by Elisabeth Myrick
former OMB Contributor
About a year ago, I wrote about my miscarriage experience for Babyourself magazine (now The Moms Magazine). The article focused on how telling my closest friends and family about the pregnancy early on, actually helped when I subsequently miscarried. I won’t be so dramatic as to say without their support I would not have made it, but the experience was very traumatic due to some complications and their support made a horrible situation infinitely better.
Since I shared that story, I have miscarried again. My experience this time was much different. As soon as the ultrasound tech flashed the image on the screen and said “you’re very early,” I knew. I started shaking and was barely able to stop in order for her to finish the measurements. I didn’t need to wait the designated week to confirm. I knew the results before the second ultrasound confirmed it. This time, I opted for a D&C. Given the complications from my last miscarriage, I couldn’t bear the idea of repeating that experience. My sister-in-law came down to take care of my daughter, my husband drove me to the procedure, and other than some serious freaking out about general anesthesia, it was over and done. Easy peasy, right?
Wrong. Many years ago, before I was married and children were even on my radar, a friend miscarried. I went to the hospital with her and her husband for the D&C, and when it was over, attempted to comfort her by saying, “At least you have a child already.” Which was true, but oh how those words haunt me still.
Even if I had 10 children at home, losing those babies cut me to the core. I’m certain Michelle Duggar, with all of her children, mourned the loss of the child she miscarried a few years ago. As a mother, that child meant something to me and my husband, even though we only knew of his existence for a few short weeks. We never held him, didn’t pick out a name, didn’t even dream of decorating a nursery.
And yet, I will always remember my children on what would have been their due dates. I still cry sometimes thinking about how I would be getting ready for a first birthday, or would have a newborn, making me sleep deprived. I long for my daughter to be a big sister and fight back tears (many times unsuccessfully) when she asks why she doesn’t have a baby brother or sister.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Will you join me at 7 p.m. tonight in remembering all of the children who have been lost, and the parents who still grieve for children they will never know?
And, if you are experiencing a loss of your own, know that you aren’t alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need support:
- Arnold Palmer Hospital, Perinatal / Neonatal Bereavement Support Group. Second Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m. For further information and registration, call 407-649-6947.
- Florida Hospital, HEAL (Helping Endure Infant Loss). Four times each year, 7-9 pm. Free but must preregister at 407-303-5715.
- Central Florida Baby Loss Parent Support Group via MeetUp