** DISCLAIMER: This post may be an emotional trigger for those who have experienced loss, especially regarding miscarriage. **
As I sit here finally letting my emotions out, I realize that I haven’t cried like this… well, probably ever. Bear with me folks, this post contains a very personal and mature subject matter. The following experience definitely broke my heart a little bit…
Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love being a mommy. It has been my ultimate goal in life for as long as I can remember. More than anything else in the world, I knew that I wanted to be a mommy. I have always been drawn to children, working with them in one aspect or another in every single job that I’ve ever held. My precious boy, Kamden, means the world to me, as he was the one who made my dream come true 2 1/2 years ago. He fills my life with enormous amounts of joy and wonder!
What most of you do not know, is that I was a mommy again for a very short period of time, very recently. On May 15th, 2014, my husband and I found out that we were expecting once again. Expecting… a baby. I made little Kamden a shirt that said, “Big Brother, January 2014.” Yes, pregnancy brain had set in right away, because it should have said 2015! Haha. I actually had taken that day off from work, so I was home that morning at the same time as my husband (which with our opposite schedules, rarely happens). Kam and I made Karlton some coffee and brought it to him in bed, something that we often do on weekends to “wake Daddy up”. When my hubby woke up and noticed Kam’s shirt a couple of minutes later, his response was, “Kam, what does your shirt say? Kam… what does your shirt say?!” It was a joyful morning, we had a family hug, and we discussed how much we both wanted this and were so very happy.
Fast forward to just over four weeks later… the day before Father’s Day, 2014. Three days after seeing a heartbeat at our first ultrasound. Something started happening to me that I knew wasn’t supposed to happen when you’re pregnant, and well, pretty quickly I was very aware of what was going on. Being the weekend, a call to my doctor pretty much confirmed what I already knew. My second baby, at only 8 1/2 weeks gestation, was gone.
During my short pregnancy, there were definitely signs for me that something wasn’t quite right. I consider myself an optimistic person who rarely thinks about the worst case scenario. However, the whole time, I felt like I wasn’t getting as excited as I should be, and that I wasn’t that attached. Once I realized that my worst fear really was coming true and that I really was losing the pregnancy, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you for any loss. As much as my body and mind felt like I wasn’t attached, as it turns out… I was. The loss and sorrow is real. Very, very real.
Something interesting happens once you find out that you’ve experienced a pregnancy loss. All of the sudden you find out how many people have experienced the same thing. How heartbreakingly common it really is. You realize as well that it is a very real loss that is hardly talked about. An invisible, very painful, grief experienced by mothers and fathers everywhere.
Deciding to share about your experience is a hugely personal thing, and I absolutely honor each and every person’s choice on whether or not to share. I personally decided that I wanted to share about my experience, because not only did I feel alone in my heartache, but I also felt that there was a lot of joy that I wasn’t able to share. My first belly pics, the cute announcement, or the awesome gender reveal photo session that we had planned. While thinking about all this makes the situation that much more sad, as an optimist, I still want to share my joy. The truth is that there are so many beautiful tragedies in this crazy world we’re living in. So, in honor of my sweet tiny little angel baby, I share now with you all…
So how does one support someone who’s going through something that is rarely ever talked about? What do you talk about with someone who has lost someone that they will never know, someone that they have no real pictures of to remember them by?
Sure, it’s difficult. Dealing with any type of grief or loss is not easy. I will tell you, though, that you just support them! Any way that you know how. Check in. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask them if they need to talk. At times, I don’t know if I feel like talking about it. Most other times, I desperately want to talk about it. Give a warm hug. A smile. An “I’m thinking about you.” It won’t make it go away, but it will make the grief that much less invisible.
Just tonight I watched a special on the Oprah Winfrey Network where Robin Roberts spoke about how her mother taught her about choosing “happy sorrow” instead of “sad sorrow” when we are dealing with grief and that it helped her once her mother actually passed, to focus on all of the happy memories. In a way, this seems an impossible feat, but if I try, I can see the happy moments that occurred over the brief 4 1/2 weeks that we knew we were expecting. Like Kamden making the connection, moments after we told him he’d be a big brother and he said, “Baby sister in his belly?” How my hubby would text me back saying, “Love you three! ;)”. The numerous kisses that my belly received from my husband and my son in those few weeks. Although heartbreaking now, these were joyous moments for us that I’ll always remember and cherish. Joy that we know we will experience again.
I will try to choose happy sorrow… and for now, focus on this little face and soak up the joy that exudes from him every day!!
“‘Honey, I’ve got real bad news’ and
Then there were just tears
And we would never be the same again
Since then I’ve often wondered
What you might have been like
How it would have felt to hold you,
Would you have my eyes?
Don’t you think we would’ve been best friends?”
– Yellowcard, “Ten”