I feel robbed. Not only of you, but of joy, innocence, hope, and of the enjoyment of my subsequent pregnancies.
I knew that miscarriages were not uncommon, and I knew that there must be more women who had miscarried than actually talked of it. But I did not know, before I lost you, that one in four women, one in seven pregnancies, miscarried. I had no reason to think it was likely. Not only am I still young, healthy, and living a good life with a great marriage and job, but five friends and dozens of acquaintances were pregnant during the time I was trying to conceive you and while I was pregnant with you. None of them miscarried. Why should it happen to me?
Further still, when I first saw you, the doctor told me, “everything looks great. Chance of miscarriage at this point (after a heartbeat) is very low.” A statistic which I have later heard is something like only 3%. Not only did I not think it likely I would lose you, it truly wasn’t. I shouldn’t have lost you. And yet I did. I am wiser now. I will be more careful of others’ feelings during my next pregnancy. But I feel like a fool for the hope I had.
Which brings me to hope for the future. I don’t have much of it. Some 70-80% of women who have miscarriages go on to a healthy subsequent pregnancy. But to me, the 3%, that 20%-30% chance of losing your sibling is still so, so high.
Which means my next pregnancy terrifies me. I so loved telling your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and people who would have been honorary aunts and uncles to you, about your presence with me. I loved harboring a joy inside me and sharing it with those closest to me. I was almost in the second trimester with you, so I was already planning my announcement to the world. But with your brother or sister, what will I do? Will I tell no one at all until I’m obviously showing? Will I tell my family right away so they can be fervently praying for me? Will cute little baby-shoes-in-the-mail announcements be right? Will a joyful photo on Facebook be a good idea? Will I buy a new pregnancy devotional to replace the one I didn’t finish with you?
Not only is there fear of outward joy, but there’s fear of enjoying any part of my pregnancy with your sibling. Instead of marveling at the spark of joy inside me, I will worry. I will panic, fear every tiny twinge, be terrified each morning I wake up and don’t feel nauseated.
With you, my body didn’t know you were gone for two whole weeks. I was still sick, still bloated, still tender, still tired. But when the bleeding started, and my nausea faded, and I grew less tired, and the metallic taste in my mouth went away, I still had hope I was just changing as I entered the second trimester.
How will I face every week with your sibling? How will I have hope? I cannot place my trust in God that he will spare my child. He didn’t spare you. The only way I can trust him is to help me through a second miscarriage if I have one. But how can I possibly enjoy the wonder and excitement of pregnancy if every pang or lack of symptom sends me into fear and panic?
I have been robbed. But I was not robbed of you late in pregnancy when I had already set up your nursery or had baby showers or prepared my arms for you. I will be grateful for that, small comfort as it is. I will bear in mind those women robbed of so much more than I was. Those who had a stillborn, those who lost nine months, those who have had three, four, five miscarriages.
But I cannot help feeling robbed of what seems like such a simple, natural function of the human body and a natural outflowing of my marriage to and love for your daddy. I have longed to be a mother for three years. I have tried to be a mother for one year. I am indeed a mother now, but my mother heart is not content with having merely carried you inside. I wanted to hold you in my arms and kiss you and care for you.
But I have been robbed.