Tag Archives: miscarriage

Noah’s Birth Story (Miscarriage Story)

Since today is my due date (and also my own birthday), I wanted to take a minute to share Noah’s full birth story. I wrote it in my journal on November 10 (he was born Nov. 7) and have had it next to my computer to be typed up ever since that date. Finally, this weekend I typed it up. I have mentioned that I feel the need to “close out” my pregnancy with him—almost like I’ve continued to be a “little bit pregnant” and it is time to close that “pregnancy” and to move on. Not to forget or to stop talking about it, but to acknowledge that NOW I “shouldn’t” be pregnant anymore. I felt almost driven this weekend to finally finish typing the story so that I could publish it on this day. Of course, I expected to have a different sort of birth story to share on this day (or somewhere around now), but this is what our story actually is (very long—I broke it into three chunks to make it a little easier to skim through if necessary):

Beginning—Finding Out

On Wednesday evening, November 4, at 14 weeks 2 days pregnant with my third baby, I had an appointment with a prospective midwife. I have not written much about this experience, because I did not want her to come across it online and feel badly. The short version is that the visit was like a “fear bath”—it was pretty intense the level of fear and “what ifs” she kept throwing out there, as well as personal insecurities. Also, she used the phrase, “you’re going to have a dead baby” at least five times during the conversation (said in reference to comments people make TO her regarding attending homebirths, however, the words made me want to curl protectively around MY baby and reassure him. And, given the way the rest of our story unfolded, in hindsight her words felt prophetic—or, like she cursed me!). When I left the fear bath, I had a headache. I woke the next morning feeling like my uterus hurt. I also became aware of contraction-like sensations coming every three minutes but only lasting about five seconds each. I lay down and rested until time for playgroup. By playgroup I was down to just uterus aching/hurting feelings, plus a low back ache. I talked to my friends Summer and Trisha about it and Summer reassured me and rubbed my belly, “your baby is strong and healthy.”

Thursday evening (November 5), I started to feel concerned. The contraction-like feeling was back. At 3:00 a.m. (my nightly wake-up time throughout the pregnancy to date) I got up to sit on the couch. I tried to be positive and think about a “bubble of peace” surrounding us and I also repeated to myself, “you are strong and healthy, your baby is strong and healthy.” I felt like I felt the baby move a little then and felt a little reassured. I had decided earlier that perhaps I had a UTI and that was what was causing the crampy feelings to come and go (urinary frequency also). I ended up throwing up later in the morning and was reassured by presence of morning sickness still. Between 3-5:00 a.m., I started to spot a little, but only when wiping. After seeing this, I began to feel extremely worried and scared. Spotting continued lightly in morning and I called a semi-local midwife to see if I could come and try to listen for a heartbeat. She was on her way to Montana however, so I made an appointment with t he nurse-practitioner at my doctor’s office for 2:45 that afternoon. I called my mom and my friend and rested in bed, waiting and worrying and repeating my healthy baby mantras.

I went ahead and packed for my class, then took the kids to Summer’s house and went to the doctor’s office, crossing my fingers that the diagnosis would be a UTI—I strongly felt it was going to be either-or, but it turned out to be both 😦 The NP said my urine looked infected and I felt my hope restored a bit. I truly thought the baby was going to be okay. She sent us downstairs for an ultrasound at 3:30. Though I tried to be hopeful, it was clear from the ultrasound tech’s non-communication that it was bad news. She didn’t show us the screen and I wish now that I would have asked to see it. I stared at the light in the ceiling and held onto my goddess of Willendorf necklace and to Mark’s hand. She clicked around with kind of a frown on her face and then finished and stood up. I said, “not good news?” and she said, “no, not good news,” put a box of tissues down said, “take as long as you need” and left. I told Mark that I couldn’t “do this” here and so we went back up to the NP and she confirmed (obliquely) that baby was dead. She said the tech said it was probably a fairly recent loss and that it was low in my uterus and my cervix was starting to dilate, so I would probably “pass it” this weekend. I felt like she expected me to be crying and I told her that I needed to “process” at home, not here. I called the college to cancel my class and that is when I started crying—I had to say the words, “I just found out I’m having a miscarriage.”

