I am writing this blog to honor and acknowledge my son Nelson and to document my experience during a miscarriage. I want to share this experience to give voice to something that no words can truly explain. I hope this will somehow relate to some out there, and allow us to share this lonely experience with one another, somehow easing the pain of a loss like this.
A little boy was with us for only 9 weeks, I carried him for 11 weeks. We finally had an appointment to go have a look at our baby and see how he’s doing. The evening after the appointment was confirmed I had some bloody show, shocked I told myself that this could be normal. An uneasy feeling settled in the pit of my stomach though. The blood changed color and started flowing as we went deeper into the night. I decided to call the doctor first thing after shedding some tears with Ryan, my husband. Nervously we arrived at the doctor. I was in full coping mode and feeling relaxed and putting on a brave face, but in my heart I was concerned and knew something was missing. When the doctor finally did the ultra sound and showed no sign of delight. I knew. But the denial was taking over. I asked whether there was another way to check, but there was no sign of life other than the outline of a baby curled up, looking asleep, with no heart beat. My heart stopped at the site of him, the whole room became quiet, the silence that can be found in only the moment death is acknowledged. The doctor and nurse stepped out giving us some moments to take in what was becoming a reality. Ryan and I just held on to each other with no words. After some time I opened the door wanting the meeting to be over and wanting to be out of there. The doctor came back in and we discussed our options. He welcomed us to come back in the next week to double check, he was so willing and open for the diagnoses and screen to be wrong, his compassion and emotional intelligence during this was very settling. He explained all the risks and alternatives to allowing the body to take care of itself and the baby or the choice to have a DNC and the risks and benefits of this procedure. Although I heard all he said, my body is the one part of me I trust most, there was no question that I wouldn’t first give it a fair chance to take care of me and our baby.
We left heart broken and confused and very much dazed. Not knowing what to really do with ourselves we went to get burgers. We had a friend from out of town visiting who was looking after our CQ. When we arrived home, my brave face, mixed with some denial made it possible to have a play date with some neighbors and busy myself with making tea. When anyone asked about the visit to the doctor all I heard myself say is that its not good news. Funny enough no-one asked any questions. As the sun was setting and we watched CQ and the kids run around in our culdesac, I suddenly felt the warmth of something running down my legs. I asked my friend to keep an eye as I ran inside to have this baby that wasn’t really here anymore. I sat in my bathroom with only my Cat present and as my witness. One of the saddest and most troubling, lonely experiences of my life. I kept hoping to feel or see my baby. I had imagined having him in this space, in the shower and I was. But I was never going to meet him. My heart sobbed as I kept bleeding with my husband checking in lovingly, yet helpless. My body new exactly what it was doing and while I labored and bled I kept thinking why and for how long and what do I do now??? The reality of our family growing and CQ having a little brother was chattering and yet he was still real and I was birthing my second child. I did not sleep that night, Ryan stayed with me and we talked while I was up and down between the bed and the bathroom, eating chinese in bed and just being in this surreal space together. Around 9am the next morning I was able to get up. All I wanted was to get out of the house. I wanted to go to Encinitas market, and although the little voice within said “not a good idea”, I couldn’t listen. I was at a loss, and was in serious coping mode. SO we went, the four of us. We stopped for some food, and then CQ hurt her arm while playing. So she became inconsolable. We tried a view distractions and I bought the most exquisite crystal for protection and some healing piano music, composed by a very strange man, Greg Wilsener. It was raining softly and I wished I could just go crawl up into a corner and not have to see life continue so nonchalant. I was still in shock since I was holding space for it all to be wrong. CQ was the only one mirroring the truth of this day with her cries. We rushed home and because she was hurt we all were going nowhere and doing nothing. She had a nursemaid elbow we learn the next day, luckily an easy fix.
As I look back at my pregnancy with Nelson (we named him as we stood in line at the burger joint), I remembered that my biggest fear, an overwhelming feeling I have not experienced before, was, having a miscarriage. The doctor and everyone that know something about the reproductive process says it’s nature and there is nothing to be done, other than accept and understand that its nothing, me as the mother could have done differently. I understand this rationally, yet I can’t help but look back in search of what I could have done to have caused this. Numerous scenarios play out in my head, off course. The last two weeks I recall having a strange conversation with myself. I kept having to talk myself out of taking another pregnancy test, suddenly I wasn’t feeling pregnant and all symptoms seemed to have cleared up, they were pretty heavy this time round. The difference was noticeable, but I thought I was entering the energetic second trimester possibly. My cat was acting strange around me too. I kept asking to dream of this boy, but he never showed up and my dreams were quiet. I was missing him before I knew he had departed.
For a month I bled a tremendous amount, I felt depleted and my hormones and emotions were wreaking havoc. I struggled to find time to mourn and make time for my own healing. Finally the little voice within found her scream and I could not ignore it any longer. After we planted a beautiful “heavenly bamboo” for Nelson I started to recognize the gifts he had left for us. We took time to cry and talk a lot. I created space to acknowledge this birth and this loss.
Miscarriage leaves us speechless and the mind has no way to comprehend what is happening, only the body knows what to do. Probably the most heartbreaking experience in the life of a mother, and most Mamas go through this. We are our own truest support when we can acknowledge the magnitude of what is happening. We are emotionally and physically witnessing the two most pivotal moments in a human life, birth and death, at the same time. How will the mind ever wrap itself around such an experience.