I never dreamed about having kids. When I was a little girl, baby dolls didn’t interest me. I have no memories of wanting to play ‘mommy.’ As I got older and a seed began to plant in my mind about what I wanted for my future, a child was never in it.
After four years in a committed relationship in my early twenties there was not one moment that I envisioned having a child together. It wasn’t until I met my husband that all my well-laid plans went to shit.
I say that in the best of ways because, with him, things I thought I wanted in my life seemed so trivial. In time, our love grew so big that talks of marriage began and I knew that what I wanted above all else was to have a family with this man.
We were married in 2013 and shortly thereafter began family planning. I say planning because we both felt that we wanted to wait a year to begin trying to have a baby, to enjoy that first year as husband and wife. We bought a house, got some cats, and settled into married life.
That next summer, we went all in on baby making. I had been on birth control since my mid-teens so had stopped taking it months before we officially started in order for it to work its way out of my system. I googled silly tips for getting pregnant. We were determined for it not to become a chore, that we would enjoy the process of trying for a baby.
As each month passed, however, the ache in my heart for a baby grew.
Finally, after seven months, and many pregnancy tests later—A POSITIVE! I still remember that shaky excitement I felt. The joy of telling my husband, our parents, our closest friends.
That joy was short-lived. One week later, the pains began. And then the bleeding. And then it was over.
I can’t tell you how long I cried because, looking back, it was one endless moment of numbness and tears. Maybe it was days. Maybe it was weeks.
There was such a mixture of emotions. Despair, guilt, anger, resentment. In the span of a week I had reached the highest high and lowest low of my entire life.
I remember sitting on the shower floor on my knees, sobbing, saying I’m sorry outloud to a life I no longer carried.
After a few weeks, I cried less. I turned to the internet to see how other women moved on after the trauma of losing a baby. I read somewhere that planting a flower or tree in honor of the baby was a way for some people to get closure. The next day I went out and bought a little fairy sculpture for the garden.
I placed it under a big tree in the backyard, and said my goodbyes. It felt raw and uncomfortable, but it worked. I realized I had been carrying this grief like a black pit inside of me, and now I had this little statue at which to direct my sorrow.
People have asked me if I regretted sharing the news of our child so early and I’ve had to dive deep within myself to find the honest answer: no.
Having a miscarriage is so isolating. There are so many layers of emotions and self-doubt. While it was extremely painful to have to tell those around us what we had lost, I never could have hidden my grief in any healthy way from them had they not known. Having the people we love most know what we were experiencing definitely helped in the weeks, months, and eventually in the next two years of fertility challenges we would experience.
I wish I could tell you there were all these helpful tips that can guide you through this time, but I can’t. Five years later and she is still with me.
When I’m laying in bed and the house is quiet, a memory from those dark days will creep in out of nowhere. Sometimes my 2-year-old daughter will run by the fairy statue under that big tree in the backyard, laughing and smiling as she plays. She has no idea what the statue signifies, not now. I can’t help but think of that baby, of the brief connection we shared, of the connection between the beautiful child we have now and the child we said goodbye to far too soon.
Even when I was pregnant with our wonderful and healthy daughter, the doctor would ask Is this your first pregnancy? No? What was the result of your first? and the pain would be back, if only for a moment.
No, there is no clear path to moving on after a miscarriage. However, there are lanterns in the darkness–let others be there for you through the pain and search for some way to create closure for yourself.
Wherever you are on your journey—I see you. You are strong and you will find your happiness again.