We went to Wal-Mart to pick up antibiotics for the UTI and I cried in the car while Mark went in. Then, to the post office to mail an ebay package. Again, I stayed in the car crying and wailing almost in my anguish, “MY BABY!” We got the kids from Summer’s and I cried in her arms briefly.

Mom brought over dinner in sympathy/empathy. I was still feeling some crampiness/uterus ache and that eased after dinner. I sat and read my miscarriage books—I had four on my shelf already, one from my time at RMHC and the others from my childbirth educator training. I talked with Mark for a while. I kept saying that I didn’t feel ready to let go and also that I didn’t know HOW to do this—should I walk around and try to get “labor” going or what? Decided to go to bed…

Birth

I woke at 1:00 a.m. (November 7) with contractions. I got up to use the bathroom and then walked around in the kitchen briefly, talking to the baby and telling him it was time for us to let go of each other—“I need to let go of you and you need to let go of me.” I looked at the clock and said to go ahead and come out at 3:00—“let’s get this done by 3:00.” I had woken every night at 3:00 a.m. throughout my pregnancy for no discernible reason and had said several times previously, “I’ll bet this means the baby is going to be born at 3:00!” (but in MAY, not November). I knelt on the futon by the bathroom door in child’s pose. I said again that I didn’t know HOW I was going to do this, but my body does. I realized that I needed to treat this like any other labor. I changed into soft, stretchy gray pants, leaving behind my pajama pants that felt too tight across the middle while crouching forward. These pants were Summer’s water-breaking pants—when she lent me her maternity clothes she said the only thing she was attached to getting back were these gray pants because her water had broken in them. I felt like they would be good energy birth pants. I was more comfortable right away upon changing into them. My contractions picked up to about 3 minutes apart and were just like with a full-term baby—starting in the back and spreading to a peak in the front. Mark rubbed my back and I talked to myself as I leaned forward in child’s pose with my head on my arms. I was going to “laborland”—that altered state of consciousness place of a birthing woman. I realized the only was to do it was to go through it. I asked Mark for my goddess pendant to wear (the one he gave me as a “happy new baby!” present in August when we found out I was pregnant). I held her and stared at my Trust Birth bracelet (and felt the irony). I had already put on my birth bracelet from Zander’s blessingway to help me feel strong.

When I was still having the “HOW?” questions, other women that I knew who had experienced miscarriage started to come to mind and I knew I could do it too. I told myself that I had to do what I had to do. I said out loud, “let go, let go, let go.” I said I was okay and “my body knows what to do.” The afternoon I found out the baby died, I’d received a package that included a little lavender sachet as a free gift with my order. When my labor began, for some reason I wanted the sachet and held and smelled it throughout the experience. As I chanted to myself, “let go, let go, let go,” I smelled my sachet (later, I read in one of my miscarriage books that in aromatherapy lavender is for letting go). I also told myself, “I can do it, I can do it” and “I’m okay, I’m okay.” I felt like I should get more upright and though it was very difficult to move out of the safety of child’s pose, I got up onto my knees and felt a small pop/gush. I checked and it was my water breaking. The water was clear and a small amount. I was touched that now these gray pants were my water-breaking pants too, but I was also worried about messing them up. I asked Mark to get me my leftover disposable undies from Zander’s birth and put them on (SO glad I still had them!) I went back into child’s pose and reminded myself to open and let go.

Contractions continued fairly intensely and I continue to talk myself through them while Mark rubbed my back. I coached myself to rise again and after I sat back on my heels, I felt a warm blob leave my body. I put my hand down and said, “something came out. I need to look, but I’m scared.” Then, “I can do it, I can do it,” I coached myself and went into the bathroom to check (it was extremely important to me not to have the baby on the toilet). I saw that it was a very large blood clot. I was a little confused and wondered if we were going to have to “dissect” the clot looking for the baby. Then I had another contraction and, standing with my knees slightly bent, our baby slipped out. It was 3:00. He landed face up on the clot with his arms raised over his head. I said, “Oh! It’s our baby!” and kind of shut my pants. Then, I opened them again and looked at him. He was clean and pink, about four inches in size, and well-formed with eyelids, nostrils, closed mouth, fingers, and toes.  I felt something else and saw his little cord—I showed Mark—it was spiraled like a big one, but thinner than a piece of yarn. It broke then and a whole bunch of clots came out and nearly covered the baby. His head and one arm were showing only.

