original post: Oct, 2015. Updated Oct, 2020.
Once upon a time there was a little heart beat.
I never saw it or felt it move, but I knew it was there. Many weeks later, that little heart stopped beating. I wanted to name my baby ‘Noor’- because he/she was the ‘light’ of my life.
My miscarriage story.
Miscarriage is not unique to me. Many women face the loss of an unborn life, not once, but multiple times. MY grief, however, is unique to me. I’ve lost a parent and beloved family members.
But nothing compares to that of a parent losing a child.
The gutting sense of anguish and sadness is indescribable, almost primal: like a tsunami, the flood of emotions knocks you over, paralyzes and leaves you drowning in it. I sobbed until I couldn’t cry any more. I prayed until I couldn’t any more.
How does a mother mourn a miscarriage? Do I have a private family memorial? Plant a tree or light candles? Buy a Pandora charm bracelet? I’m pretty sure there is a Pinterest page on miscarriage how-to somewhere.
The reminders were always there.
My still bloated belly, a vestige of a baby that was no longer there. Every time I took my son to Toys R Us, I’d avoid the infant section. I’d constantly trip over his ‘I’m a Big Brother’ book lying on the floor, but I never bothered to move it out of sight. Hearing my son sing ‘Jesus loves me this I know’, would make my eyes brim with tears, because it brought to mind all the baby dedications I’d been to, that this baby would never have.
Perhaps, in some way, I wanted to be reminded of Noor.
The devastation of losing a baby has been life altering.
I’m learning to never take life for granted. Ever. I hold my 5 year old son longer and harder and tell him over and over again, how much he is loved.
I realized that fathers experience grief of a miscarriage. They cope with it in their own private way, but they deserve comfort and support, just as much as mothers.
I’ve also come to understand that this experience allows me to comfort another mother who has suffered a similar loss; the only ones who really get it, are the ones who’ve been through it.
I’ve recognized that grieving is a process, that I wasn’t just going to ‘get over it’, like a cold. I suppose the intensity fades over time, as life goes on, but a faint whisper will always be there. I clung to my faith desperately; I found comfort, strength and peace in it that I will never find anywhere else.
I’ve read that elephants are one of the most empathetic creatures on the planet, next to humans. Their demonstration of grief and distress when a herd member or a calf dies is incredibly similar to human emotions.
They grieve fiercely and they don’t forget. They just let go.
For them, grief is simply loss– love lost.
In the end, isn’t that what it really is?
I think of this child every day, I wonder what it would’ve felt like to hold Noor in my arms and imagine how its life would’ve blossomed. Would he/she have had dark curls, like mine? A penchant for music, an artistic flair? Or a love of nature, strong hands and a generous, compassionate heart, like my husband? I will never know.
But this I do know, that for whatever reason my perfect little one was called home before it had a chance to live, its very short life had a very special purpose.
Maybe, it was to forever change mine..
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
…Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”