A year ago, I lost my second child. I’ll never know why. It took a long time to stop being so angry about the unfairness of it all. I’ve never felt so much loss and pain in my life before. There truly isn’t an adequate way to describe this experience. The crazy thing to consider is that I didn’t meet this baby, nor did I know if it was a he or she. All I knew was that it was my baby and therefore it meant the whole world to me. Losing my baby was harder than losing family members that I knew for years.
There are a few things that pulled me out of the darkness; the first one being the support of my husband. He immediately turned his focus to my physical health, ensuring that I would be OK physically through it all. After assurance that I would be ok to travel, he took me on a road trip to California where we spent a week away from home. I got to see my family for a week and play tricks on my mind with daily distractions. But at night he held me and let me quietly cry for as long as I needed to.
It didn’t end that week. Random bouts of crying occurred over several months. It wasn’t just a baby commercial or my friends continuing through their pregnancies around me. I could be walking down the stairs and randomly be hit with grief. I have to thank everyone around me who tried to support me. I say tried because you can’t really help someone in that position. I understood what my friends and family were saying and that they were trying to support me, but really only time helps. “At least you know your body is capable of having a baby because you have Halle as proof.” Yes, I did know that I could have a baby, but it still hurt to lose this one. “It just wasn’t meant to be. There was a reason this baby couldn’t be born.” Yes I know, but it still hurts to lose this one. Not to mention that mothers on crack deliver babies. If they can, every healthy woman should too. I know this isn’t the case in society which breaks my heart. Thank goodness for adoption.
Another thing that helped me heal was to just accept that I was sad. I didn’t try to tell people I was over it. I didn’t tell myself to suck it up and get over it. I let myself deal through the anger and the sadness. I think sometimes we try to belittle ourselves. Tell ourselves that we need to get over it already. This is not true. Everyone heals on their own terms. Embrace it; know that it will get easier eventually. Until then, ride it out.
My children of course helped me too. You can’t cry all day in front of your kids. Plus they wanted to know why suddenly there wasn’t a sibling in my belly. Where did it go? I was careful with my words. Gentle truths as I like to call it. I didn’t drag religion into it and I didn’t discourage it either because I know that they both hear things from their other parent’s houses. I softly explained that sometimes babies aren’t meant to be and we have to try again. Their delicate minds at the time didn’t ask me where I put the baby or how I’d get another one. They did what they do best, love me and make me smile just by being them.
So it’s been a year, am I fully recovered? No. I don’t think I ever will be. Maybe people think I should be over it especially since I am pregnant now. Well like all mothers who have lost a baby know, one child can never replace another child. I am thrilled to be pregnant with Grayson and I know he will fulfill joy in our family. A piece of me will just always be scarred by losing my baby. Through my healing process I hadn’t thought about reaching a definite end point where it no longer hurt. That being said I am going to mention something from the movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. If you haven’t seen it, it comes out on DVD on September 11. Stop reading here if you don’t want a spoiler.
When I saw the movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, I unexpectedly realized that the pain doesn’t go away, it just hides inside you. I saw it long after its original release because I don’t like Jennifer Lopez or Cameron Diaz. However, I got over that and decided to try it out. It looked funny after all. I’m so glad I made that choice. It is now one of my favorite movies. I have to give a huge thank you to Anna Kendrick for her performance in the movie. I loved her in Twilight because her character Jessica is just so amusing. But in this movie, her portrayal of a girl who miss-carried a baby really touched me. As soon as she said “I’m bleeding”, realization hit me of where the movie was headed. I wasn’t prepared and I lost all train of thought. Tears fell on their own accord in streams. She lies in a hospital bed when the doctor comes to talk to them. No words are spoken in the scene, but words weren’t needed. The emotions are felt even without them speaking. Anna also did a great job displaying the irrational outbursts and over all anger after it’s “over”.
As I quietly cried to myself, suddenly remembering my own experience of losing a baby and being in an emergency room, my baby Grayson kicked me in the womb. Pure coincidence some could say, but I couldn’t help but laugh. Here I was, crying over the baby I lost while my third baby was thriving inside of my body. He kicked me back to the present. He reminded me that there’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel which in this case is him. I laughed at the irony and quietly thanked him.
I’ll never know why I lost a baby. Women all over might not know why they lost one or more of their own. What I do know is that I survived it. I know that I have an amazing husband who didn’t know how to help me, but he still put aside his own grief to shoulder some of mine. It isn’t a tragedy either of us wanted so early in our marriage but it oddly brought us close in a way we didn’t know was possible. I know that I have two precious kids in my life and one on the way. I know that I won’t ever fully let go of my pain, but I accept that. Every day that I get to wake up and spend in this world with my family is a good day.
To my baby that I didn’t get to meet: I loved you immediately, and I always will. ~Mommy