They say it in hushed tones,
in shaking heads and biting lips
and eyes cast to the ground.
Like she's trying to remember who she told so she can untell.
Like it's not her fault but she still feels guilty.
And they told her not to tell because this could happen.
To keep it to herself just in case.
But now the doctor's lips are moving and I nod as he confirms what I already know.
He says these things happen.
That 1 in 5 pregnancies ends this way.
So if you were to line up 100 pregnant women 20 of them will go through this.
Yet miscarriage is still said in hushed tones,
in shaking heads and biting lips
and awkward silence.
Like the world just stopped spinning,
Like I'm too sad to cry.
Like it's not my fault but I still feel guilty.
But I try to listen as he says we can try again.
He says if I were pregnant enough times that this would happen eventually and it just happened on my first.
That my odds haven't changed and I'm young and healthy so I shouldn't worry.
And I nod some more and make jokes with the nurses and smile shaky smiles and wonder how the fuck I'm going to get through another day.
The next morning I have my first ultrasound.
But there is no blurry print-out to show my friends,
no "do you want to know the sex?"
Just notes scribbled down and the news that I'll have to have surgery.
That there's still some "tissue" left inside of me.
And I hold it all in until my mom comes to visit, when the damn that's been holding back these tears breaks and she holds me and we cry.
She brings me a necklace from the gift shop that is just the accessory this hospital gown was missing and a teddy bear that has the word angel stitched on its foot despite having no wings.
But right now that seems pretty appropriate because right now these nurses are the closest things to angels I've got because they're the ones with the morphine. The shots that sting but leave my arms and legs feeling as heavy as my heart and lets me sleep.
We call it a mis-carriage.
Like a mis-take.
Like I carried wrong.
The medical term is spontaneous abortion.
Which starts off sounding like fun like "oh, we were feeling crazy so we thought we'd take a spontaneous trip!" and ends with...abortion. Like I didn't want this baby I wanted more than anything. Like...it wasn't a good time, or like I was 14 or...like...an abortion...
So right now this doesn't really have an end.
I could go on and tell you about the surgery or the pain afterward or how I couldn't walk to the bathroom without passing out or how 2 days after I got out of the hospital I looked after 2 babies under the age of 2 for a week and how this is the hardest thing I've ever been through.
But really, I just needed to speak the word miscarriage out loud. To talk about this experience that so many women have been through but that you never hear about...except in hushed tones and whispers and... nobody does this when a child dies! Nobody tries to say it without saying it and no one feels bad when they can't stop crying and no one tells you you can just make another one. Because at 12 weeks pregnant my baby is still considered negative 28 weeks old. But at 12 weeks pregnant my baby was as real to me as you are. And a lot of women out there have been through this too. Have had their expectancy turn so quickly to disappointment and found themselves helpless against this loss. They could do nothing about it. I could do nothing about it. And I hope that one day women will be supported through this loss. That there will be no shame. That we can one day share our grief, share our love, share our loss. But it has to start somewhere so I start by sharing my story.
We had picked out names and made plans but bought only one tiny sleeper.
It was periwinkle blue and read "Bon Nuit mon petit etoile!"
Goodnight my little star.