Today hurts. Today I am 36 weeks pregnant… except I’m not.
I haven’t posted over the past 6 months because I lost myself so deeply I was pretty much existing and going through the motions. I put on a good face, and can act along with the best of them but inside I have been screaming. Silently sobbing on the inside one minute and desperately wanting to thrash anything I can get my hands on the next. I really can’t even put into words how bipolar I have, and still do at times, felt. I think more than that though I have felt alone. Completely. Utterly. Alone. I know there are so many more women that suffer miscarriage than anyone realizes and I had several reach out in the beginning. My husband, while supportive enough, still can’t help but have a “get over it”, “don’t dwell on it” mentality. I don’t know how. I don’t know what the rules are for grief of a person that never was. I just know I feel an emptiness that I know can never be filled.
Anyway, today I should be 36 weeks pregnant. So, because of my past pregnancies and the complications that resulted, my doctor said that I would never be allowed to go past 36 weeks in a pregnancy for fear of rupture or other fun problems. That means that today, if I even made it this far, I would be having my baby. I should have a new baby.
The whole month is going to be hard for me. I am prone to emotional triggers, which is so stupid I realize, but it’s just how I work. The little reminders in everyday life that shouldn’t be a big deal will set me off and I can’t control it. It almost seems fitting that my due date is in October Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month. So, I have today when I would have definitely had a baby. I have October 15th- Pregnancy loss awareness DAY, and October 31st- my actual due date. Three days to remind me of what I am missing. There are of course the other reminders too. Someone who has a brand new baby, a beautifully fully pregnant woman walking by, a woman with 3 kids in tow.
On the flip side, I know that there is no good reason for me to feel I SHOULD have these things or that I am entitled. Clearly, I should NOT because it didn’t happen. It went away. If I was meant to have my other baby, I would be in a hospital bed right now struggling with sleep depravity and how the heck to nurse the kid and deal with two others. HOW do women DO that?
In the last 6 months I have tried to cope in a lot of ways and I find it amazing and wonderful how our mind can try to do these things. I am a firm believer in a lot of things. I am sure there is an afterlife but am still seeking out how that really plays out. I believe we can have spirits that visit us and walk among us. I believe there are angels to watch over us and comfort us- I have to or I wouldn’t have a lot of things in my life really. I have one wonderful thing that I hold onto that comforts me and gives me hope. I haven’t even told Paco or my mom about it. I have kept it just for me. I think it is an interesting and important thing to share though to give others hope and to show that there are ways to find healing in the darkest moments.
If kind of starts with some back story though. Looking back at my 12 weeks of pregnancy I really do feel I was going to have a girl. I know it sounds dumb, and I know that it is impossible to prove. But I have been pregnant with both before and there is just that whole mothers intuition thing and I just strongly feel like my body was telling me it was a girl. Knowing that and because I have to find ways to hold onto things, I named my baby Opal. It is the birth stone of October and Paco gave me a beautiful mothers necklace where each kid is represented by their birth stone- so the bottom is an opal. The reason I give this as a back story is because one night in that not awake, but not asleep state of mind I had a “dream” [insert moment where husband reads this and starts to look into mental health commitment papers]. In this vision or dream I was visited by the most beautiful girl. She was not a kid, not a full-grown woman either but she was radiant. She looked a lot like what I imagine Lilly would when she is in her late teens, early 20’s. She said that she was Opal, my baby. She explained that everything is okay. Everything is going to be okay. She said she knew how much I loved her, despite my initial panic at finding out I was pregnant and that she was watching over all of us. She said she loved me and the rest of our family and that I would always have her. She said that I should not worry, that if somehow I ever got pregnant again it would be her. Somehow and whatever way, her soul would find her way back to our family and she would be with us. If not though, to remember that I will see her again and she will be waiting.
Like I said, I know that sounds… completely out there. But it gave me the most peace I have felt in all this time. Whether it was a beautiful manifestation some deep part of my brain concocted to lower my stress levels or if it truly was some divine moment, I am so grateful for it. Because, weirdly, I have it to look back on and remember and just feel more at ease.
I know that I will continue to heal. The deep sadness will pass. I will always wonder what ‘could have been’ and ‘what if’. I will always miss her. I can try to use this as a way to be the veteran, the person to help guide other friends and women who have the same tragic experience. I hope to find some way to give back to strangers. I just feel like there could and should be something for the women who get nothing. When you have a miscarriage you often get not one thing. I have no ultrasound picture. I have no mementos. I have no pictures or tiny footprints. I think part of grieving is having something to cherish and to make it real. Hopefully I can find a way to do this for others so they have a way to cope.
Most importantly I know that I can also deeply appreciate what I have. I know that I can get to myself and be a better version of myself.