Almost six months ago, we lost our fourth baby, the latest loss we have ever had. Next month is his due date, and even having gone almost six months since I went into labor at almost fourteen weeks, it is still so hard to talk about.
The pain with a loss never goes away. My first "miscarriage" (I really hate that word. I didn't accidentally misplace my baby, it just sounds so ugly to me) was three years ago this coming April, and it still hurts. The pain is different, but it is still there. With each loss, the pain has been different, more intense or more dulled, but it has been its own version of pain.
After I lost our son (what we saw and what we knew instinctively from our 14 week baby though it can't be proven), one of my friends sent me a link to a story or poem, not sure which it is, that described exactly how I felt. Even almost six months out, I still feel this is the perfect summary of how I still feel.
There is a site, Angel Baby, that has beautiful poems, stories, and forums so you can share with others that have been there too. The one that I still love is called The Brick Wall. Everything is passing by, but there is an infinite shadow that it seems no one else can see.
Having been through four "miscarriages", I don't know how others feel, and it has opened my eyes that I truly don't know how anyone else will grieve. All of my losses were so different, and the way I handled them was night and day.
Though the one thing I do know for sure is that a baby is a baby regardless of whether you lost it before you knew you were pregnant, if you were a week past your due date, or even after birth. That baby is a part of you, and even when people think a "miscarriage" isn't as significant as a stillbirth or an infant death, it is.
For myself, I crave people asking me about my babies. I have a three and a half year old daughter, and ever since August, it has seemed weird that people ask me about her but not about my other children, which is what my other losses are to me. They shy away, they avoid, and in the end, it feels like my husband, my daughter, and me are the only ones that remember him. I know it isn't true, but when you face loss, and everyone else is living their lives, it can feel that way.
If you have been through a loss, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just like the story I linked to, one day you will wake up and not instantly be filled with sadness and regret. That wall will always be behind you, and some days you will think on it more than others, but each day the sun will shine a little brighter, and you won't have to find a reason to smile. You will have more good days than bad days, and you will be able to find happiness again.
I'm not saying it is an easy road. I'm nowhere near being there, but I know it is there somewhere. I know that one day I will reach it, and even if I look back with sadness at what passed, it will begin to be a little bit brighter every day.
They say you need ten good memories to outshine one bad memory, but I like to think that after something awful has happened, sometimes it is easier to look back on the good so it is the one thing you can remember. I remember the feel of my baby kicking me, the way that my daughter used to rub my belly and talk to her brother. I remember how happy I was, even if it was only a little time in passing.
Loss isn't something a lot of people talk about, especially miscarriage, but there are those that will listen. There are forums all over the internet to help women after loss, regardless of when it happened. And, if anyone having been through a loss ever needs a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, you can always email me. I may not be the best choice, but the option is there.
Sharing your grief can be so very hard, but if it opens the eyes of someone that might not have understood otherwise, it truly can help so no one else is made to feel small or broken.
If you have been through a loss, here are a few links that might be able to help, different organizations and groups you can check out for information.
- http://www.ourangelbaby.org/ - forums and poems/stories to help
- http://namesinthesand.blogspot.com/ - They write the name of your baby in the sand and take the picture. They are beautiful, and a very good keepsake, even if you have nothing else.
- http://www.facesofloss.com/ - Stories from other women with different kinds of loss. And incredible network of beautiful people
- http://theamethystnetwork.org/ - A network that provides support to women going through a loss, with a forum and with real people coming to help you through
- http://www.iamtheface.org/ - Another site like Faces of Loss, a great way to find others to help and guide you
- http://www.marchofdimes.com/aboutus/bereavement_materials.asp - Bereavement materials from the March of Dimes. They send them to you free, a great resource of information
- http://www.nationalshare.org/ - They have national groups, plus an online program. They also will send materials if you request it
- http://grieveoutloud.org/pen-pal-program-2/ - A pen pal program. You get matched with someone that has been through a loss and you help each other. A great way to speak without sharing with a big group
If you are interested in more information, you can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, you aren't alone, and there are people that can help. You don't have to struggle through this alone, you can reach out and have someone hold your hand through the darkest parts.