I didn't remember what day it was today until we were a few hours into it. We'd been up since 4:30 am with Sebastian and had spent the majority of our morning at the ER after he woke up with yet another fever and worse cough than before. I was worried about pneumonia after five days of a fever and hadn't been able to get in to see our regular pediatrician the day before. I was signing us out when I wrote down 10/15/13 and realized it was almost five years ago exactly that Brett had taken me into the ER in Springfield, MO to confirm that I had indeed miscarried.
It was supposed to be our second baby, due June 29th, 2009, so close to Sebastian's birthday. I was so excited to share our good news that I called my whole family the day I got a positive on my fifth test. There was no caution in my heart about keeping that happy beginning to myself until it was a little more established-no reason to fear that our excitement was so temporary. We were expanding our family!
We had had a positive pregnancy test for a little over a week but I had known in my body's cues for about two. At six weeks I was bleeding and cramping and looking up everything I could on the internet to explain how serious it was when we finally called our dr. and they told us to go ahead to the ER. He referred to it as a spontaneous abortion and I felt like I was getting a very dry explanation that I was barely pregnant and that somehow I shouldn't feel that bad because this happens to about one in five women. I went home without needing surgery and called my parents and cried and cried.
We went on a nature walk that afternoon to get out of the house and clear our heads. I felt so sad but also felt like I wasn't allowed to be too sad because we had only known for a week. It wasn't like I was halfway there and showing. We'd hardly had time to think about baby names much less go shopping for cribs. And yet there was such a deep sense of loss.
I didn't know anyone at the time who had lost a pregnancy but my eagerness to share online also opened the lines of communication for those I didn't know to share their stories. Hearing from other women and being affirmed in my grief was such an important part of our healing process. I'm not sure I would've been able to work through it in the same way had others not reached out.
Five years later and my sadness has been mostly replaced with gratefulness. Gratefulness that we've been blessed with a second healthy child and a third halfway to being in our arms. Gratefulness that I can love on another mama with a heart that understands in a small way the pain and loss of what feels like a stolen future. Part of my healing process was making a simple quilt to have as a comforting reminder-a marker-that we had had that two weeks of joy. It's affirmation that that joy was real and so was our grief.
There have been so many mamas on my radar this year that have lost their babies. Some so recent that we all still think about them on a daily basis. There are some that are pregnant but carry that fear from a previous loss that it could still happen. There are some that are grieving that loss in a completely different way because they aren't even able to get that good news in the first place. My heart goes out to each of them.
October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. My friend, Sarah, miscarried at twelve weeks and shared about it on Twitter and linked to her own story here. I wasn't going to write anything to bring this story up five years later but then I remembered how important the stories of other women were to me in those tender weeks and wanted to add my voice to the growing number of women who are feeling brave enough to talk about miscarriage and infancy loss. I believe there's courage in vulnerability and it's one of the ways I can still battle the voice in my head that wants to argue that I don't have a right to be that sad about such an early loss.
You're on one path and then you're not. It's okay to be sad for as long as you need to be and then it's okay to not be so sad. As Sarah shared, we all grieve and heal in our own way. It's my hope that healing does come. And then maybe new hope as well.