to feel whatever it is you feel and to not put pressure on yourself to feel more of something or less of something. Give yourself grace for the feelings to last for as long or as short of a duration as they do. My second miscarriage feels less of the loss of a person, and more of a loss of a dream, a loss of hope, a confirmation of fears. And these are feelings that I am allowing myself to feel and then I will release.
And we will try again. And no matter what cloud hangs over me in the future, I will acknowledge it and give it permission to pass. Because it does not have hold over me.