February – Remembering JJ
Woke up feeling somewhat energetic. Somehow, within a few hours, that changed to murky, crabby, irritable depression. Trying to shed my funk when the first one hit. Remember this? That poor little cat you lost, all alone in a strange neighborhood in the cold of winter? You’re not good at protecting little lives given to you, are you? POW! Left shaking and vulnerable, completely unsuspecting the second hit. Remember this? The time when your husband was happy and confident, had the smile of an expecting father, throughly unprepared for his own sucker-punch. POW! And I was undone. The grief swarmed and surrounded. Relentless pummels rained. Howls of pain and screams of rage emanated from a place I didn’t know still existed. Almost three years have passed, but today it feels like I never left that moment. The grief is so strong I can’t conquer it, and I lie beaten and bruised.
Little one, I’ll never forget you. Every March and November, I’ll remember the one missing from my arms. Every time I see the first crocuses of spring, I’ll remember the joy you brought me for a few shorts weeks. And every now and then, I’ll remember you, JJ, my baby who never had a chance to be, through the sucker-punch of grief.
March – Anastasious
“I had a baby, and now I don’t have it anymore. I feel sad.”
A fairly simplistic quote from a tv show, but a fairly accurate summation of my life right now. In some ways it’s hard to imagine that this is the truth. How could it possibly be? Two weeks ago, I didn’t even know I was pregnant. A week and a half ago, I was celebrating the new life within me with my family. Just over half a week ago, I miscarried. Again. It was all so fast. So unexpected from beginning to end. It almost feel like it never happened. I was never pregnant at all. Life goes on the same as it was before I found out. My husband goes to work each day. My son demands his mama’s attention and love. And I move on, taking care of the things that need to be done. There were no cards given, no flowers sent, no outside sign to acknowledge the living and passing of this oh so tiny life.
But, they were here. Oh yes, they were. I have only to remember the excitement and happiness I felt when it had truly sunk in. I was thrilled to be pregnant again. I was calculating and making plans. Figuring out decisions that would have to be made in the future months. Watching what I ate and considering how it would affect the growing life. Talking about names and guessing gender. For one week. One week. That was all I was given. And then they were gone.
How did this happen to me again? I don’t get it. How did God decide that I was one who was able to handle this? Someone who is so empathetic that she never intentionally watches a sad movie and constantly finds herself crying over tv shows. Someone who becomes so hard and fast attached to things that she’ll turn the house upside to find a missing alphabet magnet. Does that sound like the ideal candidate for multiple miscarriages? Not that there is one, I suppose, but, why me?
I don’t know. I don’t get it, but it is me, and who knows how many more times it will be me. And perhaps next time it will be a little bit easier, and the time after that will be easier still. Because this time was easier than the last. I don’t entirely know why, but maybe because they were with us for a shorter time? Or because we knew how easily it could happen? Or simply because we’d been here before and the terrain was familiar? I know that it was at least in part because of my precious Bug, having a child of mine to hold and hug, and not being simply left with empty arms. I am so grateful for him. He reminds me that just as it’s likely that I will have more miscarriages, it’s likely that I will have more children to hug and cuddle, too.
And so, somehow my heart was protected from the gut wrenching, world ending, spirit crushing grief that it endured last time, and is working now to heal from the simple sadness and loss, and occasional door slamming anger that has left new scars on my soul.
“I had a baby, and now I don’t have it anymore. I feel sad.”
June – Sayuri
It’s taken me a long time to write, mostly because I knew I needed to write about this, but it still feels too difficult. It’s hard to know what to say – do I write about events, facts, the practical side? or about the emotions and feelings? It’s a major part of my life, especially as I’m getting to the point where I have to think about the future and make decisions, but mostly it’s background noise, a subtle buzz, and really, I want it to stay there. I don’t want to bring it to the front and tune it in so I can hear it clearly. I lived there, I’ve done that, I want to not feel the sadness anymore. So, I suppose this will start as more factual, to keep the emotions at bay, but eventually it will deteriorate to the personal side – maybe sooner rather than later, as I can feel the tears pressing on my eyes already.
Shortly after I wrote about hope, with all the hope my heart could drum up, I lost my baby. I didn’t know it yet, wouldn’t for two more weeks, but she was gone already. It took two ultrasounds for my heart to catch up to my brain, and seven weeks for my body to catch up to my baby. The bruise still hasn’t caught up to my life, which is so far beyond the loss, that it’s old news replaced by old news.
The waiting in between was the worst, knowing that she was gone, but not gone; feeling pregnant without being pregnant; ready to move on, but not able to; wondering when, when, when? Some people didn’t understand why I didn’t just end it with a d&c, some were concerned that I was endangering myself, few understood that I just couldn’t do that to my baby. She was still my baby after all, tiny and lost to me, she was still mine, and it was my job to protect her for as long as I could, even if all I could do was protect the little body she left behind.
When she was finally birthed (what else do you call it? I still can’t find a good word for bringing a lost tiny into the world), we could see a tiny, little, bright, white spot in one of the brilliant red clumps. It was her hand, reaching out as if to say, “I’m here, Mama. Come get me.”
We got to see her, her tiny inch long body. Fingers the size of candy sprinkles, ears smaller than a freckle, tiny feet to match her hands, and eyes bluer than the sky. We don’t really know if she is a girl, but to us it just seemed fitting. We named her Sayuri, “tiny lily.” We took pictures to remember her by, and placed her on a piece of velveteen, in a small box we had. Tonight we will bury her, underneath a potted bush that used to be in the yard where I grew up, a bush that blooms beautiful pink flowers every summer, a bush that will now be a reminder of my precious “Tiny” Sayuri.
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27
November – Tacey
They all think
I’m doing fine
Handling well this grief of mine
But they don’t know
Cause I don’t show
Collapsing to the floor at times
The silent screams
The bitter cries
The heart inside me tries to hide
They can’t see
What it means to me
Another loss that tried to be
It’s old hat
She’s used to that
It must have lost intensity
There’s no old hand
No such familiarity
Each time is fresh
Each wound is new
Pain that I have not been through
I try to walk
But I can’t stand
Crouching, clenching empty hands
Can’t make it stop
And now it’s a new year, and we are trying again. God grant us grace.