Momlogic's Talitha: When I lost my baby at four and a half months pregnant, I felt crippled. Today, I can breathe.
It was just a month ago that I lost the four-month-old baby living inside of me. Because I didn't know quite what to do with my feelings, I expressed them by writing them down in hopes to shed a little light on what it feels like to lose an unborn child. I was so overwhelmed with the responses I received from all of you -- personal stories of loss and grief and hope, that I wanted to give an update on how things are today:
I think about the baby every single day: when I'm working, pulling on my skinny jeans or drinking a glass of wine. Thoughts like "God, I definitely wouldn't be wearing THESE right now" or "Today. Five months, four days." Sometimes I still visit websites I used to go to that show the growth of a baby week by week, to see how big she would have been. But -- and there really is a but -- rather than the crippling effect it had on me a month ago, the loss has become part of my daily life, and my thoughts pass like most thoughts do -- quickly. Time has healed me; it's a bit easier now. I don't wake with grief and go to bed with grief. Now, it's more like mini-earthquakes that act as shaky reminders of loss -- little heartbreaks, that flare up at any given time (and for no apparent reason) on a daily basis. Loss is part of life and it's part of my life, everyday. But with loss comes an incredible amount of growth, too.
I know now, on a visceral level, that the only thing I know is that I don't know, WE don't know: Nothing is in our hands. Armed with this, I try to cherish the people I love more than I ever have before. I am quicker (but still not quick enough) to remind myself of how blessed I am if my boyfriend and I get in an argument over something stupid. I don't want to regret anything that I do (I am not saying this is possible, because I am very flawed, but I try). I know now, that we are on borrowed time in a world that functions much like the ocean -- with waves of pure joy and waves of unexplainable grief, but all ... temporary.
At the end of the day, I suppose that lesson is a bittersweet blessing: Knowing we can love and lose and then get up and love again, appreciating what we have and not taking it for granted. That was the gift she gave me, that was the gift of her loss.
The other day I ran into an acquaintance at the gym for the first time since I shared the news that I was pregnant. She kind of looked at my stomach in confusion, and rather than bursting into tears, I grabbed her arm and said: "It's okay, but I'm not pregnant anymore. I lost the baby." I could say it without choking for the first time, and I realized I had healed part of that once gaping hole. There will always be a tear there, and that's okay. It's okay, I'm okay, and whatever happens will be okay. I so look forward to being pregnant again, and think it will be a completely different experience the next time around. And I cannot wait -- simply cannot wait -- for the day my man and I welcome a healthy baby into the world.
Lastly, I just want to say thank you: For helping me realize that I am not just a woman who lost her baby, but that I AM a mommy ... the mommy of an angel.