That little heart penciled on my calendar seems to be all I have left of my second pregnancy. The milestone apps stating his/her size in fruit have stopped long ago. Isaac’s hand-me-down crib still sits in the corner of his room, waiting. Even the fuzzy purple socks from our D&E procedure are boxed up and shoved into a dark corner in storage.
I put those socks away after the procedure, hoping it would help me forget those 19 weeks of pregnancy with my second child. Knowing they were the only tangible thing I owned from the entire experience, I hoped that boxing them up would somehow push me to heal quicker, be stronger. Something.
I remember holding them in my hands and contemplating throwing them out (out of sight, out of mind, right?). I sat in the dark hallway alone, sobbing and wishing I could somehow trade that stupid pair of socks for my baby. I decided to keep them, thinking that one day I might actually forget the entire experience and need something to remind me of that pregnancy and that baby.
Now I know.
That not a single day passes where I don’t think about that baby.
That the void doesn’t cease when you try to fill it with other busy-ness.
That the grief of losing someone you never met is stronger than I could have imagined.
That the sadness does lift.
That there are helpers and angels all around, if you just look for them.
And that living the experience shapes who I am – and who I want to be – in this world.
In the months since our miscarriage, I have felt so many intense emotions, from heartbreak to surrender. I think about what it was exactly that allowed me to go 17 weeks into a pregnancy and then miscarry. I replay the mistakes I made and feel sheer guilt for taking that pregnancy for granted. I ask myself countless times if that miscarriage was a sign that I am not meant to have any more children. I doubt my ability to create any other healthy, happy babies.
Friday, 2/5/16 was my technical “due date” for the baby I lost back in September, but if that baby were to have come a week early like our Isaac did, he/she would probably be here by now. I find myself wondering what that baby would have been like. Whether it would have been a girl or a boy, and who they would have looked like. When I take Isaac to the park, I imagine what it would feel like to be snuggling a newborn as well.
As I close in on the official ‘end’ to my second pregnancy, I remind myself of the fragility and miraculous nature of life. While I am heartbroken that it ended the way it did, I thank my lucky stars that I was chosen to carry that baby for as long as I did. I honor his/her spirit, and I hope to continue healing with time.