I am the Face

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And I always try to write a little something about that. Why do I write every year? Because every day, more and more women experience this loss, and I know that in the early days after my own miscarriage, I was desperate for information and desperate to know I wasn’t alone.

I never considered myself a candidate for a miscarriage. I was incredibly misinformed, and I had already had one normal, healthy pregnancy. I think it’s fairly common for women to not know it’s a possibility, and also to think that it’s rare and that no one wants to hear about it or talk about it.

So, I write. I write to let women know that you’re not alone. You’re not responsible for what happened. And there are those of us out there that are glad to listen and willing to talk. And also to let you know that you are free to grieve for as long as you need, and that no matter what happens, you will never forget the baby you lost. My miscarriage was over 5 years ago now, and I still think about that baby every single day. This is normal, and totally fine. But also, you will learn to move on, to put the loss behind you and live life again.

Take time out of your day today, or any day, and think of your friends who have gone through a loss. Give them an extra hug. And send your most positive vibes out for those women you don’t necessarily know, and those who suffer silently.

iamtheface_boy

I Am the Face

I still think about the baby I miscarried. Every day. Some days, just a fleeting thought. Other days, I cry a little bit about it. It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 1/2 years, because sometimes it can still feel like it just happened.

In the days shortly after, I thought that if I could just get pregnant again, I could forget all about it and move on. Nine months later I finally got pregnant with Ferris, and I did not forget all about it, and did not move on. Quite the opposite, actually. Not only was I fraught with worry for the ENTIRE pregnancy that something would go horribly wrong, but I also felt so guilty for being so happy to be pregnant again. That maybe at some point I actually would forget the baby I miscarried.

Then I thought when I just had the healthy baby boy in my arms, it would help me stop being sad at least. But then, Ferris arrived, and nope. I didn’t stop being sad. Of course I was, and am now, a lot less sad than I had been before, but there’s still a little bit of hurt that lingers.

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. Looking back, the one thing I wish more than anything else (aside from not miscarrying to begin with) was that I had been exactly that: more aware. I was completely clueless. And wrote on my blog at just 7 weeks that I was pregnant. So my loss was fairly public. Which was good in some ways, not so good in other ways.

Miscarriage is something that just isn’t talked about, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. It happens to so many women. It happens to one in four pregnancies. ONE IN FOUR! So why are we keeping ourselves so in the dark about it?

Of course I knew it was a possibility. I had heard about it, knew a little bit about it. But I so naively thought it was something that only happened to women with fertility issues. I can’t believe I thought that! And I’d been pregnant and had Bowie, no issues at all, so I thought I was in the clear. I can just get pregnant again, nothing to worry about at all.

I know why no one talks about it: it’s unpleasant. To say the least. It’s a total downer. Its’ awkward. How would that conversation even go? It’s not information you’d necessarily pass on, unless someone you know is actively trying, or is newly pregnant. So what would you say? “Hey, congratulations on your pregnancy! You know you have a 20% chance of losing it, right? Just wanted you to know.”

But, something we can do is come together on Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day, share our stories, and hope that we can simply bring a little comfort to a woman who miscarries tomorrow, next week, next year. Help her feel a little warmth in her coldest hour, knowing that she’s not alone. And it’s not her fault. And she can grieve in whatever way, and for however long, she needs to. Because the pain can linger for a long, long time. And there’s nothing worse than dealing with that kind of pain, and thinking you’re alone. You’re not alone. We’re here. All of us. You will get through, and you’ll be ok.

 

One Year

It has been one year since my miscarriage. One year ago Saturday that I found out the baby had passed away. And one year ago today that I finally got the courage to take the medicine that helped me pass the tissue.

I don’t know when the moment was that the baby’s heart had stopped beating. I often wonder about that moment. Where was I? What was I doing? Did I feel anything different in that moment? It makes me feel strange knowing that in the two weeks between the baby’s approximate passing and the day I found out, I was still telling new people about the pregnancy. I just feel like somehow, on some level, I should have known.

I know in my right mind, a whole year of recovery later, that it’s silly for me to feel that way. That there’s almost no way I could have known. That I should not feel so foolish for wanting to spread the joy of our pregnancy so early on. Yet in my heart, I still feel all of these things.

I am still grieving today, something I wasn’t expecting. I mean, I knew it would take some time, but I figured being pregnant again would take a lot of the sting out of it. Surprisingly, not so. I have a new baby on the way, almost halfway through its gestation already, and yet I still spend hours thinking about the baby I lost, and grieving for that lost little soul.

I don’t want to discourage any other survivors reading this post. I do feel so much better and more whole than I did a year ago. LIGHTYEARS ahead of where I was. But I am still grieving. Grief is one of the most complicated emotions humans have, I think.

I’ve lost people before, people I knew well and loved, but this was something different. In addition to grieving the death of the baby, I think I was also in mourning for the loss of opportunity to get to know that baby as my child. I will never know if it was a boy or girl, introvert or extrovert, what their likes and dislikes would be, what their talents would be, who their friends would be. I get to experience all of that with the new baby, but I will always wonder about that little soul I never got to meet.

It’s all still so fresh in my mind, it’s hard to believe an entire year has gone by. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being there for me this past year. For all of your condolences and words of encouragement. I needed them so much, and I can’t tell you how very much they meant to me.

Onward we go.

Loss. And Gain.

My husband’s uncle passed away last Monday evening, suddenly and fairly young. And I’m not sure what was harder, grieving or watching him and his family grieve.

I boarded the plane to Chicago thinking, “All right, I just have to make it through a funeral with a 15 month old, that’s all. Then we’re back home.”

But, what I had forgotten was I have known my husband’s family nearly as long as I’ve known him, about 8 years now. And they’re a very tight-knit family. And they brought me in immediately, from day one. His uncle included.

So, when we arrived and attended the wake, it hit me like a ton of bricks. But, the kiddo was remarkably well-behaved. Almost as if he knew. And thank the Lord for that. It was so wonderful to have my family there. And now, more than ever, I know that they are my family.