Friday, September 19, 2014

Miscarriage: The Forbidden Word

You're not supposed to talk about it, and it feels almost forbidden. As if talking about it will jinx things or somehow call attention to your existence and you'll find it choosing you. It's like a real life monster or boogie man for adult women. It makes you feel like prey when you're at your most vulnerable, and you never want that barrel trained towards you. But then it happens, it does point your way, and for a brief moment it feels like your life is going to end.

You can't breathe, and it feels like the floor is falling away beneath you while the walls are closing in on you. There is so much emotional and physical pain, and you feel like you might get washed away and drown in a sea of your own tears. It isn't supposed to be this way, it was supposed to be happiness and light and laughter, the beauty and celebration of new life.

Why doesn't anyone talk about miscarriage? I realize that it's a very personal subject, and makes some people extremely uncomfortable, but it makes it even more difficult to deal with when women going through it think that they are the only ones. The thing is, we aren't the only ones. You are not the only one who feels like you've failed. You're not the only one who feels horribly devastated. You're not the only one who excitedly calculated her due date the second she saw that positive pregnancy test, and dreamed up names for the little one she thought she was going to hold in 9 months.

You're not alone. It happened to me too. My first pregnancy happened like a fairy tale dream. I wanted a baby, so we made one. I had the easiest and most fun pregnancy, and gave birth to the healthiest little boy, so naturally I took it for granted that we could do it again the same way. Unfortunately it just doesn't always work that way.

If you look up the statistics, they say that 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but my OB informed me that the number is more realistically 1 in 3. If you think about it, that is a lot of women having miscarriages and yet nobody talks about it. You absolutely know multiple women who have lived through them, I can guarantee.

I miscarried at 9 weeks, and I had what is called an incomplete miscarriage. After 16 days of bleeding I still hadn't naturally passed all the pregnancy material (such a disgusting term), so I had to go in for a D&C (dilation & curettage). My experience has felt like a nightmare that keeps dragging on. I just wanted it to be over and done with, I didn't need a constant reminder every time I went to the bathroom.

So now I am healing, physically and emotionally. You don't have to feel sorry for me, but please know that you can live through it and there have been so many of us in the same situation. You are not alone.

I knew that becoming a mother would be the hardest thing I had ever undertaken, but I never anticipated how strong and powerful it would make me feel to live through such a traumatic experience. Miscarrying my second baby only reinforced my love and appreciation for my healthy and incredibly sweet and energetic first born. Children are miracles, as my friend Junko told me.

To memorialize my second pregnancy, I now wear a crescent moon around my neck. It's to signify the natural process of the waxing and waning of the moon. I may be a crescent moon right now, but I don't doubt that I will be a full one once again.

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