Reflecting On Pregnancy Loss
He looked over at the table where our two children sat, “Do you ever imagine what it would be like if that table was full over there?”
At first I didn’t grasp his meaning.
And then he continued, “You know, if the three babies we lost were sitting at that table too. Do you ever imagine what that would be like if they were all here—5 in total?”
This caught me completely off guard and I immediately started tearing up.
My husband doesn’t talk about those three babies a lot. In fact, it’s easy to assume that I carried the majority of that pain. But in that moment, I felt incredibly connected with him. Connected to my children, to the ones I have with me and the ones I’ve lost. Which is a rare moment… when I feel us all connected at the same time.
Meghan Markle recently released an article articulating her experience with pregnancy loss and I couldn’t help but feel empathy for her. Anyone who has suffered this unimaginable loss knows that you immediately feel connected to another who has gone through the same thing. It becomes this quiet pact; where if you’ve experienced the same thing, you can’t help but say, “Hey, I’ve been through that too.” Because it’s a loss that feels completely isolating and vast and never ending.
I felt the largest brunt of that pain with my first loss. I was consumed with depression, and it took me months to even call it that. I was quiet about the loss at first… and then I began to tell everyone who would listen, word vomiting my story, really, in order to feel some sort of connection to my lost baby and our experience.
After you experience a loss like that every pregnancy after is different. You guard yourself, afraid to let yourself hope, afraid to give that baby too much love, to give him or her too much of a future because you’re scared that it will shatter at any moment.
You get angry when you see expectant mothers glowing as they shop for their bundle of joy. Jealous when you see new mothers pushing strollers down the sidewalk with a smile on their face. You want to scream at women who get pregnant by “accident” and complain about not feeling well.
I’ve been pregnant 5 times, but only have two children here with me today.
My first baby would have been 8 years old. And the other two would have been 6 and 5. I lost the first one at 12 weeks and the next two both around 6 weeks.
For the most part I’ve moved on with my life. How can you not? But then I’ll have moments like the one I just shared where it feels like yesterday. Suddenly all the memories flood in with speed and clarity...
When the doctor told me that there was no heartbeat. When the contractions started coming. When I spotted the beginning of blood flow. The never-ending tears and my husband's face searching and not knowing what to do.
I have lost more babies than I have been able to keep… and this something that will always startle me.