No longer worried about having the baby on the toilet, I sat down on it then and took off my birth pants, feeling worried about getting blood on them (I didn’t get a drop on them though!). I tried to clean the baby off and wanted to check his gender and take some time to look at him, but he felt so soft and rubbery that I was extremely worried I was going to damage him. His mouth came open when I touched his face and I was stunned beyond words at the complexity of having a working jaw—this was a very developed little person and the magnitude of that complexity of development was unbelievable.

Then we had to set him aside to continue to deal with me. More clots came out then and I started to feel faint when I stood. I said I had to lie down and laid on the futon and smelled my lavender until I revived. I asked Mark for fizzy drink (Emergenc-C), which in hindsight I think I should have taken because I’ve read that too much Vitamin C can prolong bleeding—however, in my incredibly large collection of pregnancy and birth books, I could find NOTHING that would help me physically cope with a miscarriage in progress—no self-care suggestions, ideas of things to drink or eat. Nothing. I had Mark bring me various midwifery books and laid there bleeding and looking through them desperate to find some kind of ideas. I told him, “I’m going to write a book about this someday!” (and I am). I also had him bring me some Arnica and Rescue Remedy and later some Nux Vomica (which was in one of my books).

As I was lying there thinking about how to assess blood loss, I was also thinking about how in so many ways this had strangely been the birth I planned for, just not at the right time. And, that it was very much a birth, not “just a miscarriage.” The birth was unassisted—just my husband and me—the baby was born at a little after 3:00 in the morning, just as I had thought he would be, I had my futon “nest” on the floor as I had planned, and instead of trying to take a shower and clean up, I’d laid down when I felt I needed to. I was also thinking about how I felt good that I’d done it myself and that we’d given our baby a respectful and gentle and strong birth at home. I reflected on the similar endorphin-rush, “I did it! What an amazing person am I!” feelings I also had following my previous full-term births. In the midst of these thought processes, I was amused to notice the thought, “I obviously need to get into extreme sports!” There are probably lots easier ways to feel an endorphin rush and sense of physical prowess than in giving birth!

My contractions continued fiercely and I lost my “cool” then—after having the baby, I felt like it was “over” (the birth part anyway) and so my coping skills/altered state of consciousness diminished also—and just started saying, “ow, ow, OW!” over and over. I also said, “this is good! I’m doing good! My body is doing good work” (i.e. with my uterus clamping down and finishing up the process). This went on for some time and I kept feeling little gushes of blood with each contraction. I had Mark call my mom and dad to see if my dad could come check my blood pressure and pulse. They came and both stats were normal. Continued to have pain and to say OW and my mom suggested that perhaps getting up and using the bathroom would help. When I sat on the toilet, a giant grapefruit-sized clot came out. I immediately felt better and went to sit in a chair in the living room after that.  I had felt faint and woozy again with clot-viewing, but in the chair I felt like I was “coming back” and out of the woods after that clot was gone. Ate some cheese and crackers and drank some tea and more fizzy drink and later a pudding cup. Continued to feel contractions and little gushes of blood with each of them. Started to feel a little concerned about it and knew I had most definitely lost more than two cups of blood. Much more. More than both other kids combined.

I asked my parents if they wanted to see the baby and they went and looked at him and cried and cried. I got up to use the bathroom again and another grapefruit and some oranges came out. When I stood to pull up my pants, I held toilet paper to me to keep blood from dripping onto my clothes and when I did, blood came welling up and over the tissue and onto my fingers. My vision started to darken and I heard loud ringing in my ears and my family helped me back to sit in the chair. I felt thisclose to “going under” and sniffed my lavender desperately and put my head to my knees. Recovered a little bit, but still felt as if I was fading as well as losing more blood. I was completely white. No color. I could not differentiate any longer if I was “just fainting” or dying, so we decided I needed to go in. I said I was sad to go because I felt like I was proud of how I’d handled everything myself and that I had been strong, but that it is also strong to know when to ask for help and that I needed to go. It was around 8:00 a.m. at this point. The kids had woken up and we left them with my dad and my mom drove us to the emergency room. I laid in the back seat and hummed the song Woman Am I over and over again so that they would know I was still alive. I briefly thought about how I had so much more to do before I died and hoped it wasn’t time yet. I also thought how ironic it was that it was going to be birth that killed me. I expected at least a blood transfusion, but the hospital was fairly nonchalant about the whole thing and acted like everything was normal. I smelled my lavender and felt better almost as soon as we were there.

