Thursday, July 31, 2008

For Chell

For those who don't know already, I am a miscarriage survivor.
I say survivor for a very specific reason.
I survived.
I don't have a badge or a ribbon or a medal, but any mother who lives through the loss of a child, is a survivor in the truest sense of the word.
Any mother whose arms are empty due to a loss is a survivor.
Any mother who still rises in the morning and goes through her day, however dazed, rather than laying down and not moving is a survivor.
Even six years later, it is as though a part of myself is missing, as though there is an injury unhealed.
I went from the highs of joy to staggering out of a cloud of confusion and blinking at the light of day.
I was decimated by pieces of shrapnel declaring that I had lost my baby at 8 weeks 3 days gestation.
Having an early miscarriage seems to invite people to make the following comments:
"You'll have other babies."
"It was for the best. Obviously something wasn't right."
"Thank goodness this happened sooner rather than later."
And other in sundry statements that make my hackles rise and make me bare my teeth.
And I do bite, just so you know.
If you have never suffered a miscarriage, count your blessings.
I cannot speak for my husband, but for me it was the most devastating experience of my life.
From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I loved that baby as passionately as I love my children now. That baby was my child, my life, and my joy.
That baby existed, even in an immature form.
For me, it was everything.
I went through all of the emotions. The sorrow, the anger, the confusion, the guilt. I raged at how my body failed my child. The one place that baby should have been safe it wasn't, for whatever reason.
Even after all these years, when I look at my children at the dinner table, there is one face missing. I know now that there always be one empty place at our table.
Just like there will always be an empty place in my heart.
The pain does get better. Slowly, it stops being all encompassing. One day, you do laugh unexpectedly. After a while you think about it less, although most likely you will still think about that baby ever day.
But eventually, it is bearable, like an old wound that has healed over badly.
After enough time, you are tender to the touch, but no longer crippled by the blow.
After a time, I knew I was blessed to have that child with me for even the briefest of times. I will hold the memory of that small flicker of life close to my heart, understanding that when I get to wherever I go when I finally drop over, there will be a little voice asking,
"What took you so long? Where's my dinner? What did you get me?"
And maybe it will add, "I've missed you, Mom."
I've missed you, too, baby.
This post is dedicated to an amazing woman I've never met in real life but who touched my heart over a cable modem.


Anonymous said...

Well said, we all miss her and think of her everyday. mom

Tara said...

So beautifully stated. She will hear it when the timing is perfect.

Anonymous said...

Dang, you made me cry at work. I too am a survivor and found your thoughts very touching. Thank you for putting it into words. Scoobysurfin at hotmail.

The Nowling's said...

reading your posts makes a tear some to my eye. Sometimes it is a tear from laughing so hard, or others times like this, it is a tear of sadness. Either way, keep writing, you add something special to my day!