I had a miscarriage two years ago and it's time to let some of my emotions out.
Call me Soleil. I'm a student, an emotional wreck, and someone who still believes in love after suffering a lot of loss.
“My children, Jesse and Sam, are definitely less stressful (in a day-to-day sense) than any children in your house. I can absolutely guarantee it.
They don’t wake me up at nights with endless requests for the toilet or a drink or a cuddle or to banish monsters.
They don’t mess up my stuff, break things, fight with one another or incessantly demand my attention.
They leave me with plenty of time to pursue my own interests, have a shower unmolested and get the shopping done without interruption.
You see, neither of them made it to full term. Neither even made it close.
And yet…they were my children. Are my children.
It’s a confusing issue.
Contentious moral or religious beliefs aside; science tells us that upon conception, what’s present is a human being in its earliest form. Begotten of my husband and I, ergo our children. Initially I really did think it was that simple.
But not having them present leaves more challenges (grief aside) than I could have expected.
How do I respond when someone asks if I have children?
I usually tell them no, cut the conversation short and wonder if I just utterly trashed the importance and the presence of those two tiny people who lived inside me for far too short a time.
When I tell them yes, and explain the circumstances, the conversation grinds to a screeching halt, which may or may not be accompanied by the Pity Face.
Either way is tough.
Yet invisible motherhood happens more frequently than you’d ever imagine…until you suddenly end up the mother of an invisible child. Until you’re able to hold back the tears long enough to talk about it. Then women with similar experiences seem to pour out of the woodwork, heartbreaking stories and empathy shared in equal measures. And I want to ask them “Where were you until now?”
I’d always understood ‘miscarriage’ to be a bit of a dirty word. One of those distasteful things which happens in life; like ingrown toenails or root canals. Unpleasant and Not a Topic For The Dinner Table. As such, I knew very little about it. I knew a few women in the family had had one. I knew of a family friend who’d had a stillbirth.
Not one conversation broached the topic of emotion or motherhood.
It was as though those babies somehow didn’t count.
I think that’s why it took me so staggeringly by surprise. I’d even anticipated that I might miscarry my first, given the family history, but nothing ever prepared me for the sheer weight of emotion that crashed down on me and proceeded, over the coming months, to suffocate me under a dark cloud of anguish.
Nothing prepared me for the waves of anger at pregnant women in the street.
At no point was I told about the blind rage which would leave me shaking when I saw misbehaving tots being screamed at by their end-of-the-tether parents. Or being smoked near. Or being ignored when in need of attention.
I was utterly unprepared for the isolation from my husband, who (at first) just didn’t *get* why I was so upset.
I was defenceless against the accusing voice in my mind, telling me that I was clearly undeserving of a baby/hadn’t been careful enough while pregnant/had done it wrong in the first place.
I was ill-informed about how to respond to throw-away comments from the unintentionally insensitive, which left me feeling as though I’d been emotionally assaulted.
So I dug deep, reached out, and slowly, painfully, began making the connections for myself.
Since then, though, I’ve been keen to do my bit – to give back – to share with those newly invisible mothers some of the things which have helped me.
I began by blogging bits and pieces of my story. The feedback was positive – people began to exhibit signs of understanding. I was thanked for generating conversations and enabling others to support their friends who were in the same position as me.
I created a couple of guest posts where bloggers were seeking to promote understanding of miscarriage and childlessness, with an aim of spreading understanding, empathy and compassion. I’ve entered writing challenges with my story as the subject, all in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible.
I’m gradually becoming adept at talking about it in Real Life, too.
It’s still difficult and it still hurts, but I want to go further from here and take my online presence (and passion for breaking those barriers and trashing the taboos) into the everyday.
I want to be active in working towards a world where miscarriage isn’t swept under the rug; where women can openly acknowledge (and grieve) their losses without feeling uncertain as to the validity of their feelings. I want to be a person who others can come to for information and advice. I want to be at the forefront of a movement which purposefully demystifies miscarriage and aims to establish helpful dialogue on the subject.
I will strive to support the generation of a mindset where each of these little, lost lives is important, and their heartbroken mothers (and fathers) are surrounded by empathy and care, stemming from genuine understanding on the part of those around them.
My children count.
They have changed me, and I am their legacy.”
Credit to: Lizzi Rogers
An ode to an unborn love, a daughter
Though words lack the true essence in my veins
Molded, half of I, half of a father
A lasting love through everlasting pain
I think myself a mother unworthy
And sometimes things don’t go my way, I know
Though I do not speak of these days lonely
For when I come, I’ll never let you go
You’re every part of every cell I have
You bleed out into every being I touch
A single link divided into halves
Though not down here, in heaven I have much
My heaven sent, though distance is certain
I’m down here, my arms and heart wide open
I had lunch with my best friend the other day and she was asking how I was doing with everything since H is now having another kid and I finally got myself to admit what I’ve been feeling inside: that my first thought was that it was supposed to be me. I was supposed to be the one with him, with the kid, going to appointments and buying clothing. And now I don’t get to do any of that.
But he does. He gets to do all of that with someone else. It makes me feel so disposable and replaceable. To him it’s just another woman with another kid and A is A and b is b and I’m just stuck behind thinking about my life and he gets to move on a lot more easily. It just kills me. I don’t want to be replaced. I want to mean something. I want to be important. I want me and my girl to be remembered.
They’re not even dreams. It’s just whenever I close my eyes and let my mind wander, it wanders to a place I should never be.
