Saturday, November 22, 2014

when it can't be worse anymore (9:30 pm)

I'm still at the new part of my grief where I'm still figuring it all out. How to talk to people, I mean. I'm figuring out how to respond to the old high school friend who asks "how many kids do you have?" when you meet up with them by accident at Target one night. I'm figuring out how to respond to the well-meaning cashier who asks "just the one?" while nodding towards my son. I'm figuring out how to take pictures of my husband, myself and our son again without it feeling like I'm deceiving the daughter who isn't here (how can a family picture be a family picture without everyone in the family in it?).

Sometimes I say something and someone, unsure of what to say, says "it could be worse. My cousin's friend's sister's baby died when they were 10." I take a deep breath. And I feel pain in my heat for that cousin's friend's sister for both their loss and the fact that I have no doubts someone once said to them "it could be worse. My aunt's neighbor's sister's nephew lost their child at 25. He had a kid, you know."

I can only speak of my own experience with stillbirth. My own experience with stillbirth can still be vastly different from someone else's. But I want to try to talk about miscarriage, because no one is. And they need to.

I don't know firsthand what it feels like to miscarry. I don't know firsthand what it feels like to hold the excitement of being pregnant in your heart and soul and then have it ripped away without any indication as to why it's happening and knowing you can't do anything about it. The hopes, the dreams -- they stay that way, as hopes and dreams. They never turn into anything else.

I know that people suffer from miscarriages and feel silly talking about them. I know people -- society -- doesn't want to hear it. I can only imagine the "it could be worse" stories that people tell those who have suffered a miscarriage and that's not fair.

When I lost Wylie, people began opening up to me about their losses. More people that my family knew had a stillbirth than I ever realized. More had miscarriages than I ever knew about, including my own grandmother. Knowing I wasn't alone, knowing I had these people to talk to -- well, it helped me feel less alone.

So why aren't we talking?

We aren't talking because someone is always going to chime in with "it could be worse." And it can't be worse. Whether you suffered a miscarriage early in your pregnancy or held your full term baby in your arms knowing they would never open their eyes and look at you or whether you lost your child as an adult, it can't be worse. It can't be worse because your pain is a justified pain. Your loss is a justified loss. Your hurt is justified hurt.

And you deserve the right to talk about it because it isn't shameful. Because it isn't something to be embarrassed about. Because no one has the right to trivialize your pain.

I have been receiving many e-mails since I began the Blogathon. I am trying to respond to them all, but they're coming in faster than I can reply to. I want you all to know that I read them. To the grieving mother who sent me the e-mail about your miscarriages and the people who think your loss doesn't count, this post is dedicated to you. It counts. You are a mother always.

And no one can take that away from you.

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