A heartbreaking loss

Posted Wednesday, February 22nd 2012 at 2:36pm

By Holly Carrington
This week, I was prepared to write a tongue-in-cheek essay announcing that we’re expecting our second child. Instead, I’m wiping away tears and grappling with a heavy heart the news that I’ve only had nightmares about: we’ve lost our baby. Having a miscarriage is such a disorienting experience, and we’ve found ourselves feeling our way through the darkness.
The outpouring of love and support has been our salvation, but I think other people are having a very hard time knowing what to say and what to do to make us feel better. The truth is, just calling helps. Just saying how sorry you are helps. Offering to bring dinner helps. Simply acknowledging that we are grieving helps. Just as parenting is not something you can do in isolation, neither is accepting the loss of a child.
I’ve gone through all the classic responses, from guilt to anger, anguish to bargaining, and I still feel like a huge piece of my heart is just gone. Throughout the past nine weeks, I ate cleanly and did prenatal yoga, took a prenatal vitamin and bought maternity clothes on sale. I daydreamed about the tiny hand I would get to hold and the sweet smell of a newborn baby. I avoided medicine, even Tylenol. As my aching body is trying to adjust to a non-pregnant state, I still hesitate before I take something for the pain, as if I’m still with child.
I fight the darkness closing in on me. I pray to find comfort, solace and a sense of peace. Our 17-month-old daughter is helping us get through each day. I look at her, such a sweet miracle, and it nearly takes my breath away. I was blessed enough to have her and I cling to her.
My husband stood by my side as they did the ultrasound, as they said softly that they were sorry and they couldn’t find the heartbeat. He’s cried with me and prayed with me. He’s also miscarrying, but he just can’t bleed like me. I wrestle with the idea of a memorial, a tribute, something to honor this angel that I carried. I’m not sure what the rules are, or if I even care about rules.
If you know someone who’s had a miscarriage or lost a child, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it. It does not have to be awkward or uncomfortable.
We are forever changed, and I have to believe there is a reason buried in this. I believe heaven has a new angel and I’ll get to see our baby again someday, maybe as a newborn or as a child. I have to believe this. Otherwise, I’d be inclined to slip away and drown in grief forever.
At times, I feel drained, physically sick, irretrievably broken. Other times, I feel so happy to have our daughter and completely fulfilled by her. We don’t know what the future holds and I’m giving myself permission to allow people to take care of us and carry us through this.
I keep feeling like I’ll run out of tears eventually. I’ll wait, darkness on one side and infinite possibility on the other. I simply wait.

Mailing list sign-up

Copyright © 2012 Her Kansas City