I know I'm a bit late on this post... But I've been distracted. Morning sickness and moving do that to a person.
I want to talk about my miscarriages, the first one in particular. My husband and I married on May 24, 2008. We spent a week on our honeymoon in Arkansas, then spent some time with his parents in Mississippi, and then some time with my parents in Mexico, and then some time with my grandparents in Louisiana. And then we moved into a hotel room, which was the temporary housing for the seminary in New Orleans since Katrina had destroyed much of their housing. We had jobs lined up, but they fell through we spent a busy summer looking for permanent work and working at a summer camp for kids. I just went through my journal from that time, and I never even mentioned the miscarriage. I just couldn't deal with the emotions then. I was too busy, trying to be happy in my new marriage and new experiences.
Therefore, I don't even remember exactly when the miscarriage took place. It was sometime in July or August. We had been married for two or three months, and we were preventing a pregnancy. My periods were always irregular, so when I skipped a period, I barely noticed. I surely never thought about the possibility of a pregnancy, since that had never been an option before (I was a virgin on my wedding day... my husband too, for the record).
I wasn't feeling very well one week, but I attributed it to the busyness and the fact that I was about to start my period, since it had been several weeks since my last one. Then one evening I started cramping. These weren't like my normal cramps. They were much stronger, and they came in intervals. Pain, rest. Pain, rest. And then I bled all at once in the toilet. As if I had pushed something out. I felt so sick... and I kept thinking, "That was so strange... I've never had a period like this before."
My emotions were in a quandary, and I didn't understand why.
The next morning, it hit me. There was a baby. That's why it was so strange. That's why it hurt so much. That's why I was feeling like I was grieving, but didn't understand why.
I wept. Was it a boy or a girl? Would the baby had lived if I had known about her? Could I have done anything differently to save his life? Was it my fault? Would I ever be able to have a baby?
For the first time, Mommy love was awakened inside of me. I loved my baby, missed my baby, and I knew I wanted to have more children.
We went to the doctor, who confirmed that it was a miscarriage. We estimated that I had been between 6 and 8 weeks pregnant.
It has taken a long time to fully deal with that miscarriage. I was fearful during my next pregnancy, afraid to be attached to my son because what if he died too? I didn't really fall in love with my son until he was about 6 weeks old. Before that he felt like a stranger's baby. (Don't worry, we're very attached now!)
The story of my second miscarriage isn't as big of a deal to me. I had fully dealt with the first miscarriage and come to accept that my baby's eyes first opened to see Jesus. I will see him or her some day.
We found out we were expecting again, and we went in for an ultrasound. There were two sacs, but one was empty. We found out that we had been expecting twins, but one miscarried early on and probably just dissolved, since my body had to stay closed to protect the other baby.
Therefore, there were no physical symptoms of miscarriage for me to deal with. And, to be honest, I didn't really feel sad either. I felt guilty that I wasn't sad... but I wasn't sad. I knew the baby was in heaven. I knew we had another healthy baby inside me.
Nowadays I just feel like something's missing. My husband came in the other night with the kids, and once they had all come in I kept looking at the door, as if I expected someone else to come in. Sometimes I'll look around and think, "there's J, there's H, now where is...??" It feels like someone's missing. Maybe I'll always feel this way.
One last thought: Why do people sometimes act like miscarriage is no big deal, as if we mamas should get over it more quickly since we were "barely" pregnant? Losing a child is losing a child, whether that baby has been in your womb for 6 weeks or in your house for 6 years. Yes, I didn't get the chance to meet my children and fall in love with them the way I love my other children, but I still love them and wonder what they would have been like. I don't even have a picture to hold on to.
How about you? Have you experienced a loss of a child? How have you dealt with it?