I remember the look on the nurse’s face before she went to get the doctor. It went from a bubbly nurse excited to share the image of my child to a nurse who pitied me. I knew from past experiences that it had to be bad.
The doctor came to the room a few minutes later. He assured my husband at the time and myself that it wasn’t our fault. That this sort of thing happened. Then he looked at the ultra sound. My unborn baby was dead.
I had what is called a missed abortion. That is where the baby has died inside of the mother but has not left the body. They have to go in and take the baby. It is a medical procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. The sooner they get the baby out after it has died the safer it is for the mother carrying the baby. They couldn’t do my procedure until the next morning.
I was given a choice. I could go home but that meant I would have to come back the next morning. The other option was to stay at the hospital overnight. The idea of spending the night at the hospital was unbearable. I did not want to discuss my feelings. I wanted to go curl up in the comfort of my own bed. Not have the mental health staff poke at the pain. So I went home for the night to cope with the lost of my child alone.
That might have been the one of my biggest mistakes. I withdrew from everyone. I did not talk to my husband about it and he did not talk to me about what he was feeling. We tried to go out to a casual social gathering with our friends but I saw a newborn baby and the tears started to flow.
In the weeks that followed I would pretend that I wasn’t hurting. I was avoiding children. Especially if there was a baby around. When I saw a pregnant woman I would try to walk in a different direction so that I could avoid them. As much as I wanted to convince myself and others I was okay I wasn’t.
I blamed God for what happened. I blamed my then husband for not getting me to the hosiptal faster. I blamed the rest of world for going on even though my world felt as it had stopped in it’s heels. I blamed myself for not protecting my unborn baby better. I could not stop placing blame.
It wasn’t until I was willing to face the pain that I started to heal. I turned to things that I knew had offered me comfort in the past. I knew that if I would allow it these methods would help me to carry on in spite the pain. I knew the pain would never go away. I was just looking to live with it a little better than I was at the time.
I started by writing. I wrote down all the pain I felt inside. I wrote down all my anger I felt inside. I wrote until I was physically and mentally exhausted. Then I would write some more. I purged my soul on paper. When I was done writing I felt as if that veil over my heart had been lifted a little.
The next thing I did was talk to a therapist. By talking to someone about my pain I was able to let go of a little more of what I had bottled up inside. She listened without judging me. She allowed me to rant. She allowed me to cry. I did not have to worry about hurting her feelings in the process. Once I got to the crying point she gave me a suggestion.
That leads me into the hardest step I had to take. As my therapist had explained to me, my child was alive at point. I felt the flutters. I had talked to my belly. My baby grew inside me no matter how short the time was that he had lived.
For those who pass on we have funerals. These are not for the dead but for those who were left behind. It’s our way of saying goodbye. I had to say goodbye to my baby.
I said my goodbyes. I named the baby I had lost Joseph Eugene (After my father-in-law and my grandfather). Then I let go of all my emotions. I talked to thin air but for me it was as if I were talking to my lost child. I told him how much I missed him and how I wish I had gotten a chance to hold him.
It did not make the pain go all the way away. I still hurt a little after all these years later. I find comfort in knowing that my unborn angel is safe in heaven. I know that God is watching out for him. This offers me comfort. It helps to ease the pain.
My methods might not work for everyone. What helped me cope might not help others cope. The point is do not withdraw from the world. Do not keep the pain inside. If you reach out to others it will in time get better. You will learn to cope with your lost. That goes a long way to help you move forward after a miscarriage.