I keep dreaming I’m having another miscarriage. I’m not even pregnant, and have no plans to be anytime soon, I’m not on my period. I’m just having these clips of me on a bathroom floor with blood everywhere. They won’t stop. Yesterday, at my friend’s house. Yesterday, at a party. Last night, in J’s room. This morning, in the car ride home. It won’t stop.
If I never have to remember the details of having a miscarriage, I will be okay with that. Unfortunately, it’s not working out that way.
Fuck. I don’t know what to do.
I’m wondering now how I really feel about J. This morning we were talking and all of a sudden, the words “I love you” seemed to be at the tip of my tongue. I didn’t say them, or anything like it, but it was still there. And he left and I just sat there for a while, thinking about it.
The what-ifs and the thoughts swirling around my head, pertaining to me and him. It’s been 4 months since the party with my ex and how he told me to go after J and then everything between us. It’s been four pretty good months. But at the same time, that’s not a very long period of time. Only 4 months. I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with those feelings so fast. Especially how when we started out, we didn’t have any feelings at all.
I’m not sure how I feel. I’m confused and unsure and hesitant. Part of me wants to feel something, and I really don’t want to get hurt. Which is happening now, so I can’t imagine more feelings would help out the situation. It’s still because of J’s ex. I just don’t know what to do anymore. My best friend talked me out of ending our relationship last week but it’s gotten to the point where I just don’t even want to be around J as much. And he doesn’t seem to care. He knows it makes me uncomfortable and makes me feel like shit and yet, four months later, they still talk every day and she still calls at 130 am. I keep talking to two of my best friends about it and they think it’s insane too. I haven’t talked to H in months, and a lot of that is because I know it hurts J when I do. But apparently I don’t even deserve to have him stop talking to her the entire time we’re together. When we’re sleeping, when we’re talking, when we’re making out or whatever, he keeps in contact with her. Gee, now why on earth would that bother me? I think my friend is gonna have to talk me down again. If it weren’t for the fact I can’t fully trust J because of this, I think my emotions would be a bit easier to manage.
But right now, I feel confused and shitty.
Good thing I have ice cream.
And I feel completely different. This trip changed me for so many reasons and I still feel a little shocked that so much happened in such a short amount of time.
1. I got reminded that I am the only great-grandchild of my great-grandfather and therefore I have the last name. None of the other cousins and siblings had kids and probably won’t at this time. So it’s me. And apparently that means I’m supposed to reproduce to keep the line going even though my last name isn’t actually their last name. Yay, pressure.
2. J and I struggled a lot with the long distance, but since I’ve been back, it’s been amazing. We adventure and experiment and talk and comfort each other and make fun of each other and it’s just… indescribable.
For a while there, I thought I was falling for him but I think I was falling for the idea of falling for him. I really like him and care about him and want to be with him, but it’s not love. And it has nothing to do with anyone else, it’s just not right. Which is good, because we’ve only been seeing each other for 3 1/2 months, and I’ve been gone for a month of that. But I’m happy with him.
3. Which brings me to the big event that happened while I was gone. I was sitting in a restaurant in Bavaria and talking to J (or rather, reading what he had sent me when he was awake) and J mentioned that I should look on H’s Facebook. Now, I’ve stayed Facebok friends with H through everything, but I have his updates blocked so I can look at them when I want to because sometimes it hurts. Well, this time it did.
Him and his girlfriend of a couple months were proud to announce they are going to have a baby.
And excuse me while I throw up.
So since I was in a restaurant with a ton of people on a bike tour for the next several hours, I couldn’t react to the news. I couldn’t react until night, when my lovely mother yelled at me in front of a ton of people for being a completely selfish bitch the entire trip and ruining her vacation and I lost it. I melted down, texted my friends for advice, and went to bed early. Luckily, my friends are amazing and helped me with the initial reaction. But as of today it’s been 2 weeks since I found out and I’ve cried three times. Once, that night; another when J and I were FaceTime-ing and he asked me about it; another yesterday morning when J and I were talking about H for some reason. Other than that, I haven’t really felt it. I feel upset, but I’m not acting like I normally do when I’m upset. I feel numb. And confused. I’m not really sure how to react.
Sunday is two years. I’m nervous. I don’t know how I’m going to react. I don’t remember last year.
I’ve asked J to help me out and just be around to comfort me and help. We’re going to see a movie and otherwise I don’t have any real plans. I have a feeling I’m going to be sad a lot of the day and want to be ready to be sad in private.
But I follow the subreddit r/miscarriage and someone posted the other day about rituals for the anniversaries and birthdays. Someone posted that they donate to NICU and it got me thinking. I think that’s an awesome idea. I’ve been thinking about going to the birth center near my house and asking what I can do to help. I don’t have a lot of money but I figure sometimes anything will help. I don’t like the idea of giving birth in hospitals so that’s why I’m interested in the birth center. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m thinking I could just go in there and ask and someone might have a suggestion. I really like the thought of donating a small amount in memory of my little girl. We’ll see how I feel Sunday, but I think it would be very empowering.
Right now, I’m just really thankful that J is going to be around and that things are going well with us and I trust him to see me like this.
I’ll keep you updated.
I’m trying to prepare myself for the two year mark of my miscarriage. It’s on Sunday. July 21st. I have chocolate in my cupboard and I’ve asked J to help me out and just be extra supportive that day but I’m still nervous. I don’t even remember last year.
Any suggestions on what I should do? Go to a movie or dinner or treat myself or just stay home and try to relax? I’m not sure…