Early miscarriage is invisible. Nobody sees it unless we share it with them, as a general rule. Often, few to none are aware that we are pregnant. They have no idea there was anything for us to lose. Those who do know are unlikely to know how to react. Some people try to brush it under the rug as nothing, hoping to reassure us by saying things like, ‘You can try again!’ or ‘At least it was early!’ Because, somehow, they think if they say this it makes it true. If we ‘focus on the positive’ the loss will be swept away by a happy future. I’m sure most of them really want to believe these platitudes. They really want us to feel better, to have a happy ending, to forget the pain. They don’t understand that they’re making it worse.
Some people grieve with us. If we let them. Unfortunately, we rarely do. Most of us seem to fall into the trap of not wanting to be a bother, not wanting to make others uncomfortable or sad. So we don’t talk about it. We pretend we’re fine, ‘moving on’. We keep our misery to ourselves. We do this even with our dearest ones who want to help. Please, friends, don’t do this! It’s okay to talk about it. It’s okay if other people cry for our babies, too. They loved them, too. They lost them, too. If you have someone in your life who is willing to be sad with you, please let them. Just as we tell others it’s okay to bring up our babies, that it won’t make us sad because we’re sad already, our loved ones are sad whether we bring them up or not. Especially our partners. Don’t shut each other out.
I know you do this. I know, because I did it, too. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me. To think I wasn’t okay. Even though I was not okay. It took me nearly a year to tell my husband, who I tell everything, that I was not okay. It took me a year to find Empty Arms so I could go talk to other people who were not okay. It’s amazing how much it helps to be not okay together! If you do it long enough, you get to be okay more often than you’re not. And, best of all, you recognize that being not okay is totally normal, acceptable, and even healthy. You realize that you’re not alone in this, after all. You start to be able to talk to people, to stop hiding this gigantic part of your life. You find out you can tell people, and they aren’t as uncomfortable as you thought they’d be. There are more of us than you think.
The hardest part is being alone. It’s feeling the pain invisibly, like your tiny, precious, invisible baby really wasn’t real. Your baby was real. It’s okay to say so. Empty Arms is a safe place to say so. Mother’s Day is coming, and it’s hard. We will be at Liberty Family Practice on the Tuesday before, May 9th, and again on Saturday the 13th for the Flower Project. Come be visible.