Life after miscarriage
“I’m so sorry. There is no heart beat.”
Those words will forever be ingrained in my memory. That day, everything came to an abrupt halt in my life. I changed. My outlook on life changed. The way I looked at and interacted with my 8 year old changed. My relationship with my husband changed.
It’s actually kind of funny, how my life changed after I gave birth to Eli. And now, the same had happened with our second child.
After a while, no one gives a shit! Because my second child is dead!
When Eli was born, it seemed like the entire world wanted nothing more than to touch, hug, feel, kiss and talk about him. Family and friends would tell me they saw an item at the store and instantly thought about Eli. This sweet little human was my world – and apparently, everyone else thought he was the most precious thing, too!
I was showered with compliments about how cute and precious he was.
Everyone had some sort of advise about what to expect from here on out. Everything from babbles, pees, poops, to smiles and every ‘first‘ (laugh, hand grip, crawl, step, etc.) was covered. And everyone was extremely eager to help in any way possible. One of the most helpful things I was offered was also probably the most simple form of help:
“Call me, even if all you need is to talk.”
Those words were heaven sent. I was able to call just about anyone for any reason and do nothing else but rant.
Elijah had explosive diarrhea? No problem. I called family or friends.
I was exhausted from dealing with normal baby craziness, full-time academic schedule, and my husband’s disabilities? No problem. I called family or friends.
Elijah cried seemingly for no reason? No problem. I called family or friends. Hell, even complete strangers were open to conversations.
So, when my husband and I announced we were finally having our second child after waiting for so long to have another baby, I wasn’t expecting anything less. Everyone seemed to be extremely excited and delighted that we finally decided to have another child. And here we were: pregnant.
What I didn’t know, though, was what would happen if we didn’t actually birth our child.
I didn’t know what would happen if I wasn’t able to talk about baby crankiness, baby pee, baby poop, baby barf, baby giggles, baby smiles, baby anything for that matter!
I wish someone would’ve told me
I really wish someone would have told me that my child only counts if she is actually born and lives to do all those things. Nobody told me that if I had a miscarriage, the support would slowly disappear. No one told me that my loss would even come to annoy or offend others after a while.
Family members and friends who have had the privilege and blessing to carry and give birth to a healthy child since my miscarriage, have shared their happiness at every given opportunity. And with every shared detail, picture and factoid, people have openly shown support.
But no one told me that my blessing, over time, would matter less than everyone else’ blessings.
As I am watching other women’s children being hailed as miracles; my child doesn’t seem to deserve anything more than some form of “It was meant to be,” or “She’s an angel now.”
What the hell does that even mean?
“She’s an angel now.“
I understand this may be a way to try to make me feel more comforted, but her being an angel doesn’t help my grief much. Her being an angel doesn’t take away the perception that seemingly every other woman living on god’s green earth has carried and birthed a perfectly healthy child. All while I waited years to have another child and for her to be taken away from me.
This is probably the most heart-warming comment, out of all the comments I’ve received. So, for that, I am thankful. But it doesn’t take away the feeling that this is just a generic response to an uncomfortable situation.
“It was meant to be.“
What? This is the most infuriating comment. And it seems like it becomes more popular to say the more time passes. It’s been a little over a year since I lost my baby and the “It was meant to be,” “You should start to get over it,” and “It was God’s plan” have become more frequent.
Every time I mention my lost child, one or all three of these things happen:
The conversation gets cut short
- Any mention of my loss and any feelings or emotions that come with that loss, trigger an automatic topic changer. I mean, not even uncomfortable discussions about politics are being shifted as fast as my expression of grief for the loss of my child. Even something simple as me mentioning my child’s birthday triggers a mass exodus.
- But boy, was everyone up my ass when we first announced the pregnancy!
Any of the above comments are expressed
- “It was meant to be.” How and why is losing a child be meant to be?
- Would they say the same thing to a mother whose child is terminally ill?
- Would they say the same thing to a mother whose child is disabled?
- What would happen if someone told a mother of a terminally ill child that their illness is “God’s plan?“
- Would they tell the mother that they “should start to get over” the difficult and unimaginable emotions and hardship that come with terminal illness or disabilities?
I am simply being told to look to the future
- I do look to the future. But my future includes my children!
- I have two children (for now), and both are part of my present life and my future.
- Why is it so difficult to understand that I have two children, but lost one?
- Why am I expected to look to the future, but never mention my lost child? All the while my counterparts are allowed to look to the future and brag about their children on a daily basis?
Why can’t I just talk?
When Elijah was born, family, friends and complete strangers offered all kinds of help; including just letting me rant. After my miscarriage? The first few weeks, my loss seemed to matter. Now? Not so much anymore.
Now, even the slightest mention of my second baby is marked by discomfort or just plain annoyance.
I’m not saying that I want a pity party. No, I don’t need that.
Actually, I was kind of expecting to have to go through this without much help. But the most frustrating, hurtful, devastating and downright infuriating thing about this journey in my life is the blatant contrast to my life after giving birth to Elijah and my life after miscarriage.
No one told me that life after a miscarriage can feel this lonely.
I encourage you to continue living life, stay hopeful, and never stop talking about your children; no matter how much you feel others don’t want to listen. Them being uncomfortable does not trump your grief or the fact that you ARE a mother!
Disclaimer: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. This page contains affiliate links. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.