It’s OK If You’re Still Sad About Your Miscarriage
It has been two years, almost exactly to the date of my first miscarriage.
It has been nine months, almost exactly, to the date of my second.
And you know what? I am still f*#@ing sad about both of them.
Honestly, I don't know exactly where that anger is coming from, except to say that it's there sometimes, cropping up in unexpected places, bubbling at the surface, always teeming and spilling over when it sees a crack in the composure that, otherwise, I feel I have to present to the world.
But here? Between me and you? I am still not 100% OK after my miscarriages. And I don't know that I ever will be.
I think people like to think of miscarriage and infant loss in neat and tidy packages, because otherwise they're just too horrible to think about. We like to focus on the “rainbows” after the storm and the happy endings, when a family who has lost a child adds another baby to the family, or shares some kind of other happy news that makes us all take a big sigh of relief and think,
Thank goodness they are OK.
We don't want to consider what happens if they're not OK. We don't want to consider that someone might not be OK after losing a child through infant loss or pregnancy loss. We don't want to think that it's possible that someone might not get their happy ending after a horrible story of loss.
But sometimes, it happens exactly like that. Not everyone gets a rainbow and even for those families who do, they know that there is such thing as a truly “happy” ending. Because a piece of them will always be missing. And that's just the way it is.
There is no moving forward after loss; there is only moving through and learning to live with the loss. For me, living life after two miscarriages has felt a bit like starting and stopping; I will be OK for a few weeks or even months, then have some kind of breakdown and need another month to recover. I'll find my footing again after that, vow to be stronger and do better, and continue for several months after that, and then I'll have a setback again.
Rinse and repeat.
Sometimes, I almost feel like I need to apologize for how not-so-well I am handling my miscarriages. I feel like I talk too much about them, cry too much about them, overall just bother other people too much about them. But you know what? I need to talk about them. I need to cry about them. And I need other women to know that I am still here, still trying to figure out how to be OK without really being OK.
That makes sense, right?
For me, my miscarriages have felt hard to recover from, because there was so much hope and build-up and excitement when I first found out I was pregnant, only to stumble into the darkness of loss and not really see a light out. For various reasons, we don't feel we have an answer about “trying again,” which makes me feel incomplete and almost like I am missing out on some crucial component of healing that over people have. For others, it feels like there's usually a resolution at the end of a loss–some kind of lesson to be learned or new baby to be held. But for me, I am coming to realize that I may never get my answer or my resolution. For me, life will probably always contain these two big question marks.
So, for me, part of my miscarriage journey is simply learning to be OK with still being sad for as long as I want to be sad.
I will probably always get a little sad in August, the time I miscarried my first baby and the due date of what would have been my second. I will probably always remember April 6, the due date of my first baby, the one that is seared in my mind forever. (I purposefully didn't look at the due for my second, trying to protect my heart in someway.) I will probably always be a little sad when I see a new baby in the family, wondering what my own new addition would have looked like. I will probably always need to take a second to collect myself when I see a pregnant woman walk by, my heart twisting in that way that I am learning to control–a mixture of sadness, jealousy, and wondering why, all the same time.
Maybe your experience of infant or pregnancy loss is similar to mine, or maybe it's completely different. But either way, I want to say this for both of us: it's OK to still be sad, no matter how long ago your loss happened. Because love knows no timeline and it's that love for our babies that we will always carry in our hearts.