I had a miscarriage 7 months ago. I can safely say that I NEVER took the concept of miscarriage that seriously before this happened - I apologise to all those moms. I can also safely say that I never expected the experience to be as harrowing as it was. And lastly, I never expected to carry the amount of fear I have carried around since it all happened.
I have jotted down a few lessons that I learnt through one of the most challenging times of my life.
The day the doctor said that there was no heartbeat:
It's so heavy. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. The silence was piercing and I remember the doctors face, she tried to be gentle and downplay it with respect to the fetus' size. I had had a missed miscarriage so I was 10 weeks pregnant but the baby was only 5 weeks in size. Still. No matter the size of the fetus, I think the pain is as big. I learnt the size of this pain, and once again realised what some women I know well have gone through.
So I could say I was lucky, as this was my first miscarriage (strange statement), but I therefor had no point of reference as to the amount of blood that was normal. When the bleeding started I literally nearly bled to death because I thought that that was a normal miscarriage amount of blood. My blood loss is what started a cascade of events that ended me up in ICU. You are not meant to have a pad and one of your child's nappies on and two pairs of tights, and leak in 10 minutes. I learnt that you don't always have to be so hardcore and cope alone, ask for help and go to the doctor sooner than I did.
The empty feeling:
When the physical symptoms stop, in my case the D&C stopped the bleeding and I could be in public again, the feeling in my heart could only be described as empty. I had lost something that I didn't quite know but I knew so well - it was a strange space to be in. I would see other babies and be reminded of that loss. The loss was so hard to explain, it wasn't like losing my dad who died, but it was the same genre of feeling, an empty, final and defeated feeling - that I couldn't escape. I just had to wait it out. I learnt that loss is such a broad emotion, but that death is so final and we can't change a thing, we just have to move through it.
The lack of sympathy:
I felt misunderstood by a lot of family and friends. If you haven't experience something it is really hard to understand how another person is feeling - so I get why I felt this way. All I wanted was for people to say they were sorry about my loss, the baby I lost, the image I had in my head of how life was going to be in November 2019 when our baby would be born. But most people just said, Ah so sorry are you ok? They ignored the baby - not sure why this bothered me, but it did. I learnt to drop my expectations, because they really are the thief of joy.
I was angry at myself. I was super angry at my body. And then I was also angry at my God. I have had my fair share of fertility issues (a lot less than many women out there, but falling pregnant with my Selah was not an easy road), so I felt hard done by for having to now go through more sadness with respects to fertility. Why me? I know now that that is so lame, but at the time I was angry - some chicks get it so easy. I now laugh and say that my kids really have made me work hard to be gifted motherhood... But it wasn't always like this. I learnt that I need to stop comparing my road to others. Everything I have to go through is everything I need to go through.
The fear of this hell happening again is still with me. I am now 18 weeks pregnant with a little light and the fear of losing him/her is massive. From the day I took the pregnancy test until now, I still wipe and check for blood every time. I still pray daily to God that this little one will stay. I still fear the worst whilst actively trying to be positive and creating a low stress zone for this child to grow. I still worry every time I have a symptom and every day that I don't - so in other words I am always worried! It is terrifying. And I think the fear will probably only totally disappear when this child is safely in my arms. I do work at trusting this process daily and this little one has certainly been sent to teach me trust - like a PHD in trust by the end:) I have learnt again, like I did with Selah, that I am not in control of any of this - falling pregnant, my pregnancy or the journey in general.
The importance of health.
I have to be honest and say that I was arrogantly living what I thought was a healthy life - which has since been beefed up and changed dramatically. I have never had a health issue big enough to ignite massive change, but when ICU couldn't break my headaches, I knew I had to support my body in ways I hadn't before. I suppose I took my health for granted for many years. Today I am MUCH more aware and much more committed to nourishing my body - which means being aware of all that I put into it - food, thoughts and emotions.
So as I sit here today, with a small belly and a huge heart, I have to thank my little 'Lost Light' for changing me in ways that only a deep, scary loss can do. Keep close to me always little one, you will forever be remembered as a beautiful turning point in my journey.
To all of you miscarriage moms out there. And to all of the 'Lost lights', right by our sides.