Friday, January 20, 2012

The Loss Suffered in Silence.

18 months ago, I had a miscarriage. 
18 months ago, I lost a baby.
I said it. 
Out loud.  
On paper. 
It was real.
It happened.
It hurt. 
And it is okay.

The hard thing about a miscarriage is it’s the loss often suffered in silence.  And now 18 months later, I wonder why?  Why did I keep that a secret?  Sure, my close friends and family knew but we told no one else.  And to this day, 18 months later, I can’t tell you why. 

It started out the same as any normal pregnancy:
Two lines,
A happy secret that I would share with the world
When the time came.
The time never came.

I’ve always been a planner.  It’s innate.  By 7 weeks I’d narrowed down the baby bedding, picked out strollers, and had countless conversations with my little angel baby.  It couldn’t hear yet but surely it could feel my love.  By 9 weeks I’d had a yard sale clearing out old things in the spare room and bought my four year old a new bedroom suite.  Knowing we’d need his furniture in the angel baby’s room.  

At 11 weeks we would leave for Disney World.  Our dream vacation.  We’d been planning it for months.  Such a happy time for our family.  The most magical place on earth. I didn’t know by the 3rd day of our magical vacation we’d suffer a terrible loss.

A little spotting
Celebrations Hospital
An ultrasound
Too Quiet
Monitor turned away
Blank Stare
Silent tears

4 year old
In the floor
Playing with old Legos
Celebrations Hospital
Disney World.

Fears Confirmed
“No, Heartbeat Found”
Statistics to make me feel better.
They Don’t
Husband Cries
I feel numb.
“Why are we leaving Disney?”
Tiny, Trembling Lip
Doctors Orders
Quick Pack Up

Long Trip Home
Long Trip Home
Calls from family.
Calls from nurse.
Loving Husband
Sweet Boy
Long trip home
Long trip home

Maybe it’s a dream.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake.

But I didn’t.
It was real. 
Caring Doctors
Sad Eyes
So Tired

Did I even have the right to feel sad?  People can still choose abortion at this point.  Was my loss real? I loved that baby. I loved the plans I’d made for her.  I felt like it was a girl.  Her name was Mae-Leigh Jewell.  After all of the women in my family.  My strength.  My priest offered to put her name on a memorial in the church cemetery. 
But I didn’t. 
I felt ashamed. 
Did I have a right to feel sad?

As each day passed, the “I wonder” milestones came along with it. 
Feeling first kick.
Tiny hands on ultrasound
Sweet birth of my angel baby. 

Confused by the fact that I was now pregnant again.  Was I allowed to feel happy? Another sweet baby that I was afraid to make plans for… afraid to become attached to.  I am a logical person.  I wondered, “What is wrong with me?”

I’d ask my family and friends I knew who’d gone through the silent loss.
“When does it stop hurting?” 
The reply I got was always the same.
A deep breath. 
Sad eyes. 
Surely, reflecting on their own silent loss. 
 “It gets better.” 

Now, 18 months later I understand their answer.
Their loss was real.
And they are right.
It does get better. 
A little each day. 
The beauty of life is that it does go on.
Your five year old reads
New tiny hands on an ultra sound,
Hockey Games,
Laughs with Friends
Warm Cups of Coffee,
It does get better. 

But it never stops hurting. 

Because there is always those “I wonder” milestones.
18 months later
I wonder.
Would she have eaten her cake?
Would she be walking?
Would she have smiled like Joe?
Would she be a mover like Elijah?

18 months later.
I lost a baby. 
I had a miscarriage. 
My loss was real. 
And I had the right to feel pain. 
Today, I have the courage to say it out loud.
On Paper.

And not just for me, but for you.  For anyone who has suffered a silent loss.  I hope this helps someone know that it is okay to feel pain.
Your loss was real. 
And it is okay for life to go on.  


  1. Also, I have to say. This picture is of Jonah holding the prayer-shawl I was given by Kathy Read. One of the wonderful knitters with Hillview Heights Prayer-Shawl ministry. Such a wonderful program. I have come to cherish this prayer shawl. It's my tangible memory of that baby.

    1. So sorry for your loss, Allison. Healing takes time and I am so happy your days are getting better. My grandmother still has the prayer shawl that Kathy's group made her in 2007. You're right it, it is a great ministry! Love you!!

    2. Thanks, Jill! :) Life goes on. I am blessed in so many ways. That is great about your grandmother. So, many lives they (the ministry) have touched.

  2. I am so proud of you for sharing your story. We will never forgot that sweet baby. However short in our lives, she touched us all. I am so glad you have that shawl,it is important to have something tangible to remember. The baby was part of our lives even if it was only for a brief moment that GOD was able to share. Love you...Mindy

  3. I am glad you could express your feelings in a public manner. Others will reach out to you and share their loss Helping others will help you. Live you, mom