Trigger Warning: This post makes reference to miscarriage, loss, pregnancy.
I want to sit back and write something witty. I want to grab you on the first line and take you along some story’s path, so we can come out together at the end, holding hands and feeling quite proud of ourselves. I want to have words to give you, sprinkle around your mind like beautiful confetti.
But I don’t have it today.
I’ve got nothing to give.
I think all in all I’ve been handling this well. I mean, by the definition of “well” that everyone around me uses.
“Oh, she’s good.”
“You look well.”
She’s not good. She’s staring at her Facebook and seeing post after post of baby bumps and nurseries and baby showers and count downs and newborn photos. She’s not good, because she’s angry and she’s jealous. It’s not that she isn’t happy for them. It’s not that she doesn’t wish them the best. She just wishes she had what they do. She wants in on that little world again.
She’s not fine. She’s standing in the checkout and people keep opening their mouths.
“How far along are you now?”
“You’re barely even showing.”
“How’s baby doing?”
“When are you do?”
And so she has to say that the baby is gone, again and again and again. The words stick in her throat and she’s choking on them, bending over to let them fall out of her mouth with a delicate thud. She’s not fine and she’s sick with speaking of it.
She looks well. She lost what weight she’d gained and she has more energy. The pregnancy had made her so sick. She looks healthy again. There is color in her cheeks and her hair has regained its bounce. She gets dressed a little more often. She paints her face. She crawls into bed with her husband, aching and needy and everything is back to the way it was and her world has settled into a muted thing, because she is well and so she is waiting. Waiting for her body and his to have that tiny moment of collision that will breathe new life into her womb and it terrifies her.
But she’s raging.
She wakes up and groggy eyed checks her email. Entirely too many messages, but it’s the morning routine. And she sees the words:
You haven’t purchased anything off your baby registry. Sign in now to get everything baby needs!
So the company attached a coupon to ease the burn behind the idea that she is such a bad mother-to-be, she hasn’t even bought anything off her list. She has no crib, no carseat, no newborn diapers. She has no bouncing chairs, no teething rings, no footed pajamas. She has no formula, no Tylenol, no soft and fleecy blankets.
But she has rage at seeing it.
She has pain that sparks behind her eyes and they’d call them tears, but they burn hot streaks down her face and she thinks she could set the entire world on fire with her emotions overflowing.
She is raging.
And her husband comes home and kisses her on the head. He asks, “What’s wrong?” And she tells him, “Nothing.”
And she pushes the rage back long enough to kiss him. To make him his breakfast. To prepare herself for getting the children up. It’s a matter of survival now and she can’t be the woman she’s supposed to be with everything snapping apart. She shoves it down, like a pill stuck in her throat. She buries it deep.
Congrats on the new baby! He’s beautiful.
The nursery looks wonderful. You all got a lot of work done.
Good luck at the hospital. You and baby are in my thoughts.
Look at that bump! Any day now. . .
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Herstory Lesson: “You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.” – Ernest Hemingway