October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Never did it cross my mind that this day would be something I would be a part of.

I don’t think anyone thinks they’ll be a part of it but the reality is 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage. Why don’t we know this? Why didn’t I know this? It’s not a subject anyone wants to discuss but knowing that this is common is something women need to know. Us ‘1 in 4’s’ need to know it’s not our fault, we didn’t cause it. It’s “normal.” As terrible as that sounds. I want to share an open letter I wrote for women who have had the unfortunate chance of being the ‘1 in 4.’

Haven Breann, Jayden Patrick.

The names of the ones I have lost. I won’t ever forget all the debating going back and forth over those names with my partner and family members. In the end, I won, of course.

The only thing I won was pain. I didn’t know I could experience so much pain. I had never lost anyone close to me before and for some reason, they had to be the first. To teach me a lesson I wondered? Was I being punished for something I did that I can’t seem to remember? I tried to think of what I did to deserve this sentence. Was there a jury and judge present in my womb at the very time their hearts stopped beating? Did they rule that I wasn’t to be allowed a gift so exquisite? I wondered what was on the case file. If only I had a chance to speak up for myself and testify why I deserved them in my life. I would surely be held in contempt of court.

I was almost positive it was my fault that I had the miscarriage. My body had betrayed me. The one magical thing my body is supposed to be able to do is to give life and it couldn’t even do that. I separated my mind from my body and hated my body. “Traitor” is what I saw when I looked in the mirror. Enemy, useless, waste. I didn’t realize I could hate myself so much. My body didn’t even know the babies weren’t alive anymore. Didn’t realize til 2 weeks after the removal surgery. I had pregnancy symptoms the whole time. Stupid body. Now that I look back at that time, I wonder if my body just didn’t want to face the reality that it wasn’t a home anymore. It was an empty nest, struggling to grasp on to the idea that it wasn’t nurturing life anymore.

I had to endure a week knowing the tiny babies in my stomach weren’t living anymore. I saw myself as a walking tomb that week. Knowing they were in me still, never left my mind. I almost didn’t want to get them taken out, at least inside me they were safe. I was mentally preparing myself for the brutal mutilation I would have to experience once the surgery day came. I clung to the calming idea that I would at least be asleep during the procedure. The joke was on me, last minute they told me I would have to be awake. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t bear witness to the destruction of my babies. Front row seat to my own personal hell. It didn’t feel real, being in that room with 3 strangers. One holding my hand, one off to the side watching, one torturing me from the inside out. I cried the entire time. It was their birth and funeral all in one.

I hugged that urn; kissed it.

Eventually, months later, I got the ashes.

In the tiniest urn. Feeling the miniscule weight of the ashes in my hand, knowing this was supposed to be 2 babies, crushed me. I hugged that urn kissed it. It now sits on my dresser surrounded by all the roses my partner has ever given me. It took me a long long time to forgive myself for an act I never committed. A long time to realize it wasn’t my fault. I couldn’t keep blaming myself for what had happened. Even though I never got the chance to hold them both or marvel at their utter presence, I am still thankful I got the little time with them that I did. Or at least I am still trying to feel that way.

No one understands the pain we go through losing life inside of us.

Talk to your partner, they are grieving too.

No one understands the pain we go through losing life inside of us. I want you all to know that it is okay to mourn. It is okay to talk about it and share with your loved ones the demented thoughts that keep going through your mind. They can help you talk yourself off that mental ledge. Help you stop blaming yourself. Don’t keep it to yourself. Write out your pain, write a letter to your baby. They will hear it. Talk to your partner, they are grieving too. They don’t know what you need, they may be scared to bring it up, don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend it never happened. Don’t pretend it’s not a big deal. Please don’t hate yourself for something none of us can control. You will come out of this, this isn’t the end for you.

It has been almost a year since this tragic event happened to me, and looking back over this year I can’t believe how much my mindset has changed. I dug myself out of a deep self-hate hole that I put myself into. I came to realize regardless, I am still me, I am still here. I can’t give up, I was given this experience for a reason and I think that reason is so I can share it with you all. Maybe this will help you realize that after all that pain, you WILL come out of it and be yourself again.

Even stronger.

#IHaveFootprintsOnMyHeart

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