…here I am.
There is no funny GIFs or sarcastic stuff I can say to make this less awkward than it already is. So here it is: I had a miscarriage.
In my post from June, I wrote about how I thought I was pregnant, and how relieved I was to find out that I was NOT pregnant.
But something weird happened after that — I caught the baby fever.
Since last summer, all I could think about, dream about, and read about was BABIIIIIES!!! So my husband, Alex, and I started trying, and thankfully, we got pregnant rather quickly. We broke the news to our families and close friends in November and December.
The weeks that followed were everything I had wanted and more. I was so in love with this baby. I was writing letters to this baby — nicknamed Cashew — and started to plan for changes. Alex and I bought baby stuff. We talked about moving to a bigger place. We discussed baby names. We started to imagine what Cashew would look like (I prayed for a baby that looked like Alex). I was going to become a mom! Finally! I felt SO lucky.
But I wasn’t lucky. Sadly and suddenly, on January 18 of this year, we learned that Cashew had stopped growing — silently, alone, and without showing any signs of its departure. I was having all the symptoms of pregnancy, but Cashew was no longer alive.
The weeks that followed still feels like a blur. There was so much physical and emotional pain; there were traumatic things I heard and saw that I cannot discuss right now. My marriage struggled then got stronger.
I still cannot believe between January 18 and now, it has only been 7 weeks because it honestly felt like 7 months while I was going through it.
In those 7 weeks, I was shocked to hear some very hurtful things from friends and family. My emotions were so raw. I had just buried (literally, buried the baby in the ground) my first child, and people were clumsily throwing all sorts of words at me.
Before I list them — because I would love for this to be a learning experience for all, myself included — please know that if you said these things to me, I am not angry at you, and I don’t blame you. I have also said similar things in the past, and I know that the intent was to help. But we are all human, and we all make mistakes.
So here are all the things that were said to me/us right after the loss. And all the things I wish I could’ve said back at that moment but didn’t get to.
1. “Oh, but were you guys trying?”
If we got pregnant “by accident,” am I less entitled to be sad?
2. “But you guys haven’t been trying for that long, right?”
If we had only been trying for short period of time, would it make this loss easier?
3. “At least the baby was only x weeks.”
Life is life. Even at an early stage, I could see my baby when it left my body. Cashew had little eyes and perfect limbs. Cashew was not just a number of weeks.
4. “The baby would’ve had disabilities/illness/etc. anyway.”
First of all, you don’t know that for sure. Maybe the baby was fine, but my body did not do a good job of keeping it alive. Also, even if the baby had serious disabilities, I would’ve loved it just the same.
5. “You can have another one.”
A baby isn’t a pair of shoes that can be replaced with the exact same one. God willing, if I have a healthy, living baby in the future, I will still miss this baby that I never got to know. Cashew is Cashew. You wouldn’t tell someone who just lost their husband/wife, “You can have another one by remarrying.” Even though this is technically true, it is not something that would be comforting to hear.
6. “I know someone who had a miscarriages and now has a healthy baby…”
That’s great. For that couple. Next.
This is the worst. When I shared my loss with people, some responded by not saying anything. Ever. No email, no text, no words (even the clumsy ones listed above). It hurt because it felt like they did not care; it felt like my baby’s death was not acknowledged, like it didn’t matter. Really, all one needs to say is, “I am sorry for your loss.” It’s not that difficult.
So how am I doing these days?
Some days are okay. Some days are really hard. There are days I cry in the bathroom at work because grief hits me out of nowhere. There are days when I am laughing all day, like nothing ever happened to me.
I am still physically recovering and don’t know if my uterus has cleared. I still have to go for blood tests regularly. I still choke up at the sight of babies, strollers, and pregnant people.
Will I try again soon?
Yes, probably. Sometimes I feel like I want to try ASAP, like being pregnant again will make me feel instantly better. Then there are these waves of fear and anxiety that comes with a possibility of yet another miscarriage. With the first pregnancy, I knew the facts and stats about miscarriage but the possibility of that happening felt so distant. But now, it is real. I know how it goes. And that terrifies me. When the doctor said that we would have to have two more miscarriages to be considered a candidate for further testings, I almost screamed. TWO MORE? I have to go through this hell two more times? I just can’t. If I have another miscarriage, I might never try again.
Like every hardship I’ve ever experienced, this too, will get better. As a 30-year-old, dealing with extreme stress is something I’ve had to do many times, so the strategy is there. Self-care, positive thinking, reading, writing, connecting with people with similar experience, etc. Already, there’s improvement. I am not a hot mess every day anymore. I can go to work. I can meet up with friends. I can go to church (although church is a dangerous place for me right now because just seeing babies can ruin my day).
But still, I need time. I still need hugs. I still miss my baby every day. It will get better, but when and how, I am still not sure. When someone asks me, “How are you?” I really struggle to answer that because I am not sure how I am doing — how am I doing this? This — losing someone I loved so much but never got to know — is the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.
Lastly, to my baby, Cashew,
You were wanted and you were loved. You were so perfect, even in that little body of yours. I miss you every single day. Even if everyone forgets you, I will always remember you. And one day, we will meet again.