Aftermath—ER/Placenta

The ER staff was very casual and asked all the usual intake questions and a doctor came in to check me. She said, “this is very common. It is just natural selection,” which ranks as perhaps the very LEAST helpful thing to say to someone experiencing such an intense physical and emotional event (and, I beg to differ about “common,” since only about 1% of pregnancies end after 12 weeks). She tried to do a bimanual exam but couldn’t feel my cervix because of all the blood clots in the way and so had to do a more painful and traumatic exam using a speculum that I do not feel like writing more about because I do not want to give any space to her non-caring treatment and lack of compassion. She said the placenta was about 75% through the cervix and that was why the continued bleeding. She said I was not hemorrhaging (in sort of a, “you’re so silly and overreacting” tone) and that she expected the placenta would come out soon on its own. I was given a bag of fluids via IV, which again caused me to nearly “go under” and become completely white—vision darkening, ears ringing—the nurse seemed more understanding then of why we had come in, asking Mom and Mark, “is this how she looked when you decided to bring her in?” After the hour or so with the IV, I got up to use the bathroom. I asked first to use a commode in the room so we could see the placenta and was told to just use the regular bathroom, where the “placenta” came out, only to be whisked away by the automatic flushing action before I could see it (it was NOT the placenta however. The placenta came out six days later). Bleeding did immediately lessen then. The doctor checked me again and said my cervix was closed and there were no more clots. She gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and for pain medication. We went to Wal-Mart for the scripts and then home. Getting home was HARD. Everything reminded me of what had just happened and Mark and I both cried and cried. Then slept.

My dad took the baby home to clean him up for us as well as provided a walnut Shaker box to bury him in. My mom crocheted a liner for the box and a matching blanket for the baby. I woke up at around 3:00 in the afternoon and started to collect things to add to the box. Mark and I talked about names for the baby. We thought perhaps the gender-neutral, Noa, based on a stillbirth dream I had had many years before in which we named the baby Noah. While Mark dug a hole by one of our cedar trees, I got a 2009 penny to put in the box, a purple goddess of Willendorf bead from Zander’s blessingway, one of my scrabble tile catch-your-own-baby birth power pendants, a rock and a shell from Pismo Beach, a picture of the boys, one of my womb labyrinth postcards, a hat I had crocheted, and my last “women healing the earth” postcard. Mark cut a sprig of our lavender to add. My parents came back at sunset with the boys. My dad asked if we wanted to know the baby’s gender and of course we did. He told us it was male. My mom added and elephant bead to the box and my dad had made a bead out of a log from their house. He split the bead in half so the two halves fit together—half to stay with me and half to go in the baby’s box.

I had chosen three readings from Singing the Living Tradition. I read the naming reading and since we now knew he was a boy, we announced the baby’s name was Noah after my previous dream. I read the other readings and the kids wanted to see the baby, so we all looked at him—he was much smaller than when he was first born (my dad measured him at 3.5 inches). Then, we put his box into the hole and each added a handful of dirt and said, “bye bye, baby” and cried and cried some more. (I have written more about the ceremony in these posts.)

I did not feel as if I had “lost” my baby, I felt like he died and I let him go.

“There is no footprint so small that it does not leave an imprint on the world,” or on his mother’s heart.

