Friday, February 28, 2014

Today Would Have Been My Due Date



For a few short weeks, this date - February 28, 2014 - contained the whole world. It was going to be the day my life started. Most people don't deliver on their due date, but the date is symbolic. It's the day you expect your baby to be born. It's the day that means everything.

For a few weeks, this date was the most anticipated date of my life. And then, for several months, it became the most dreaded.

Miscarriage is strange. To the rest of the world, you haven't lost anything except an idea. But you know, and maybe you are the only one who knows: you've lost everything.

The miracle: where once was an empty womb, there is life. The tragedy: it's gone again. A sharp pain, bright red blood on a white towel, and you know: it's over. You face the nightmare: the blood tests, the doctor saying "at least you know you can..."

The contractions, the pain, the pills, the hospital, the surgery. They tell you you won't feel anything and won't remember it, but they are wrong. You are awake the whole time. The nurse holds your hand and talks to you.

Your wheelchair is pushed straight as an arrow toward a line of people standing against the wall in Labor & Delivery, waiting for an announcement of a miracle from some beloved daughter, sister, friend. They all stare at the stranger as you approach. They look quizzically at you, your struggling husband, the sheepish nurse: because here's this haggard woman leaving in a wheelchair, but where's her baby?

In an elevator a couple days later, a woman sees your baggy clothes and hospital bracelet, your unkempt hair and pale face, and smiles broadly. "Did you just have the baby?"

You say, "No." You feel a bit guilty that you don't say something to explain, to make her feel better. But you don't have the energy.

Your husband loves you, he tries, he cares, but he doesn't understand. Your mother, your friends... unless they have been here, they don't get it. It's like a secret club to which no one wants to belong, and unless you're in it, you barely even register that it exists.

Within the club, there is a special sub-set of women who have miscarried but have no living children. We don't have anyone to look at and say "At least..." I would love to graduate from that sub-set. More than anything, I hoped I would at least be headed towards graduating before this dreadful day came around. But it wasn't to be.

I take comfort in my faith, in knowing that all suffering ends, that there is a Promise of Life. Meanwhile, I have hope.

And like my confessor Father Michael told me, I have an angel in Heaven, a holy innocent. And of all the things I could have wanted for her in her hoped-for life, nothing even comes close to what she has: an eternity in Paradise.

I couldn't save either one of us from what happened. And I'm sorry. But today is the day I have to finally say goodbye. Not forever, but for a while. And I don't really know how. And I'm fighting despair. And I have nothing magical to say. Nothing will make it better. I just have to keep going.

Goodbye, baby. Know that for your little life, your mother cherished you more than any creature on earth.

My Sunshine, my only Sunshine... You'll never know, dear, how much I love you.

5 comments:

  1. I'm praying for Sunshine and although I have a serious aversion to hugging, I'm sending you one right now.

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  2. Kristen, I just prayed for you and will continue to do so.

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  3. Prayers for you as you miss your little one. So very, very sorry. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly.

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