Last week, a mom in our community experienced one of our biggest fears, when she found out she had lost the baby she was carrying 3 weeks prior. At 16 weeks and 1 day, Myia sat down to try and write what she was feeling. Myia came to us with her words, hoping to share them with others; so somebody, someday, might feel less alone or scared or bewildered by reading them.Sometimes feeling less alone is everything.
We are honored to provide a place for Myia’s voice. Perhaps someone will find solace or comfort in Myia’s reflections of her loss. Perhaps someone will be reminded, we are all going through our own struggles & remember to be more kind and gentle to others. Coincidentally, October is Pregnancy Loss Awareness month – if you know someone who has suffered this loss, take a moment to reach out to them & let them know they are not alone.
My midwife and I spent over half an hour looking for a heartbeat. 16 weeks and 1 day. My last appointment, at 12 weeks, the heartbeat was so strong. The little baby actually moved around so much, we could hear it on the Doppler. Little rocket.
This is the type of week on your pregnancy app where your baby is getting so big; no longer a bean. It’s a pickle. A cucumber. A box of crayons. Being my third child, my belly was big. I would receive gracious comments from trained eyes, who could detect the round belly.
I’m already in the second trimester. We were only a few weeks away from finding out the gender. From seeing the baby on the screen. From being halfway through the pregnancy. The big milestone.
At 16 weeks and 1 day, it isn’t called a miscarriage.
For three weeks, I carried a baby with no heartbeat.
I have rewritten the following sentence many times, as I tried to find synonyms for the word. But that would defeat the purpose of the word. It is as raw and as real as the pain I feel.
For three weeks, I carried a dead baby.
A baby I loved. A baby whose bump I took photos of. A baby I had begun buying things for over the past month. I was expecting.
To add insult to injury, at 16 weeks and 1 day, I was told I would need to come up with $500 upfront for my D&C. When I asked what would happen if I wasn’t able to come up with the money, I was told I would have to wait until the miscarriage took a turn for the worse. Only then, would I be considered emergency enough to be taken care of at the emergency room. I was told I was already at the point where it was starting to become dangerous for my body to continue carrying the baby. But it wasn’t serious enough, until my life was literally at death’s door.
How the system hates women.
And I feel empty. I feel my womb empty. I feel like a shell.
An oyster who failed to curate the pearl; my inability to create and protect.
I know it’s not my fault. I know it’s not my body’s fault. But that doesn’t change the way I feel. And that is why I am writing this. Because I know there is someone reading this, who feels the same way.
It isn’t your fault either, but I know you feel like it is. I know you’re mad. And sometimes, you’re more angry than you’re even sad. It isn’t just about the why, it’s about how could I have done this. What could I have done differently.
The pressure I feel is not only in my uterus, it’s on my mind.
What is the path to healing?
I know a lot of mothers reading this probably have pasts similar to mine. Our coping mechanisms are not always the healthiest, we’ve been through trauma in our lives,, we’ve been through trauma as children and we have picked up bad habits along the way.
My coping mechanism has always been to shut down. To be angry. It’s fun to say, “fuck everything” on the Internet. You are applauded as being cool. But it isn’t fun to say, “fuck you” to your marriage or your kids. It isn’t cool to say fuck you to your body.
Now, I have to be conscious of my own healing, my own coping, as well as the three people depending on it. Three people whom I love and don’t want to shut out. I cannot sacrifice the love of three people, for the love I felt for one.
I have no concrete answers for everyone, except the path of healing must be through love. The love of my husband, my two other children, and the love of the 16 weeks I had my baby. And I am sure, through that, things will get better.
For all the arms that never got to be held, I love all of you.
Crunchy alternative mama of two, Myia spend her days with her two girls exploring nature in their state of Arizona and playing away. She is an advocate of free child lead play that usually involves a lot of mess. If she’s not with her children, she enjoys thrift store shopping, good coffee and books.