Advertisements

Courage Ritual for Miscarriage/Mizuko Ceremony

Here are two readings that I plan to do as part of a “courage” ritual for an upcoming ceremony (I am using them for a miscarriage/mizuko ceremony that we are having shortly after my due date with Noah, but I think they would also work well for a mother blessing ceremony/blessingway). We are going to plant a tulip tree purchased with the gift certificate my church bought for us for that purpose. Under the tulip tree I am going to bury the embryo from my second miscarriage as well as the hospital bracelet from when I went to the ER post-Noah because of blood loss. My purposes/goals for this ceremony are:

1. Psychically “close out” Noah’s pregnancy

2. Briefly acknowledge/say goodbye to nearly ignored tiny fourth baby

3. Let go of body doubt/mistrust

4. Heal/let go/process the ER/placenta issue + accompanying “near death”-type feeling/experience

Since it is also my birthday, my other goal is to HAVE FUN and to enjoy the company of my friends 🙂 I want to be fairly light on ceremony and heavy on fun, but I also feel like I want to do something to mark this passage and the close of my “pregnancy” with Noah.

Courage Ritual:

(write down fears and burn them)

Friends gather in circle and say:

We accept that you have fears

You are not your fears

You are now cleansed and renewed

Go forward with courage at your side.

——–

The Return:

Celebrate the heroine, honor the heroine

Wise woman, strong woman

Life-giving woman

Woman of spirit

Woman of power

Woman of peace

All hail, all honor

Blessed be

Miscarriage “to-do” list & natural miscarriage

Today, I happened to come across this article about coping with miscarriage. It includes a miscarriage “to do” list and one of the points was to “find the ‘rightness’ in every emotion. She says, “For example, I started bawling because of my thought ‘I’d lost my baby’…The fact is I gained a baby, a pregnancy and a gift of loving this little one while it was with me.” I have written before about not liking the “lost my baby” term and I liked this perspective of having gained a baby, instead 🙂 In tip number 13, the author also says this: “‘Let go. Let go of the need to control.’ This is the start of my meditation cd. It’s what I heard that first helped me to relax and open up enough to have the miscarriage naturally, it’s also what I realized I have to do so that I may celebrate the life and spirit of our little one without being dragged down by pain.” I, too, found the notion of “letting go” tremendously important in having a natural home miscarriage and wrote about that in my first post on this blog.

I am pondering this letting go notion more recently, because we are planning to have a little ceremony next month on the 6 month anniversary of when Noah left us (which is close to his due date/my birthday). A comment was made about “releasing” him as part of the ceremony. I balked at that, because it makes it sound like I am clinging or “holding” him back. This is not how I feel—I feel like he left in November. I do not *feel* him in a sense of a little spirit hanging around/held back by me. I do not dream about him or really have a feeling that his spirit is still here—he is gone and I know that. What I do feel is a need to remember/acknowledge/continue to learn—and I do not want to let go of any of that. And, I do feel a sort of “energetic” connection of sorts via my baby-in-my-heart necklace and via his plaque on our tree. I feel like there is a space in my heart for him that will always be there and in a sense he is still, “there,” with me, but not in a way that needs to be released or let go of. I let go of the baby in November, but I am not letting go of the lessons or the memories or the heart-space and that is okay.

I DO want to let go of the stored up trauma about the blood loss I experienced, the placenta aftermath, and my very real fear that I was going to die. I have never felt that close to death before and I have not yet ever been able to process that feeling in words. If I think too much about it, my uterus hurts and I feel like “closing up.”

The same website has an article about “natural miscarriage,” similar to the idea I have for a book I want to write (I hope to post more about this soon). In that article she says:

Embrace the sacred privacy!

As I was looking back on the loss of our baby, it was apparent that one of the things I was most grateful for was the privacy I had to experience this birth just as I felt I needed. There was nobody around telling me what to do, there was only my husband supporting me with what I needed.

I can’t tell you how invaluable that was to me, as I was camped on the toilet, pooping, bleeding and chanting all at the same time. It was just as important in walking away from the experience empowered in trusting the natural divine as anything else I’ve experienced. We can find our honor and the sacred even in events that we’d rather not be participating in (like the loss of our babies).

