My Miscarriage: The One Year Anniversary Of The Worst Day Ever
Editor’s Note: Today’s heart-rending story shared with us by Angela Adams. She can be found on Twitter at @amamarieadams. I cannot find the words to express how wholly I revere her understanding and description of true grief, and true loss. Angela, thank you. – Lauren
Last summer was pretty incredible. The biggest things that can happen in your life were happening in mine. I was in heaven.
The day before the bad day, my sister Allison (who was one month farther along than I was) and me spent the afternoon in my parent’s backyard. We were sitting on an old sheet in the sun and she was laughing about people telling her not to ride her bike because it’d hurt the baby. She kept saying, “the baby isn’t in my underwear!” I thought it was hilarious.
That night Mike and I settled on names. If we had a girl, she’d be Evelyn. If we had a boy, he’d be Harrison. I really love the name Harry.
The next day I woke up and made a pot of coffee. Alexi Murdoch was playing on my iPod. My back ached. The pain kept coming and going. In the shower I used bar soap for the first time ever. Didn’t like it.
Allison colored my hair that morning. My stomach started cramping. I sat in my sister’s salon chair silently freaking out. She told me to calm down.
The doctor said to come in at 2:00. It was 1:00 and I was scared. Mom prayed her usual go-to prayer, I’ve heard her say it a million times;
“God bless you with peace, protection and safety. No weapon formed against you can prosper, in the name of Jesus”
While she prayed I looked down at my white shorts. I remember thinking how dumb it was to spend $50.00 on them when they wouldn’t fit around my belly in a month.
The doctor told me that I probably wasn’t having a miscarriage, but if I was there wasn’t anything he could do. He said to rest and come back for an ultrasound in the morning. A lonely mix of hope and fear – but mainly hope welled up in my heart as I walked out of the freezing air conditioned office.
My parents asked if I wanted them to stay with me that afternoon. I said, “no, I’m alright” and walked into the little duplex where in about five minutes, all hell and hope broke loose.
I sat on the bathroom floor, sobbing and shaking as my soul tried to understand what was happening and my eyes took in the scene of loss that surrounded me. I remembering saying “Oh God. Oh God. Oh my God” over and over again. I remember trying to clean all of the blood up before calling my mom. I remember thinking bad things always happen when you wear white shorts.
I stood in the shower with that awful bar soap. I couldn’t catch my breath but I could smell the fresh color getting washed out of my hair. I remember apologizing to my baby. I just kept saying how sorry I was for not being their mom. I remember hearing my parents arrive, and mom walking into the bathroom and yelling for dad to bring her a container. (If you don’t think I’m sparing you details, I am.)
It was hell.
Those are basically the only things I remember until a day or so later.
Saturday marked the one year anniversary of that bad day. I’ve always thought remembering dates of bad days and having them loom over your head was stupid. Every single day after the first bad one is a reminder. You never go back to the way things were before. I didn’t think the date coming back around would affect me at all – but I was wrong. It’s like my body remembers and my mind is experiencing it all over again. The last month has been pretty terrible.
Since time has passed people have started bringing up my “loss” more, like they expect me to feel better about it. And they talk about “healing”…whatever that is. I just sit there, pretending that what they’re saying makes sense to me, and pretending their well-intentioned remarks about my pregnancy aren’t going to leave me emotionally dead for the next week.
I don’t understand what healing is supposed to be like.
I mean, half the time I feel like my miscarriage is still happening. I know the physical part has been finished for a long time, but the emotional part is still making its way through my heart and putting tangles in my mind that I can’t figure out how to undo.
Sometimes I think that once you’ve felt a certain amount of pain – of devastating, ground shaking, life killing pain – you never stop hurting. And you’re left open to the pain and terror of the whole world.
It’s like a well of empathy has been dug into your heart and it’s a space that takes in the hurt of everyone around you, whether you want it or not. You just can’t help feeling it because on some level- you understand. For the first time ever, I’m able to pray for people and actually know what to say. And I’ve never been so sure that God can hear me.
Sometimes I think that’s the kind of broken heart Jesus smiles at. And sometimes I think healing looks like hurting. I don’t understand the way God works, but I think He’s working in me …no matter how hard some days are. And to tell you the truth, the hardest days are some of the most blessed ones.
The only reason I know this pain is because I first knew the incredible love and joy that stole my heart the day I found out I was pregnant. I never have gotten my heart back, and the pain isn’t going away anytime soon. And that’s just fine.
There’s no absolution in healing. There is never going to be a time when I’ll sit in the sun in July and not think about Harrison or Evelyn. Or smell that awful bar soap and not think of Harrison or Evelyn. Or hear Alexi Murdoch’s song Something Beautiful, or play with my nephew Frank, or make coffee or see a pregnancy test or do a thousand other things and not think of Harrison or Evelyn… And there shouldn’t be.
I still buy that bar soap, I even used it today. I spend as much time as I can with my sister’s son- we’re obsessed with each other. I listen to Alexi Murdoch and think about the perfect times that came before that day.
To me, healing doesn’t mean I won’t hurt anymore. Healing means being able to breathe when I make a pot of coffee. Being able to play with my nephew, with a heart bursting with thankfulness for him.
And being able to remember what heaven feels like, even though I can’t find it anymore.
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