Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm not alone...

First of all I need to put a disclaimer on this post, it is going to be raw, it's going to be a bit graphic, and it may be a bit unsettling for those of you who have never experienced a miscarriage. That being said, I have struggled with sharing this, I am going to be honest in a way I am not comfortable, but I feel strongly called to do so, because my goal is to break the taboos associated with pregnancy loss, and let others know they are not alone.
I remember being told "I hope you don't have to have a D&C," and so I kept praying I wouldn't have to undergo this procedure, until the day I passed my baby. I was going to the bathroom, and as I looked down at the pad I was wearing I saw a clot, which is not unusual when you have a natural miscarriage, but this one was different, the coloring was not the same. As I looked closer, I realized the strange color was tissue, that what I was looking at was not just a blood clot, what I was seeing was a tiny, fully intact, fetus enclosed in a sac, just like the pictures I had seen in all of the pregnancy books. In that moment I wished I had had the D&C, I wished that I was not seeing what I knew I was.
It was unsettling to say the least, I had no idea what to do, so I quickly rolled that pad up and threw it away. My heart still breaks a little when I think about those few minutes I spent in the bathroom with my baby. I have spent a lot of time beating myself up over the fact that my baby was so unceremoniously disposed of, to this day, I wish I had had more clarity in that moment, to do things differently. I kept this secret for a while, but one day it became too much. I tearfully apologized to my husband for throwing our baby away, expecting him to hate me as much as I hated myself for this act, but he just held me. He told me he wasn't angry, and as I tried to convince him that he should be, he told me there was nothing I could do and that I needed to forgive myself.
There are times I have heard stories of moms who were able to save their baby and have a little memorial and burial, and I felt like the worst mother in the world for not doing the same for my baby. In meeting other angel mommies, though, I found that I was not alone in my actions or regrets, and this eased my pain some. It was comforting to know that I was not the only woman who had been so emotionally overwhelmed that she literally had no clue what to do, that the only thought she had was "I cannot possibly be looking at my baby right now, this cannot be happening!"
I am still working on totally forgiving myself, but I am coming to terms with what happened, and the sting isn't so acute. I am constantly reminding myself that what I saw was merely the earthly shell my child wore, that she no longer resided there, that the soul of who she is had already been born into heaven.