Several days after Noah was born I wrote the whole story in my journal. Someday I hope to type it all up as a complete narrative to share. After I wrote the story, I also made a list of things I’d learned. Except for occasional additional notes in brackets, this list is verbatim from what I wrote 3 days post-miscarriage:
- I need to take care of myself—it is important.
- I have good coping skills.
- I am strong and brave and powerful.
- I can trust my body.
- I have an amazing husband.
- I have amazing parents.
- I have wonderful, fabulous friends.
- Midwives are amazing.
- To be grateful, humbled, and awed by the kindnesses of others.
- Home miscarriage is important for the same reasons as home birth.
- This was a birth experience.
- I could have an unassisted birth–I did have one, just not full-term.
- I wouldn’t have died in pioneer Idaho after L was born…probably didn’t need Pitocin then after all [this one needs some explanation beyond what was originally in my journal—I have a tendency to overthink things and something that bothered me about my first son’s birth is that I had “sequestered clots” and a pitocin shot after he was born. I kept thinking that I could have done the whole thing myself—even if I had been born a pioneer woman in Idaho—save that Pitocin shot. So, then I wondered if I would have died frome excessive bleeding in pioneer Idaho…do other people think things like this or is it just a special neurosis of mine?!]
- I’m glad I knew already to name him and take pictures and keep mementos and what “normal” grief is like (well, at least what grief is like to read about).
- I’m a good enough mom and that is good enough.
- Maybe I’m a pretty good person after all and people actually DO like me.
- This was another journey/rite of passage.
- The only way to do it is go through it.
- I will have a piece of sadness in my heart forever and that’s okay.
- I love my baby.
- I can lose WAY more blood than I ever thought possible and still be okay.
- It is apparently normal for me to clot copiously after birth [the tons of clots is what led to pitocin after my first baby, this time I had clots the size of grapefruits and survived without any intervention for them]
- I do not feel like I “lost” my baby. I feel like my baby died and I let him go.
- I trust the wisdom of my body.
- I don’t know if I could ever do this again—I hope I never have to.
- I will have tiny footprints on my heart forever.
- When tested, I rise.
Then, earlier this month I was driving into town for a workshop and I was thinking about how we almost decided NOT to have a third baby in the first place and if we had made that decision, how I would still be clueless about miscarriage and also unaware of the feelings that go with it and all the experiences that I have had since November. I then realized that if I had to go back and start all over again without being able to change the outcome, I would still choose to have been pregnant with Noah and to have given birth to him like I did, rather than to have “spared” myself the pain and the knowledge. It has actually been a growth experience for me.
I feel like all of my children have been good for my soul—like I’d be a less “evolved” person if I hadn’t had them! I feel like my first son caused me to grow. My second son caused me to open—to bloom/expand. And Noah, my third son, deepened me.