What people don’t seem to get about Miscarriage is that it isn’t just something that happens to you.
It happens inside of you. You are an unwilling participant in your babies death the entire time; and there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening.
Painkillers don’t work because it isn’t the physical pain that is making you feel like your entire body is being cleaved in two, although the phusical pain was like nothing I can describe; your heart is what is in agony the entire time, as you are made to feel like a hopeless onlooker in regards to what is happening to you. To them. Right inside if your body.
The self same space that was supposed to grow and nurture and birth doesn’t. There is nothing impersonal about Miscarriage. You can’t get away from it. You and your body are inherently a part of the eintire awful process from beginning to end. To steal the phrase from fellow mother @theparadoxmummy you ‘participate’. You are forced to participate in the death of the life that was once growing inside if you. I would have given anything for it to have stopped. To have had it over and done with without any participation, but I couldn’t. I was irrovicably ensnared.
Although I would give my soul to have been able to stop the process of my miscarriage, and while I see Emmet very surely as having had a life. I also understand because of this the desire to remove one. Pregnancy is invasive, personal. Your body is no longer just your own. I can see how, if such a life was uwanted, that the desire to terminate would not be unthinkable. So while I talk about life, do not think that I talk about my son in the same breath as I would think about the life of my newborn niece. I recognise that they are different. Emmet never had life as Skye has life. Whatever his life would have been it would not have been as hers is. It would not be without pain, and while I eventually welcomed the intrusion of pregnancy into my body, I was never able to embrace it fully as I now wish I had.
Hindsight is a wonderful and terrible thing. I long to have met my son, to hold him. To kiss and to show the world, but also, I don’t. For any life he would have had was almost certainly destined to contain pain, how do you equate that knowledge while also acknowledging that there is nothing you wouldn’t give to have them back?
Simply put, you cannot. I cannot align the desire to have him back with the knowledge that he would be at so high a risk of living each day in pain.
Every time I wish he was with me, every time I say ‘I want my son back’ I cannot bring the two things together in my mind. I am not glad to have lost him, but I am glad he did not live a life as I have lived a life. I am glad he was spared while I was not, yet at the same time I would do anything to have changed the outcome.
I wonder if he had lived, would I still be battling this war with myself? Would it have been decided when I saw him for the first time that it was worth it? Or would I have to re-evaluate later, as he grew? Would his joints bow as mine have done? Would he slowly change from a straight skeleton to one irrevocably flawed as mine did, his joints and ligaments unable to bear the weight of a growing body? What would I regret then?
My mother once told me that if she had been told that I would have had such a premature difficult birth, with so many complications, and if she had been told about how my life would be now that she would have terminated. I do not see it as a slight on my person or a lack if love on her part. I understood completely. She did not have the genetic tests for my brother, (what little existed then), because of this, because she didn’t want that choice.
She had one daughter who fought the odds she said, and wouldn’t have changed anything, and so, knowing what she would have done had she known, chose not to know the next time.
I have made the choice not to have any more biological children for that reason. I unlike my mother, cannot escape knowing.
Emmet is the first and last. This genetic flaw. This awful mutation that I now carry. That ends with me. Perhaps it will resurface later, with nieces or nephews or cousins. But not with my line. Not from me.
I have that knowledge, I had that knowledge before I was pregnant. And I had that knowledge while I was pregnant.
I miss him every day. I will grieve his loss every day. And I will fight with every breath to ensure that people at least try to understand the life that is life after loss.
I will speak out so that others who cannot themselves are heard. I speak out for my Godmothers, my Grandmother, for every other woman I know who has suffered the devastation of baby loss, and every man who is silent. I speak out because I need people to understand that baby loss is not just something that happens.
It is personal, inescapable, and you participate in that process, in that grief for every day after it happens until the day you die. I am not finding that my grief has lessened. It has grown both easier to carry and harder to bear. Every day you learn how to cope and every day you are faced with more milestones and should have beens and could have beens. Every day I grieve more for what we have lost together, as a family, and yet, it also gets easier. It is a paradox, it is both easier to go in every day and find a new normal, and yet, grief seems to be amplified by every milestone left forever un-reached.
He will never wear his hat or his little crochet boots. We will not get to take him to the zoo. You not only have to participate in the loss but in every single day afterwards as well.
This is personal. Inescapable. This is babyloss and its aftermath.
Love and support always,
Surviving Miscarriage Together.