There is a statistic that many women hear, but never really imagine being part of their lives. It is a statistic that only those who experience it know the true pain.
1 in 4 women.
25% of women.
I had heard about this statistic, but never imagined it happening to me. I grew up in an incredibly healthy family. No broken bones, no serious illnesses. Sometimes I feel that many of the great things in my life were handed to me because everything has fallen into place so nicely. I have always felt like the lucky one.
I never imaged being part of a statistic that I didn’t want to have anything to do with. I would never have imagined that me, the lucky one, would have to go through this complicated, emotional roller coaster. But I did. Life threw me a very hard curve ball. I am now part of the statistic. The statistic that I never wanted to be a part of.
It has taken me over 6 months to get to where I am right now. I still cannot say it out loud. It took me over a week to tell my mother, who I knew would have been by my side through the whole process, but I couldn’t bare to let her know that I failed. Scott told the rest of the family while I curled up in bed, letting my tears soak through the pillow.
Today I should have been holding a brand new baby in our arms. Today I should have been introducing my precious Olive to her baby sibling. Today our beautiful family of 3 should be a loving, happy family of 4.
But we aren’t 4. We are 3 with a special angel.
I never knew the pain of losing something I never really had. I never knew how one event in someone’s life could change their perspective completely. My life as I once knew it… The important things that used to be… just aren’t anymore. One day all I felt was joy — pure, unadulterated joy, and the next — pain, anxiety, heartbreak. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want to see their “sorry” faces, or their attempts at making me feel better. “Better luck next time… It wasn’t a real baby… It’s better that it happened now”. Those people just don’t understand what it truly feels like.
We spent almost 10 weeks nurturing our brand new secret. That was 10 weeks of waking up to the enchanting feeling knowing that a precious baby was growing inside you. Two and a half months of fatigue. 60 pre-natal vitamins. I was already planning Olive’s new big girl room and imagining her playing with and teaching her new baby sibling. How can that not be real?
I returned to work the next week. Many people asked where I was and all I could force out of my lips was “family things”. I’d just lost a baby and it had dropped me into a hell of despair so deep that it hurt just to breathe. I’d just lost a baby and I chalked it up to “family things”.
We are taught to forget and move on.
But I will never forget.
Miscarriage is death. It brings with it all the agonizing grief that comes with losing a loved one. But miscarriage is also a taboo topic. It’s the very reason that we hide our pregnancies during those first dicey months, fretfully waiting for the danger to abate before making any announcements.
When bad news comes, couples that lose a pregnancy tend to mourn in secret, telling only close friends and family about their loss. There are no funerals. No memorials. You don’t get sympathy cards and bereavement time. Instead, routines go on, and you take sick days. The only tradition our society does have regarding miscarriage is that you’re not supposed to talk about it. We expect grieving couples to buck up and pretend that the little life lost never existed in the first place.
We reduce a miracle to a topic not fit for polite conversation.
When it happened to me, I didn’t want anyone to know because that is what our society has made us believe. I have been grieving in silence for the last 6 months. I keep going back to that day when people kept asking me where I was. What if I had just told them what happened? Would I have been able to accept this sooner? As a society, we let ourselves believe the lie that miscarriage is a minor event in a woman’s life. “It happens all the time,” people tell you, as if knowledge of its frequency will put the loss in perspective. Imagine giving that same line to someone who just lost a grandparent. I have lost many important people in my life. Losing a baby isn’t any easier.
Life is slowly returning to normal. I am having way more good days then bad… But I still find myself shutting down my computer when a friend announces a pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for my friends… It’s just a constant reminder of what was taken away from us. I still find myself running around the corner at work when I see a complete stranger with a belly bump, fearful I may break down in tears. Every day I am asked by someone when we plan to have another baby. Every day. It is so hard to be all smiles and come up with some round-a-bout answer to that terrible question. I cannot tell you how many times I just wanted to scream when asked. So many times I just want to say “It’s none of your damn business”… but then I remember that they have no idea what I have been going through. All they see is our perfect family of 3 and they think that our family would be even more perfect with another baby. I have to remember that no one knows.
The thing that gets me through is truly believing that there is a heaven and that all the important people who have touched both our lives are nurturing our baby and letting her know how loved she is.
It took me a long time to decide to write this post. I have written it in my head hundreds of times, but never had the courage to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) The last thing I want is for you to feel bad for me. I think that is the reason I have kept quiet. I don’t want people to look at me as that girl who lost a baby. I want people to look at me as that girl who was brave enough to talk about her loss and the challenges she is facing months after. I decided to write this post to help the hundreds of women out there who are experiencing this same pain. I want them to know that they are not alone.
I lost a baby. I am telling the world. It crippled me, but has made me so much stronger. It has made me appreciate life in a whole new way. I now know what a true miracle Olive is. Her smiles, giggles, and funny faces made this time bearable.
I still am the lucky one. I have an amazing little family and a beautiful angel watching over us.
I must admit, I have not yet jumped on the highly commercialize clothing train for Olive. Rather than dressing her in Mini-Mouse everything, I prefer to dress her in incredibly soft and comfortable clothing made by creative entrepreneurs around the world. There’s something magical about beautiful fabric that dances around the room as Olive busily runs from her play kitchen to her book shelves. We have recently discovered our new favourite brand! The fresh, bold, and beautiful screen printed organic cotton textiles from Winter Water Factory have Olive demanding to wear her dresses day-in-and-day-out. Every morning when we open her closet doors, she points to her beautiful red dresses and smiles. I cannot commend the work of Stefanie Lynen and
Everyone has their comfort food. This is mine. This past weekend I competed in a Synchronized Skating competition — my first ever. For 25 years I have been a singles skater, but this year I challenged myself to join an adult Synchro Team. They welcomed me with open arms and I have loved every minute. As I was preparing for our competition, I knew I had to pack a loaf of Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread in my skate bag to calm my nerves. It’s funny how something simple like this help prepare you for the big stage… It might not be a healthy option, but it sure helped!
We made some amazing memories this month, my little garlic girl! Holy, did we ever. With each passing day you become more and more fun. Your expressions… Your actions… Your words… I wish I could video you 24 hours straight because I want to remember every single funny thing you do. It is amazing to think that just a handful of months ago you started saying your first words, and now you are just a fountain of conversation. I think you know hundreds of words now, and you’ve also started using them to make little phrases and sentences. You refer to yourself as ‘Olla’ and I’ve caught myself calling you that too. You are starting to put words together to
I joined Instagram a few years ago. I didn’t know much about this new app, and had no grasp on the power it held. Sure, I posted a few photos here and there… but it wasn’t something on the forefront of my mind, and I definitely wasn’t gaining notice from the Instagram Community worldwide. I really looked at it as a place to store some not-so-good-looking photos. I never imagined what it would become a few years down the road. I really started to discover the power of Instagram after Olive was born. I quickly discovered that late night feedings were difficult as I sat there trying to stay awake while I listened to Scott snoring around the corner. I know
What a whirlwind 2014 was. It saw many triumphs, but it also saw a lot of heartache… Heartache that I am still trying to deal with. I think this is the first New Year that I am happily saying goodbye and welcoming a new beginning. I have big plans for 2015. I have spent the last two weeks at home with my family and it has been wonderful. I feel so refreshed and so blessed. Some days we stayed in our PJ’s, and others we hit the lake for some skating adventures. As amazing as these few weeks have been, it has made me realize what I’m missing out on when I tip-toe out of the house at 4:30am to go