Love and Loss:
My Road to Motherhood
by: Becca W.
“I can’t find the heartbeat.” In that moment, the screen and my world went black. I should have been eight weeks then, but my doctor said we might have miscalculated. He retested my blood for HCG, the pregnancy hormone, to see what it would do over the weekend. I would have another test done on Monday, then another ultrasound on the next Friday. My heart was aching, but I still had hope. I cried and prayed though the weekend, hoping for a miracle. My test on Monday brought good news—my HCG had risen over the weekend. Maybe God was granting me the miracle I had pleaded with him for! I waited impatiently for the rest of the week and went to the appointment on Friday. I felt nauseous before I ever walked through the door. We knew almost immediately. Our baby had died. My body convulsed in sobs. This was a pain I had never known before. My child, my dreams, my joy—all were gone in an instant. My love, however, was not. Maybe that would have made it easier.
By my choice, I had a D & C the next Tuesday, a surgical procedure to clean out my uterus. Otherwise, I would have had to wait an unknown amount of time for my body to naturally miscarry. The day was a nightmare from beginning to end. My husband and I dragged ourselves to the hospital early that morning, an early surgery granted to us as a favor from our doctor. Feeling like I had been beaten, it took all my strength to complete the tasks required—filling out paperwork, walking to the surgery area, changing into a gown. All were done amidst free-flowing tears. My IV took several tries and nurses to get in. I was bleeding from one arm as a nurse dug her needle into my other one. As they finally finished my pre-surgery routine, I was overwhelmed by emotion. My previous tears were nothing compared to what came when I considered that I was getting ready to literally lose my baby. I knew the baby was already gone in spirit, but I couldn’t bear the thought of having it taken from my body. Where would my child’s body go? Would someone throw my baby in the trash? I would never know. All I knew for sure was that I would be going to sleep pregnant and waking up empty.
The following days and weeks were a foggy mess. Relationships were strained, my body was in pain, and the world seemed distorted and unfair. I rarely left my house for several weeks. When I did, I was sickened by the fact that everyone else was normal. People were laughing and living their lives just as they had before my baby had died inside my body. I took on a huge project at church as a creative outlet and necessary evil to get myself out of the house. I loved what I was doing, but sometimes I just wanted to stay in bed and dig back in to the prescription pain medication I had been given after the surgery. I wouldn’t let myself do it.
The thick curtain of pain eventually started to lift one thin veil at a time. I started to feel more like myself, although a new version of myself. I knew the old me was gone forever, and I was okay with that. How could I go through this and remain the same? I didn’t even want to be the same. Many people do not view miscarriage as a real loss. If it’s not, then how can I explain my immeasurable sorrow? I lost my child as so many other women do, and that is a valid, devastating loss, which deserves to be mourned.
I was meant to be a mother. I’m now the happy mother of two boys, but I didn’t start being a mother the day my oldest son was born. Motherhood began that day when those precious two lines appeared, and I began loving my child who would never see life. I might have lacked the tangible signs of maternal privilege, but my heart loved and broke like only a mother’s could.
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