I definitely felt this sense of the sacred. In the book Wild Feminine,, the author talks about the time post-miscarriage as being a “sacred time” and I agree. I felt a sense of openness and transformation similar to after my other births, but actually more deeply and profoundly even than with those. The privacy of being alone to do what needed to be done was also of great importance—just like with homebirth compared to hospital birth. The connection to what was actually taking place in my body, vs. being at the mercy (so to speak) of other people’s ideas, interventions, emotions, and perceptions.

Strength?

“It is so easy to close down to risk, to protect ourselves against change and growth. But no baby bird emerges without first destroying the perfect egg sheltering it. We must risk being raw and fresh and awkward. For without such openness, life will not penetrate us anew. Unless we are open, we will not be filled.” –Patricia Monaghan

I just read a good post about “strength” on the National Share Office blog. The writer was talking about “strength” and people being complimented on their strength after pregnancy loss or stillbirth AND about how people themselves will say they are being “strong”—usually in reference to not crying and to still be completing xyz tasks, fulfilling x responsibility, etc.

Some quotes from the post:

It made me instantly think of so many of the bereaved parents I have met and talked to over the years who make such an effort to be strong, not share their true feelings, ‘buck up and move on…’ It made me think of those who tell bereaved parents ‘you’re so strong, you can get through this’ without really realizing what they are saying. And it made me wonder what exactly does being ‘strong’ mean?

Others may try to make you think that when you cry, go to the cemetery and visit your baby, do other things in memory of your baby, that you are dwelling in sadness, that you are weak, giving in to your emotions, stuck in the past..I often tell parents that all of those things are okay, and normal, but still, I have the feeling that most people would not think that doing all of those things is what you do when you are being strong.

The main post of the post being that being strong is NOT about “getting over it” or acting normal/going about your normal life and/or acting like nothing ever happened, but “…that real strength is facing the scary, hard feelings you have, and dealing with them.”

I’ve gotten the strong comment quite a lot and I don’t actually mind it—I do feel like I’ve been strong—but strong in the sense that I’m doing this. I felt strong and brave when I was in the middle of experiencing miscarriage and I actually continue to draw upon that sense of inner strength, just as I draw on the memory of strength from my other births. Where comments about “strength” gave me pause was when I was starting to teach birth classes again—then the comments about “how strong” I was being, made me realize I was making a mistake and, ironically, gave me the strength to say, WAIT! and to take a leave of absence from teaching birth classes after all, rather than getting back into it so quickly. I “get” exactly what the Share writer says in the second paragraph very intensely—is going out to put my hand on Noah’s plaque every day “strong”? I think it IS (or, if not strong, simply “normal”), but I think that many other people (who haven’t “been there”) would possibly see it as “dwelling” or “wallowing.” I see it as checking in and remembering—and reminding myself of what I learned, so that I don’t get swept away into old habits again (this is hard—I have felt myself slide right back into too “sped up” of a life which is EXACTLY what I was feeling like pulling back from right before Noah died. After, I realized how very little I was doing was actually required and how much was purely optional and I promised myself I was not going to create my own rat race any longer. Well, I’m kind of doing it again, but I am mindful of it and am teetering on the edge of what to pull-back from at this point so that I don’t get too Ratty (!) again ;-D) I have always been a pretty enthusiastic, energetic person with lots of ideas—I don’t want to shut that down—I just want to pace myself well and choose wisely the things that I spend my one “wild and precious” life on.

Five monthaversy poem, pings, and pangs

Yesterday was the five “monthaversy” and my mom sent me another poem that I got this morning:

How quickly, yet how slowly
Five months can pass.
I took a walk this morning
And thought of little, lost Noah,
And I realized that he isn’t “lost”
But traveling before us to whatever lies beyond.
Who can know where the souls of unborn babies go?
I can only guess that it’s a place of brightness, love and miracles.
He gave us the gift of sorrow,
So that we can appreciate joy.
By descending into the darkness,
We yearn towards the light.
By releasing this tiny soul,
Our paths become open to the possibility of bliss.

—-

I had a whole post I wanted to write yesterday about the many small losses and the pings,  pangs, and zings that continue to be a part of my life. But, I didn’t get a chance to do so. Suffice to say, it is weird how many “firsts” and pangs there continue to be—for example, this week my usual PJ pants were in the laundry and had to dig around for others, realizing then with a pang, that I had not worn that pair of pants since I was in labor with Noah (and pulled them off because they were terribly uncomfortable at the moment). On Tuesday, I taught my class wearing a pair of pants that I hadn’t worn since the day I found out Noah died—they were the pants I was wearing at the ultrasound.

