One thing I have learned through blogging and relationships in the past four years is that you just never know who you will connect with most intimately about your experience. For me, it’s often people who have a completely different story than I. My dear friend Nicole Kemper is one of these people. She is a beautiful wife and mother of two who has always been filled with wisdom beyond her years. She’s also one of my favourite souls to cozy up with over a cup of tea, as we evaluate all the shapes of the universe. Here is her story, I thank her a million times for sharing it with us.
This week, I was forced to sit down. To physically stop. Emotionally finished and at the end of myself.
Last week, we went to our midwives’ office. From the moment she started to examine me, I knew something was wrong. No heartbeat to be found.
Mine was starting to go through the roof.
Off to call friends, and family and pray. Like mad.
And then to the ultrasound. We had such hope, even heading in there. They said it happens, that they can often see the baby and find the heartbeat, sometimes it’s just hiding.
But such was not the case for us. The little life I had carried for almost 12.5 weeks was no longer with us. An empty shell, and I was too.
This is the second time. The first time, was my first time. My first baby. And I didn’t understand the full joy of carrying a baby, the wrenching and gratifying process of giving birth, and then seeing that little one grow. Smiling, talking, walking, laughing. The hard, HARD work, and the incredible joy.
But this time I know. This little one is not going to be with us, until we are finished here. Until it is time for us to go home. I have two little ones sitting with their Papa, smiling. Will they have the blond hair and blue eyes; the laughter and joyful smiles? I do know they are safe. Taken care of.
I sometimes wonder if I am. Is my body defective? Why does this happen, to me, and the many other women that I know have faced this reality. The hurt. The disappointment. The utter physical despair, and waiting for the life inside you to leave, the heart you know is no longer beating. Wanting to be pregnant so desperately, and yet wanting the pregnancy to end, so that grief can continue along it’s path.
We are so incredibly thankful for our two kids. From the bottom of my heart, I know we are blessed. But I still feel robbed, of this special little one. Who would have had a sister and brother to love them, and was already so a part of our family.
With their death, goes the hopes and plans of the day. That first shocking day. The week, the physical agony of loss. And then the life months and year of the firsts, and hopes of the things to come. A May birthday. A summer camping trip.
A fitting title for this winter, these months. They march on. The cold is mindless to the isolation and stillness it causes.
Time marches on. Lives march on. We must march on.
But in me, still, lives the up and down days. The sadness and the grief of the lost little one that will not be joining us this May.
My body has marched on. With some difficulty, and I think somewhat begrudgingly.
I have read a number of articles on the internet. What to say and what not to say to people who have miscarried. How a husband might feel about a miscarriage. Or just peoples stories about what happened to them.
The thing that I am finding out about grief is that it really doesn’t play by any rules. It is unfair. There are days that it catches me in my kitchen, singing some old country song. There are days that it leaves me alone, free to soar.
I have enjoyed reading stories of others, knowing it has happened to them. Knowing that they, too, have walked those dark days. I have appreciated ideas and thoughts and suggestions that others have. I have appreciated my husband for walking with me and being patient in the mess. Oh the mess.
This grief is shared, and yet it is my own. It is my story, written in me and in my heart. I embrace it when I can. I cry, when I need to. I get mad, when I need to. I am learning to stop apologizing for doing what I need to do. Because I matter. And the little life that is gone, it matters too. It matters to me.
I matter. And because of that, I keep marching.