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Recently a friend told me to “go easy on myself” in light of recent news. She told me not to be a super heroine, allow myself to grieve, and eat a lot of chocolate. This sage advice went in one ear and out the next, but some into my mouth. Instead I checked how many days I accrued in my “sick bank”: three weeks. Three weeks is not enough for cover an unpaid maternity leave (thankyouverymuchfederalgovernment). Again I found myself weepy so I marched right up to my boss and requested for the next day off. He granted this with one look at my red eyes. Sometimes I wonder how our principal manages a staff of mostly female teachers. I’m lucky to have an understanding boss.
In that glorious day off I ate pizza for both lunch and dinner. I indulged on ice cream several times. I dunked sugar cookies into my ice cream. I drank a glass of wine and cried some more.
In a moment of sugar-rushed hazy clarity, I wondered about the good in this miscarriage. I wondered why so many women experience such tragedy in the midst of an already hormone laden time. I questioned the value of life and I shook my fists at the sky. I needed to talk with other women who understood. I cherished the sweet, empathetic words of friends and strangers. I wrote so all might gain insight.
Like all struggles, we climb a mountain or mole hill depending on the severity felt in our heart. It seems so steep and as if the end can never be seen, strain as we might to see that cliche light at the end of the tunnel. The hardest part, the apex, the opposite lowest low feels like every day. Until eventually one day after talking or walking or whatever it is which brings you relief, you realize maybe some of the tough part is behind you. You find that the hurt stings less. You breathe easier, although never forgetting There might be slip-ups in which you find yourself hurt and crying again. But maybe a downward slope of relief still exists on the other side of the struggle. Maybe you prefer to exist in less pain on a plateau of “almost there.” Maybe you just need to look around and take in the view.
That’s when I realized the only good from this loss: the view.
I experienced a heartfelt love from so many people, from those I met and know in real life and those who only know me from my words on a computer screen. I felt such concern for my well-being and a connection with women who climbed similar journeys. The view might not be pretty, but the reality exists: miscarriages happen to the most wonderful women.
So please, if you are touched by a loss during pregnancy, don’t hide it for whatever reason.
Tell the world of your pain. There are more women suffering in silence than necessary.
[There may be wonen who cannot speak up and write out about their pain and my heart goes out to them. I hope reading my story and similar stories on Unspoken Grief can help them to heal.]