**Disclaimer: This is me wearing every single piece of me on my sleeve. This was a very hard thing for me to write, and it’s a very taboo subject to talk about, but hopefully this conversation (like mental health) will become something we don’t shy away from. In therapy, I’ve learned that a burden shared is a burden lessened. So, consider it my first step of the 12 steps towards recovery, emotional recovery.**
September 4, 2019:
The day I became strong.
I remember that day so vividly.
It was just your typical Wednesday. The sun was shining, I had gone for a nice long 5.5 mile run, I went over to my parents for some coffee… It was off to a great start, minus the fact that I wasn’t feeling well at all. My back was killing me and I was having some gnarly stomach cramps. I took some Advil (in hopes that it would help) and headed off to work.
When I got there, I kind of just jumped into all things work and that was that. It was busy earlier in the afternoon and then it really died down once the sun set. I remember still being in a ton of pain throughout the day and into the evening, and around 7:30, it got worse. I was cramping horribly on my lower left side. I told my coworker I would be back and rushed to the bathroom.
I’m not going to go into detail, but when I came out of the bathroom I was 1 in 4.
1 in 4 woman who’ve lost something they will never get back.
1 in 4 woman who’ve blamed themselves for something completely out of their control.
1 in 4 woman who have miscarried.
I was immediately destroyed. All my life, I have wanted nothing more than to be a mom. Absolutely nothing more. Then, in the same moment that I was one, I was not.
There are truly no words to describe both the physical and emotional pain that I have gone through since September 4th. I’ve felt things from guilt and shame, to hatred and anger. I went into such a dark, downward spiral. I stopped sleeping, my mind racing non-stop. I couldn’t sleep because I would replay the images and feelings from that night over and over and over again. I lost my appetite, as well as 15 pounds, in the span of a month. I really did not know where to go.
I told my boyfriend at the time and a select couple of close friends but really, I was dealing with it all on my own. I didn’t want to burden my parents with the news, partly because they had BOTH been in the hospital that same week… another part was because I didn’t want to disappoint them.
I ended up telling them, coincidentally, a month later… to the day.
We cried together.
I cry when I see babies now. What once brought me great joy now brings me incredible sorrow.
It was too soon to know the sex, but one night I was really thinking about it. I ended up dreaming that it was a girl. It was the most vivid dream that I have ever had in my life. I woke up feeling like I had been holding my baby girl. I’ve never particularly believed that dreams have any special meaning… at least, not until that dream. It felt like God was speaking to me.
Another occurrence that has happened since that dream is the name ‘Penelope.’ I have heard and seen this name all over the place and it so strongly has resonated with me. It would have been her name had I carried her to term. I kid you not, I have heard it EVERYWHERE. So whenever I talk about her, I call her ‘Baby P.’
I went to an extensive therapy program and really got to process the loss and all of the emotions that have come with it. I had tried to suppress it (an unhealthy coping mechanism that I talked about in therapy) but it ended up all coming out. It felt good to talk about her out in the open, though… like she wasn’t a secret anymore. She doesn’t deserve to be a secret.
I find myself constantly wondering what kind of person she would have grown up to be. Would she have been a tomboy or a girly girl? A mommy or a daddy’s girl? Would she have wanted to be an astronaut or the President of the United States? Or would she rather have been an artist, a school teacher? How would she have treated others? Would she have been a strong-willed, independent free spirit??
It helps me get through the hard nights where all I want to do is cry.
At first, I asked God, “Why me?”
Why, when He knows my deepest desire of being a mother, would He take her from me? I was angry; I was beyond pissed off at God. But the more I talked to Him about it, the softer He made my heart.
Other things in my life started happening that made me believe there was a bigger purpose to this loss. For one, my boyfriend and I ended up going in different directions, so adding a baby into the mix would have only complicated things. My home life (my apartment) began to get hostile and I believe it would have been a very toxic environment to bring her into. My life turned into this dark, black hole and I felt like I was at the end of my rope.
It’s been three months since I lost a piece of my heart. The past three months have hurt like hell, but I’ve come to a place of acceptance. I am not here saying that I am all hunky-dory that I went through this (I would NEVER wish it upon anyone), rather I am acknowledging the reality of the situation – straight facts. I’ve done things to bring me peace about everything… I’ve written letters, talked to her out loud, etc. I still get sad, DEEPLY sad. That doesn’t go away, but I have gotten tools to help me cope. Healthy coping mechanisms aren’t something that I’m too familiar with. I usually cope by means of suppression and isolation. That isn’t me, though. I’m open and vulnerable and I’ve done a lot of processing in order for me to be ‘okay.’ It’s not easy, by any means, but as the days for by, the stronger I get.
She is with me everyday, and not a second goes by where I don’t think about her. I know that God needed her up there more than I needed her down here, and I hold on to that. My time will come for me to have kids, so for now I have conversations with my angel baby and keep the faith that she’s up there watching over me with the Big Man.
Until we meet again, P.
Sincerely, and with all of my heart,