An Open Letter To The Grieving Because Miscarriage Matters
Yesterday we lost something, we lost something to the ugly unspoken pain called miscarriage.
In sharing my experience of loss, I hope to reinforce the notion that it’s okay to talk openly about this stuff, despite our shock, emotions, questions, grief and vulnerabilities. I have been journalizing my infertility story for the last 8 years. I never thought I’d be able to make a confession like this, especially at my age (44), I’ve had four pregnancies from 36 years old to the present, and I am blessed with one living child today.
We knew we were potentially loosing our pregnancy once I started bleeding several days ago. The clinic was monitoring my blood work every 48 hours as my HCG Beta levels were very low and were no longer rising. Still a tiny fragment of hope lingered that the baby would be ok. But nothing was ok at all. I discovered yesterday, that we were pregnant with twins. In Oct, we made our last attempt at IVF with our 1 frozen embryo remaining. We already knew the chance of a single embryo dividing and resulting in identical twins was higher after IVF, though it is not yet known why this happens.
It literally has felt like time has stopped.
This morning I buried our unborn in a little box wrapped in a tiny cloth so that they could be together forever. I am beyond grateful for the daughter we do have. She is beautiful bright and healthy, and is turning 3 years old in February. She gives me perspective at a time of loss and grief. Yet the pain is still there. I feel torn inside. In one sense I don’t feel I'm entitled to have the right to feel sorry for myself. I'm humbly reminded of what I do have and can't seem to dwell in my grief with everything in the world that is going on around us. There is so much tragedy, death, and war ongoing in countries like Syria that I feel compelled to hold it together, and just be grateful for what I do have. A loving and supportive husband, an amazing 13 year old step daughter, and my beloved 3 year old daughter.
One thing I have learned is that heartbreak is heartbreak, there should be no measure of grief.
People often say don’t tell anyone you are pregnant until you are safe, meaning that you are past 12 weeks. I say screw that. As much as I’d like to hide out and temporarily disappear, and ignore the pain away, I know the power of empathy and love and sacrificial generosity and what it can do to a grieving parent’s heart. I know the hope and healing that can come when others are committed to walk through the grief right alongside you. I know what it feels like to wonder if your pain is too deep or to wonder if the measure of your grief is justified or ‘normal.’ I know what it feels like when friends innocently don’t reach out because they have no idea what to say. I have felt supported and I have also felt let down. And yet for me, the risk is worth it. I can’t imagine bearing the burden of loss in secret.
We were never meant to do brokenness alone.
I’m utterly convinced of that. I don’t believe suffering, pain and grief are best dealt with in isolation, in secret or far worse in shame.If women choose not to share publicly during early pregnancy, then let that be from a place of faith, not of fear. May they keep their secret because they want to, not because they feel they need to.
As for me, I may feel slightly defeated emotionally and physically, but more importantly I want all of our babies celebrated and widely covered in prayer from the moment we learn of their existence.