There’s more…I’ve been reflecting on how it just doesn’t really seem to have a stopping point, but it is past time to put my kids to bed, so this is all for now.

Another Loss Poem

I’ve had a sad couple of days lately for a variety of reasons and I have a lot of posts building in my head, but not enough time lately to share them. Read this quote today and really liked it: “Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives.” ~Greta W. Crosby. My good friend had a miscarriage this weekend and it just feels really unfair somehow—I know it isn’t a logical thought process, but I feel like “didn’t I learn enough from my own experiences to spare anyone else in our group from having to learn them too? Wasn’t my own sadness enough?” Of course, that isn’t really how life works and this isn’t about me at all. I don’t really remember having “it’s not fair” thoughts about Noah—more of thoughts like, “I guess it was my turn” and things like that—but with this I feel as if it’s just not fair. I also keep remembering all the “aftermath” thought processes and the semi-irrational thoughts and the self-blame and the general wondering and rehashing and the having to cross the dates off in the calendar (I’d written ahead until about 25 weeks and each day in my journal I’d have to cross out what I’d written–knowing that it had been written there in innocence, naivety, hope, and promise) and I am just feeling so sick that someone I know and care about has to do all that stuff too.

I read this poem yesterday and thought of her:

Our Baby

by Teri Stuckman

An empty space where life once stirred

My eyes were not yet seeing

Where once my heartbeat shared a tone

with a small and fragile being

So scarely formed yet still a life

A dream, a hope, a promise

Our plans were changed to now include

This new life thrust upon us

Then just as quickly as it came

Our dreams were gone away

The deepest pain I’ve ever felt

Our baby died today

With footprints left upon our hearts

She gently took her leave

We’re left with nothing but regret

And only time to grieve

there was no service to be held

No mourning time required

No songs of longing and despair

No words to be inspired

We’re simply told to bear the pain

‘It’s nature’s way’ they say

I can’t forget our baby moved

inside me yesterday

And with each word of sorrow

my teardrops fall like rain

The anger and resentment

are mixed with guilt and pain

I look to heaven for a sign

to help search out a course

Where love can teach acceptance

and eliminate remorse

My body will accept the truth

that now our baby’s gone

But in our hearts our Angel

everlastingly lives on!

A Birth Healing Blessing

One of my Facebook friends shared this poem yesterday and I felt like re-posting it.

A Birth Healing Blessing

Blessed sister, beautiful one
with broken wings.
Your journey is a difficult one…
that no mother should have to endure.
Your path is steep, rocky and slippery
and your tender heart is in need of gentle healing.

Breathe deeply and know that you are loved.
You are not alone,
though at times, you will feel like a
desolate island of grief
untouchable
distant.
Close your eyes.
Seek the wisdom of women who have walked this well-worn path before you,
before,
and before,
and before you yourself were born.
These beautiful ones
with eyes like yours
have shared your pain, and
weathered the storms of loss.

You are not alone (breathe in)
You will go on (breathe out)
Your wings will mend (breathe in)
You are loved (breathe out)
~ Mary Burgess

Author, Mending Invisible Wings, a healing journal for mothers following the loss of their baby through late-term miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.

—-

The “eyes like yours” line really stood out to me. I mentioned when I shared my few pregnancy pictures here that I asked Mark to take a post-miscarriage picture of me, because I wanted to remember how my eyes looked. I haven’t had the heart to post about it, nor have told many people at all, but I had another miscarriage on February 1st. This one was very early and completely different than my experience with Noah (and one reason I haven’t felt like sharing about it, is because I don’t want it to overshadow my experience with him or to have him just be one in a long line of recurrent losses [which is what I now fear]. I also felt strongly that I simply CANNOT handle having people feel sorry for me again so soon). Anyway, every time I saw myself in the mirror I kept thinking, “these are the eyes of a mother whose babies have died.” They are different eyes…