I've talked about the loss of my daughter, when she was almost 6mo of age, but I haven't done more than touched on the losses my wife and I have experienced. Its a much rawer subject. Our last miscarriage was just last summer. The final loss in a series of 5, and the last chapter in a story that almost destroyed my wife and me.
Our first loss was at 10wk 5d. We didn't even know Wife was pregnant until she was losing the baby, as she was breastfeeding the twins, and had yet to get her cycle back.
There were a lot of "What if"s surrounding that loss. A lot of questioning about what she/we could have done differently if we had known, and whether that could have changed the outcome. We were far from being prepared for another child, as the twins would have barely been 14mo by the time the baby would have been born, but we would have handled it. We got barely a moment to think of what could have been.
That baby would have just turned one, a month or two ago.
The first loss hit us especially hard, and it took 3mo before we even breached the subject of another kid again. We'd both gotten the itch, but the wounds were still very fresh. We decided to try again.
With our second miscarriage, we were caught completely off-guard. Statistics say 1 in 4. We saw the little sac, and we had all our eggs in one basket. I think every parent, at this blissful stage, has their child's life planned out/visualized before they even make it out of the office, and we weren't any different.
Because of the fallout of the first miscarriage, we decided to wait until 12wks to announce our expecting.... We never got that far....
Two of our losses, considered "chemical pregnancies", followed right after. And even with the different label, it didn't change a damn thing. The pain, depression, heartache, and self-doubt were just as real.
The last loss was the straw that almost broke the camel's back.
We were going to the commissary, and it was raining. Wife dropped me and the kids off up front and went to park. She got hit by a speeding car, totaling the van, and ending up with her in the hospital with a fractured wrist, cuts and bruises, and a concussion. They did blood tests when she was admitted, and her HCG levels where present. The next day, they were about the same, but the spotting had started.
They said that it had nothing to do with the car accident, that it was just a coincidence.
They did a bunch of tests, and we finally figured out the problem (related to the first miscarriage) and they fixed it.
Even still, the feelings: depression, rage, guilt, complete sorrow; that are experienced with a miscarriage don't just go away because an answer has been found. You reanalyze EVERYTHING. You question every action, asking yourself (and God) "why?", and wondering if that action contributed to your loss.
Was it the tea/coffee?
Was it the exercise?
Was it the sex?
Was it the boxes you carried?
Was it picking up your kid?
Was it the stress at work?
Should I have gotten more sleep?
Stayed off my feet?
Was it that glass of wine before I knew?
Was it that second hand smoke?
What did I do to deserve this?
And the worse part is never knowing the cause, in most cases.
Each of the 5 babies, possibilities, we lost had a possible future. Each one of them had the possibility to be our take-home baby. Any of them could have been born healthy, beautiful.....the younger sibling to our twins, born into a loving home, with parents who would have cherished every moment. Each one had a possible future: school teacher, lawyer, doctor, athlete, SAHM/SAHD, soldier/sailor/marine, minister, cop, nurse, accountant, writer, computer programmer. They could have been anything, and we would have been proud of them no matter what. Each of those babies had the possibility to love the world, and those in it. They had the possibilities to have families of their own some day. The possibilities to be quirky and weird, funny and creative, smart and crazy.
And those possibilities were snuffed out, in the early dawn of their promising lives...
Never being to hold your child (early losses), and being able to say goodbye, properly.
Those friends/family members/strangers who don't understand that the loss of a child, at ANY STAGE OF LIFE, is the loss of a child. Its a loss. And losses need to be grieved, in their own time, without any useless and hurtful opinions from third party people who have been fortunate enough to never lose a child.
If you have ever gotten that "+" or "||" and never gotten to see your child's heartbeat...
If you have ever seen your child's heartbeat, and never gotten to hold that child...
If you've ever given birth, and never got to hear your child gasp its first breath....
If you've ever given birth, and never got to bring that child home...
If you've ever brought your child home, but will never get to see it grow up...
If you may never get the opportunity to have a child of your own blood, in your arms, healthy and happy....
.... This was written for you, in hopes that those who've never been in your shoes reflect on that, and hug their kids a little tighter tonight.