While the physical experience of losing my first pregnancy was an awful thing to experience, the emotional aftermath was a million times worse. To anyone who follows this blog, I apologize for not posting in so long. I started this project shortly after my fourth miscarriage when all of this was weighing heavily on my mind. Then I became pregnant with Audrey. It was pretty hard to go on with the details of the grief when I was full of hope for a healthy baby. So I tabled the project. Now it's time for me to complete the history.
I was devastated at our loss. We had names picked out. We had an empty bassinet at home. Diapers. Maternity Clothes. Baby Clothes. Bottles. We were empty handed and empty hearted. I was eight weeks along. How could I come to love my little baby so much in only eight weeks time?
I quickly learned how alone I truly was. Outside of my family, no one had even known that we were pregnant. That left our families to be the only ones to offer support. This is where the loneliness and hurt really came. It was those closest to me who dismissed this so much. I was told, "It's nature's way," "It just wasn't the right time," "I guess you cleaned the pipes for the next one," "It's just a lump of cells, not a baby," "that's why we waited until we were at least three months along to tell anyone," "At least your weren't further along, I knew so and so who had a still born, or who lost their baby at 24 weeks," "at least you know you can get pregnant," "You'll be pregnant again soon with another one," and the list goes on and on. In another post I will speak more about these words of "comfort." These were supposed to be the comforting words from the people closest to me, my own family and even husband. How could everyone be so insensitive? This was my baby. I was truly alone in my grief. No one understood.
On top of that, I was the Relief Society President in my ward and I had the hardest time attending church and looking at everyone's pregnant bellies. If that wasn't enough, I was responsible for coordinating meals for them, making sure they were taken care of, etc. Of course I loved these women and was happy for them, but it was a glaring reminder of what was no longer in store for me. I struggled so much with my grief that there were times I had to cut out of church because I couldn't hold the tears back anymore. I did finally let my presidency know and they were very supportive.
I couldn't speak about what happened. I was drowning in grief, but couldn't even speak of it. I was constantly on the verge of tears and if anyone mentioned the miscarriage to me the tears would spill over. Not everyone was insensitive. But I couldn't even speak to those who offered a shoulder. My cousin, Whitney, had heard about it and sent me a note in the mail letting me know that she had recently miscarried and would be there for me anytime that I wanted to talk. My sister-in-law, Robin, called me one day to offer her condolences. She told me that when she heard that she just cried and cried. She was crying on the phone as she spoke to me. This is a conversation that I will always regret because I couldn't even speak back to her. I was at my mother-in-law's home and I didn't feel like I was given the right to grieve, so I left the room to take the call. I couldn't even answer back to Robin. She must've wondered what that was all about. It meant a lot to me that someone else cared and was even sad about this. But I still couldn't speak. Robin has since passed away and I regret that I never let her know how much her caring words meant to me.
Then there was Tammy. She is my brother-in-law's sister. I don't remember what the occasion was, but we were at a church meeting together with the entire family. After the meeting ended, she caught me out in the hall and gave me a big hug. She said that she'd had a miscarriage before and was so sorry for my loss. The tears that were always present in my eyes quickly spilled over as I hugged her tightly. Once again, I couldn't speak. I felt like I had to hide my emotion from my family because as everyone had said, I was just "cleaning the pipes and it wasn't a real baby." I shoved the tears back as quickly as I could and moved on.
January 3rd. That was my due date. How did May 24th trump that date? I put the admission sticker from the hospital on a shelf in my closet facing out to where we could see it. It was all I had left of my baby. It simply had my name printed on it and May 24th. I left that sticker on that shelf until we moved.