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Nearly 7 years ago, I was blissfully pregnant with my second child. We were in that scary first 12 weeks, that is sort of like the ‘if I am good enough I get to have the baby’ test. Well, I guess I wasn’t good enough, because I drove myself to the hospital just before the 12 week mark, at night, bleeding, hoping against all hope that I could keep the baby. While I was still technically pregnant, I was losing my baby. There was still a chance the bleeding would stop, and that I could keep my baby. I just had to wait and see. I was scheduled for blood tests in a couple of days. Those were long, hopeful and at the same time sad and scary days. At the end of that wait, with all of the stupid things people say regarding miscarriage on repeat in my head, I was told The Best Advice I Received After Having A Miscarriage.
The Best Advice I Received After Having A Miscarriage
My sister came with me to my blood test appointment, where they measure the amount of ‘pregnancy hormone’ in your system. She looked after and hung out with my little girl while I had blood drawn and awaited the news. My biggest fear was confirmed. My baby didn’t make it. My tiny, sweet little baby was taken from me, and we didn’t even get a chance to meet. It was punishment for something, and it hurt. It hurt my heart, it hurt my soul. I cried out to my sister across the entire lobby of the hospital, “I lost the baby!” On the way home from that appointment I tried to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to my daughter, as was our way, but I just couldn’t get the words out. I had a perpetual lump in my throat, and the place I was in was dark and lonely and sad. I couldn’t speak without bawling. I couldn’t think without punishing myself, and I couldn’t do anything but feel pity for myself and my loss. I suffered real and tragic loss, and in hindsight, I was likely in shock.
Even though it has been 7 years since it happened, news from a friend today has sent me back in time a short while. I didn’t go there to wallow, or to feel sorry for myself, I went there because I thought I would be able to bring something useful back. And I did. I brought back the best advice I could ever have hoped for.
The kind and caring words from my doctor
My Doctor recognized my extreme sensitivity to this sad sad news, and understood that I felt that this wasn’t just a fetus that wasn’t going to develop properly. To me this was a baby that died. To me this was my baby that died, that I wouldn’t get to hold, or even see. A baby that didn’t have a chance to be loved by me. My Doctor told me, to “Go through the sadness. Allow yourself to be sad, and don’t fight it.”
Grief is a strange part of life, and it is a cycle that will not be short cut. It cuts deep, it hits hard, and rolls over you with bone crushing waves. You need to just go through it, and come out on the other side. If you don’t fight it too hard, it will be easier to heal when you are ready.
The true and awesome words only a sister has the guts to say
My Sister, like most sisters, probably knows me better than anybody else in the world, and advice from her is always living and honest. She knew what was happening in my soul and in my spirit. She knew that I was punishing myself for not being able to keep the baby. She knew that I was looking at it as some sort of retribution. And her advice was stern, “You have 24 hours. You have 24 hours to feel guilty, to question every single thing you have done in the past twelve weeks. Everything you ate, did, thought, smelled and wore. And then that’s it. This is not your fault. You know it, I know it, and that sweet baby knows it. When your 24 hours is up, you can feel sad, and you can cry, but you can not feel guilty.”
My sister’s advice acknowledged and allowed me to validate my feelings, without getting lost in them, but she also acknowledged that I lost my baby. Not a fetus, not something that wasn’t meant to be, not something that was better off this way.
People say all kinds of stupid things when they are faced with things they don’t understand, or they can’t quite grasp. I also know that not everyone has a sister like mine to be their champion, or a doctor as kind and understanding as mine, so that is why I am sharing their words with you.
If you are going through this, I won’t tell you I know how you are feeling right now. But please know that my heart is with you. The pain you are feeling is real, and you have every right to feel it.
All my love. Evelyne
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