I was eight weeks and two days pregnant when I saw the unmistakable look of sadness and pity on the ultrasound tech’s face. Her voice was filled with the undertones of both hopefulness and desperate sadness: “Maybe you are too early, let’s see what the doctor says.”
This was my fifth pregnancy and what I was certain was now also my second miscarriage. Like my first miscarriage, there were no signs of anything wrong at all. I had no bleeding, no cramping, and I for sure no longer fit into any of my jeans. My body, like my mind, wanted to keep the pregnancy. The denial lived in every cell of my body. I was nauseous, I gained weight, and I was tired all the time.
I was pregnant, and yet I was not. My doctor referred to it as a “missed miscarriage.”
The days and weeks that followed consisted of weekly ultrasounds to check for any change, but there never was. For some people, I think a miscarriage is quick: there is cramping, bleeding, and then loss. For me the process takes weeks and weeks, and I have to face really hard choices.
I am not someone who ever wanted to have a D&C, which is a surgery that removes the pregnancy, the lost baby. Having my baby taken from my body, it killed me. I wanted to be alone in my home, I wanted to mourn the loss in private. I wanted God to take my baby back home, not a surgeon. In the end, I had no choice.
I went home to a house full of precious children. Life went on. I didn’t cry at night, I was too numb. What was left of me was someone I didn’t fully know. I was a mother, I was a friend, I was a person who had lost a baby to miscarriage.
I told very few people. I am private, and pain is something I keep so tight to myself, it sometimes feels like a physical object that I carry around with me. Holding on to the hurt, keeping it close to my heart, somehow felt like holding a friend’s hand.
The pain was mine to hold tight, to keep. I wanted to be okay, I wanted to heal. As the years creep by, I realize that my loss was okay. The miscarriage was now woven into the strands of who I was as a human, as a woman. What was left was a mother of earthly babies . . . and heavenly babies.
I was the same person, and yet, I was completely different.
My rainbow baby came almost three years later. His pregnancy and his birth healed a lot of the dark parts in my heart that I had come to think would be with me forever. His little life is a gift. I hold him tighter and stare at his face a little longer. Every cell in my body knows, and it remembers.