“I’m surprisingly okay,” I announce as I settle into a chair in S.’s office. After this loss, I thought it was over, that this would be it. It’s only been a week since it happened when I make this statement, but I really am fine. I’m not pretending. I am confident that I can move forward. S. is not surprised by my calmness. A holistic fertility specialist, she chose this profession because she has followed this path too. The same history: an early miscarriage, and a late pregnancy loss followed by another miscarriage. She was expecting me to say exactly those words.
I secretly think S. is really an angel sent by my loving relatives in heaven. She’s here on earth to hold my hand on this reproductive journey. Her spiritual guidance has taught me to honor my emotions. Because of her, I’ve learned that I cannot control what has happened to me, but that I am the driver of my emotions.
I’ve been told to not dwell on my loss, to move forward. Others tell me that “it’s just a miscarriage” and that I will have other children. I listen patiently, nodding and smiling, while they recall stories of those that have had similar experiences and of so-and-so who now has one, two, and three children. I know this support comes from the goodness in their hearts. Not knowing what the future holds is uncomfortable, and seeing a loved one hurt for whom you have no answers must be even harder.Could you tell a friend who lost a beloved member of their family to get over their grief after four months? I think not. I hope not. This is a trauma that will play a starring role in my life that cannot be overcome in a short period of time.
I’ve been through a miscarriage, two in fact, and this was not one. While a miscarriage is not to be easily dismissed, a late pregnancy loss, in my experience, is different. The loss of my twin boys according to the medical field, and is duly noted on my record, is a fetal demise. The words sting and I shiver every time I hear or read this clinical term, but it clearly indicates this pregnancy loss was a death. A miscarriage can absolutely be categorized as a death, but the ones I endured were the end of a future that I had imagined. I did not know their genders, nor did I have the opportunity to hear their little hearts beating or watch them kick each other inside my womb on the ultrasound machines. With the boys we had passed the point of an imagined future, and were making plans of a reality. I felt them, I saw them, I love(d) them.
In order to look toward the future I need to feel in the present. I wouldn’t have made the announcement to S. that I was okay if I hadn’t acknowledged my sadness and let myself cry uncontrollably; if I hadn’t recognized my anger and broken plates in the back alley (ok, that’s a dream I had, but it did make me feel better); if I hadn’t allowed myself to feel hope that one day I will be the mother of a living child.
So for now, I will continue to feel in order to honor today’s mantra: moving forward fearlessly.