An open letter to my unborn child
I never heard your heartbeat, but you forever changed my life.
Blood ran down my leg. Sharp pains pierced my sides. I thought I was just having an unusual cycle until the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
I never got a chance to hear your heartbeat, but you changed my life forever.
I think about you.
I cry for you.
I long for you.
I love you. But I never truly grieved for you.
Can you believe I never spoke of you? Consumed with disbelief, I refused to admit that I had lost you. I found it easier to deny you than to mourn you. Cause how could I truly mourn the loss of something I adamantly said I didn’t want?
“Two and through” was the phrase that I lived by. I was high risk with both of your siblings and I swore I would never put myself through that again. When family or friends asked, “When is baby number three coming?” I would proudly state that I was done. Now when they ask, I sit quietly unsure of how to feel or how I should respond.
Finding out you existed was a shock. Finding out minutes later that you no longer existed was a shockwave. First, I grew numb, then devastated, followed by guilt and it all began to set in.
I blamed myself. I felt as if I spoke this into existence. Maybe if I had not said “I don’t want any more kids” so much, you would have made it. Cause how did this happen anyway? What could the valid explanation be offered?
After I blamed myself, I blamed you.
How did you make it past my Mirana? Why would you come, only to go?
Then I blamed God.
Why would He allow this to happen? What would make Him think that I was tough enough to handle this?
I told myself that I had to tell someone. It was weighing on me. I couldn’t bring myself to tell your dad. I knew it would only add to the devastation. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
One day, I finally mustered up the strength to tell a friend. Her response to me was “Well at least it happened early on before you were able to get attached.” Her response made me cringe. Although I know she meant well, she was wrong. I was already attached.
I thought of you.
I often wondered who you would have been. Would you have looked like mommy or taken after your daddy? Would your dad and I have been welcoming another sweet baby boy or a precious baby girl? Would your hair have been curly like mine? These are the thoughts that constantly ran through my mind. Even though I never spoke of you, I never stopped thinking of you.
I longed for you.
I went through cycles of depression over you. I couldn’t shake the feelings of guilt. The what-ifs haunted me. When I would look at your siblings I couldn’t help but think of you. I would hear their laughs and wonder what yours would have sounded like. I would watch them play and try to imagine where you would have fit in.
I cried for you.
Some days were better than others. On the good days, I would tell myself that everything happens for a reason, even though the reason behind your loss is still unclear to me. On the bad days, I would find myself crying continuously. But I never wanted your siblings to see me cry. So I would fix them snacks, turn on cartoons to keep them occupied and then run to the back until I could pull myself back together. Sometimes your brother would catch crying. He’d pat me on the back while saying “It’s ok, It’s ok mommy.”
I became strong for you.
Losing you shook up my world. There were times I couldn’t see past the devastation. I felt hopeless. I felt heartbroken. I felt weak. But then I realized that I was no good to myself or anyone else in that state. I told myself that if I allowed this to break me then your short life would have been in vain. So I made the decision to rewrite the narrative.
I allowed the moments that I thought of you to serve as reminders that even though I had lost you, I still had two other children to be strong for.
I became stronger for you.
Rather than crying when something made me think of you, I’d find a way to force out a smile. Instead of attempting to suppress the thoughts of the events from that day, I allow them to flow freely.
Today, I’m finally able to speak of you with no guilt. I’m so sorry that it took me a whole year. I can’t make up for the time lost, but I can make the future count. I vow to use our story as a message of hope to inspire others who encounter similar circumstances. I’m sure other mothers just like me are hurting, confused, and desperate for answers. Just as you were able to motivate me, I vow to make an effort to motivate them. I’ll show them that there is strength in their pain and that they too can survive.
I want to thank you.
I thought all hope was lost. I felt as though I had truly messed up. I didn’t think that I would ever be able to see the light. You showed me that I was stronger than I thought. That I could get back up. That it all wasn’t for nothing. You helped me develop traits that I didn’t know I needed. You helped me strengthen my areas of weakness. You helped me grow.
So no, I never heard your heartbeat, held you in my arms, stared into your eyes, heard your laugh, or ran my fingers through your hair, but you still managed to change my life and for that, I’ll love you forever.
A Message to Moms Who Miscarried
You are competent!!!
You are strong!!!
You are resilient!!!
You are enough!!!!
YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME!!!
I know this is a lot to digest, but I seriously want you to take a second to allow this to sink in. Allow the tears to flow if you must. It's okay to cry. No shame in that. You have experienced the most traumatic event any woman could ever go through.
You have racked your brain trying to figure out why it happened to you. You have tried to be strong in moments when you felt extremely weak. You have tried to carry on with life as you "normally" would. But.....
Life will never be the same!
So how do you cope with such a devastating event? How do you move past the hurt and pain? How do you continue to carry on with life as you "normally" would? Honestly, there is not clear cut answer to that and if anyone tells you otherwise THEY ARE WRONG! The process will look differently for each of us, but I will share with you what helped me.
I know you may be reading this and thinking this is a no brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of women that skip this stage. Trust me on this. I was one of them! I thought that if I ignored it or pretended like it didn't happen that the emotional aspects would vanish with it. I was wrong. Bottling these emotions inside caused me to fall into severe depression and that is not my wish for you. You have to be willing to acknowledge and release those emotions in order for healing to begin.
2) Be Vulnerable
You are allowed to cry, to be hurt. to be upset. to be broken. to be emotionally unavailable.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE STRONG!
As women, we have been coached into thinking that we have to have it all together, all the time. Well this is not one of those times. It is okay for you to let your guard down and let it all out! This is one of those times when all of the rules go out of the window. You have to do this for you.
3) Get Connected
This journey is yours, but you don't have to navigate it alone. One of the most difficult things is feeling like no one around you understands how you feel or what you're going through. Connect with other women who have experienced the same hurt as you.
It may feel uncomfortable trying to explain to your best friend how you feel if she has never experienced that type of paid before; however, you may find comfort sharing your thoughts and emotions with another mom that's trying to find her way just like you.
What would typically be a moment of awkward silence amongst friends and family could potentially turn into moments of solace with your peers.
No two women will experience the same emotions, thoughts, or struggles. Your road to healing will look differently than mine. You may or may not find these tips beneficial to your journey, but now sincerest hope is that you find a means to balance it all.
This is your journey. Don't allow anyone to tell you how to navigate it.