This time last year I was in the midst of recovering from my miscarriage and D&C. The blog posts have popped up on my Timehop app. I’ve re-read a bunch of these posts and can’t believe that I am back in the midst of grieving a baby a year later. I remember saying to people at the time of my miscarriage that it was absolutely horrible, but it’s not like I had a stillborn. That would be an even worse loss. And here I am, a year later, grieving the loss of my stillborn son.
After sharing of my miscarriage last year, a woman with whom I share a mutual friend, reached out to me offering support. She had several miscarriages and only a few months prior to reaching out to me, gave birth to a stillborn son. Speaking with her, made me realize that my miscarriage was horrible, but I didn’t have to deal with the physical aspect of delivering a child who was not alive. I didn’t have to see the baby and hold them with my miscarriage. My heart broke for her and the loss she had experienced. (On a happy note, last month she welcomed her rainbow baby. 😊 )
Now, I know that same loss she experienced. I know the feeling of giving birth to a child who will never live outside of you. I know the feeling of holding that child in your arms, seeing yourself in them, and knowing they will never grow up. I know the feeling of saying goodbye to that child on the same day you said hello. I know that horrible pain. It is a devastating and earth shattering pain. My world crumbled the day they told me there was no heartbeat. Slowly, I am trying to pick up the pieces but I know some pieces are too broken to be put back and will always be missing.
Losing Asher is not something that has just affected us, but it has added increased worry to others I know who are currently pregnant. I was having a conversation with a friend who is pregnant (she is the mutual friend of the woman I mentioned earlier). She struggled with infertility and this is her first pregnancy. She told me that she is afraid of something happening to her baby and that she doesn’t want to get her hopes up. Unfortunately for her, she is close to two people who have both had miscarriages and stillborn sons. I told her that even though it is easier said than done, she has to try to not worry. Try to enjoy this time with her baby, cherish the fact that she is pregnant.
Another friend of mine is a L&D nurse and has seen stillbirths on multiple occasions in her career. However, seeing a friend go through it and being so personally involved in the loss (I called her over to the house the morning I couldn’t feel any movement), also threw her for a loop. She was more worried about her pregnancy because of what happened so recently with mine. It is hard for someone to see it happen to people they are close to. It is something that hits a little too close to home.
If I have learned anything from our loss, I learned that there are a lot of things related to pregnancy that the mother has absolutely no control over. I couldn’t have done anything to prevent Asher’s heart from stopping. The only time I had with Asher alive was when I carried him for 8 months. The first 12 weeks I was a nervous wreck about miscarrying because of my prior loss. But after that, I relaxed and enjoyed every little moment with him. Now the only memories I have of him alive are those 32 weeks and 5 days I was pregnant. I’m thankful that 20 weeks of those memories are at least happy ones and not ones of anxiety and worry. Any memory I make with him now, is always tinged with a bit of sadness at the loss him. At least, I can look back at my pregnancy and have memories of pure happiness with my son.
If you are currently pregnant, do not let the experiences of others cloud your pregnancy. Know that any adverse outcome of a pregnancy is something that is completely out of your control. Worrying about something horrible happening, will not prevent it from happening. If you only have a limited amount of time with your child, like I did, you want to have happy memories with your baby to remember always. I know, easier said than done, especially when I let my miscarriage experience cloud my first 12 weeks with Asher. (Lord knows how I would be with any future pregnancy.) But learn from my experience. I regret that all 32 weeks with my son were not filled with happiness because I lost my naivety after my miscarriage. Thankfully, I still have 20 weeks of happy moments with him that I will cherish always.