[Trigger warning: This essay describes one woman's emotional journey with miscarriage.]
Yesterday I was 8 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
I'm miscarrying right now as I write this. I don't want to cry anymore, and I can't have my partner hold me because he's outside keeping our 2-year-old busy so I can just be. He's enabling me to go through this without a toddler jumping on my stomach or crying between my legs while I sit on the toilet.
I live abroad and my mom is asleep now, though I'm tempted to wake her up and cry with her. Instead, I decided to write. It always help me.
I'm grief stricken.
You go through two months or more or less of morning sickness and exhaustion, through extreme hormonal changes and getting out your maternity clothes because you're already showing. Two months of excitement and complaints and anticipation and concerns. You change your diet. You are pregnant.
And then you have cramps and a bit of spotting. You read about it and find it's totally normal. You want to feel reassured but you worry.
You go in for an ultrasound. Doctor sees the baby. You want to feel reassured but you worry.
Then 45 minutes later, back at home, I started bleeding just enough to scare me. Some clotting, then only spotting again. I felt hopeful.
I sleep. I rest. At 9 am the next morning, it really started happening. And I knew that I was losing my baby.I sobbed. Because I wanted this baby. Because my body hurt. Because I went through two months of pregnancy for nothing. Because I was so happy and now I feel hopeless. Because I just lost the life I was nurturing. Again. And it's devastating. Because my 2-year-old was so happy there was a baby in my belly button, ready to be a big brother.
And already, my mind is calculating if I could still have another baby before I turned 39— three months rest, pregnant on the fourth month—it could work.
Then I return to the present moment, to feeling so very alone.
The next day I did something that felt quite brave. I called my friend. And she came.
She hugged me and kissed me and cried with me. Then she made me French toast and a chai latte. Another friend stopped by to deliver apples from her tree and was greeted at the gate with news of my miscarriage. She came in and hugged and kissed and laughed and loved with me. We all drank more chai. Liz, who made breakfast, cleaned my kitchen and hung my laundry. They played with my toddler. They made me feel so much less alone in my grief.
I am so grateful I called. It felt so overwhelming and frightening to reach out, I don't know why, and yet the support I received from them was quick and full-hearted.
In the afternoon, the same dear friend returned to take my toddler with her kids to the park.
Another friend stopped by who heard the news. She shared her stories with me. She offered to make me soup.
The night was hard. I woke up with cramps and grief. I woke up feeling hollow, but not alone.
The morning was hard. I swept the kitchen and I clutched my belly.
But my 2-year-old kept kissing me and touching my belly and checking in. And my husband dragged his exhausted self out of bed to make me breakfast and coffee. He did dishes before heading off to work. My friend Liz took my kid again to play with hers.
And I know that I will make it through this, with so much love and support. I didn't have that the first time I miscarried. There were no kisses from a 2-year-old, no friends calling, no husband checking in—he was here of course, but he was unable to cope with the reality that we'd lost the baby we'd been trying for for years.
This time has felt different. It still hurts. And I still grieve. But I feel sure that I'll be okay. My village promised me, and I trust that.