Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Pain Never Leaves

Sometimes it's hard to think about--I'd have 5 children if they'd all made it past the first trimester. I'd have an 8 year old little girl, and three unknown babies--and Reuben. One would be due soon, in February. The last one I lost, who I only knew about for three weeks before he or she passed.

Miscarriage is hard. And it never stops being hard. I remember when I saw my first baby on ultrasound at seven weeks. She was just a dot. Two weeks later she was gone. For nine weeks I thought about how I was going to tell my mother I was pregnant-- (I was not married and it was the summer before my junior year in college). Nine weeks my boyfriend and I struggled over what to do and edged around the topic like uncomfortable, but excited parents. When I lost her I went to the emergency room because I didn't know what was going on only that something was dreadfully wrong. I called my mother and she learned of my pregnancy and miscarriage in the same breath. She came and held my hand through it all and never once did I hear a word of judgement come out of her mouth. I love her to this day for it. Maybe she didn't know what to say. Maybe she knew that all I needed was her presence.

When I got married I was reassured that "miscarriages happen" and "one is normal" by many doctors. But I went on to have two more losses with my husband. Together we cried. I was certain I would be a mother to dead babies only, and never get to experience the joy of live birth or of parenting a toddler.

Reuben was born in 2015. He truly is a rainbow baby.

We lost another baby a few months ago. My next baby, if he or she lives--will also be a rainbow baby.

Over the years I have struggled with feelings of disgust over my body--my body that has failed to give these children life. Sometimes I hate it. I can't even look at my belly, bloated from my last viable pregnancy yet still an alien within my own bounds, a vessel that expelled as well as gave life.

A lot of people don't understand miscarriage and infertility and infant loss and that's okay. You know, they usually have to go through it to understand it, and its something I would never wish on anyone. I have friends who get pregnant easily and often, and sometimes they say insensitive things. But I envy them their privilege, their words that come from such a easy place when the babies they want come without effort or medical procedures. I try not to take it personally. They just don't understand. And I hope they never do.

I often wonder when the pain will leave. When will I not think of my little ones? I think of them often, especially when I look at my son, or my husband, or see pictures of myself in college. I think of the things behind Reuben's smiles and the pictures and see the babies that never were. Briefly they flittered across my life--now gone.

I am okay. I am okay but yet I am not okay. There is a duality to miscarriage that I never knew existed. I function and love and make happy memories with my Reuben and my Brian--I am fully present and aware and my heart it full of joy. But I also miss my babies and think of them often.

I know where I will finally be whole--when I am with all my children in heaven where they can all be in my arms at once. We will be together, and we will worship God.

I wrote this for Rachel.