**Trigger Warning: This post contains content on miscarriage and infant loss, which some readers may find distressing. Please be aware of your triggers and don’t read on if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.**
“You must be sooo over it by now!”
My protruding belly is the subject of all mindless supermarket and bump-into chit-chats.
“Oh you know, this is the easiest part!” Truly. It is. If you’re a mom, you get my drift.
Right now baby does not need to be changed, carried, fed, changed, dressed, undressed, changed, bathed, changed, rocked to sleep while I lose my mind.
I don’t have to figure out why she is crying, wear dodgy nursing bras or wake up for feeds and function on half a brain the rest of the day.
That’s why I never mind that my body likes to carry babies longer than the common 40 weeks.
It just feels so good knowing my baby is fully taken care of, all cozy and curled up and putting on weight, being knitted to perfection, with –almost- no effort on my part.
Image Credit: Emily Poole Gibbs Photography
But – there’s something else.
The real reason runs much deeper. I would never casually mention it, because it would be inappropriate.
I’ve experienced loss.
I know what it feels like to be betrayed by your own body, and what it’s like to announce to the world you are expecting only to lose that precious life a few days later.
Getting pregnant with my first and second was a breeze, so I had no reason to believe our 3rd attempt would be much different. Oh, but it was.
After 4 months of ‘trying’ I finally saw 2 lines and we were even able to announce face to face to my family in France, a few days before my brother got married. So dreamy!!
But on the last day of my visit, I start bleeding.
Just a little bit, and I think, this can happen.
Except it doesn’t stop.
All the way from France to Australia, alone with my 2 and 4 year old (Brett had gone back early for work) trying not to panic, telling myself there is no reason anything bad should happen. My body is a baby-making machine!
But the technician at the Emergency Department, a day later, turns the screen away from me, and mumbles something about needing more tests. The room is quiet. Too quiet. No woosh woosh, no ta-ka-tum like a horse racing, nothing.
I know then.
I’m one day short of 12 weeks and there should definitely be a strong, loud heartbeat. Instead, silence. Deafening silence.
I go home confused, in complete denial… The next day my lower back aches as I’m laying David down in his crib, and I think I must have carried him too much that day. But the pain intensifies over time, covering my lower back and abdomen, coming and going in waves…
I am horrified to realize I am in labor.
It is late, late that night, and I am scared. Brett is rubbing my back, and there is so much bleeding that I frantically call the hospital to know what I am supposed to do.
The nurse has a calm, sweet voice, calls me love, and again, I know. There is nothing to do. Heat packs and paracetamol… the pain will stop once it is over.
Sadly, that’s exactly what happens. I lose my tiny baby, sitting on the toilet… both bleeding and contractions stop instantly.
I am drenched in tears and I think we need to move out of this house because I will never be able to face that bathroom again. How can anyone lose a child this way? How does one go on after this?
The next few days are a whirlwind of confusion and sadness and shock. I cry a lot, I cry all the time.
But somehow, I quickly realize two things, truths I only knew in theory.
It rains on everyone. Doesn’t it? God also makes his sun shine on everyone, regardless of stories, merit, beliefs, age, gender, religion. Good or bad, you get rain and you get sun.
It seems so arbitrary and unfair and like a cold hard fact. Good or bad, you will experience the deepest sorrows and the most amazing joy.
The other truth is our bodies are broken. I know we hear that a lot on church pews. The whole sin thing, how it’s inevitable and influences the decisions we make.
But I hadn’t quite grasped until the loss of my very own baby how sin, since the Fall, has affected our entire bodies and souls.
I didn’t understand how sneaky and invisible our brokenness can be. Right down to the organs supposed to bring life, but fail miserably and bring loss instead. My body failed me three times just like that, letting go too soon of cells far from being finished. What a betrayal.
Yet something beautiful happened a couple of days after my miscarriage. My close friend J had been praying for me since I told her I was bleeding, and when I shared the news of my loss she dropped everything (her husband and children and all the unpacking after a weekend trip) and knocked on my front door.
I remember I was sweeping the kitchen floor, determined to keep it together. But the sound of her voice, and knowing the reason for her visit, was enough to make me fall apart.
We hugged, and I cried.
She was holding fresh flowers and chocolates and a box of tissues, and we just sat on the couch for hours. Talking, ugly crying, listening, letting silence envelop us.
She was soft and gentle and revisited her own pain, just to walk me through mine. And somehow, to see her sitting there, across from me on the couch, gave me hope for the future, like there must be a way out, if she was still alive and even able to sit with me. I could survive this ordeal.
And, amazingly, I have.
That’s why I am not, and never will be, ‘over it’.
I would carry babies for 12 months if that’s what it took to have a complete, healthy, finished, live person on the other side.
I am simply overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude. There is a small person being knitted in the dark, yet again, surprise baby number four.
A fresh young soul is forming, everything where it should be.
Life is truly a miracle.
Keren is a world traveler, wife and mother of 4 children -who keep her on her toes! In a past life she has worked as a Registered Nurse in pediatrics, Montessori assistant teacher, blog writer and French teacher. Her days are now filled with caring for her kids, managing two health and wellness communities -one in French and one for English speakers- as well as educating others in natural remedies and how to make everyday products using essential oils. Her favorite day is Sunday, when she gets to enjoy church community with her husband while kids are having a good time!