Friday, May 03, 2013
Warning -- this entry is completely off the topic of healthy living and probably should be written on some other type of blog, but this is the easiest place for me to put it.
I miscarried a baby last November. Sometimes I struggle with calling it a 'miscarriage' because it was so early, about 5 weeks. In fact, I only knew about it for two days before I started to suspect I was losing it. I bled on and off for a week more until the debilitating physical pain and the hCG tests confirmed that the pregnancy was gone. You might think that all this would leave me right back where I started, but strangely, it hasn't. If I am not meant to have a child at this point in my life, I am still grateful for the gift that was the miscarriage.
Still hours before dawn, a pain so insistent it woke me up. I'd been having what I was trying to convince myself was spotting for several days, and I'd begun to suspect that I would not meet this baby. In the middle of the night, feeling the coming-and-going aches in my belly, I realized that there was no more hope. My body couldn't keep the baby, but my mind and heart still felt the call to mother.
I understand that as a parent, you can't always give your child what they need. There's a great deal of the work of growing up that they must do on their own. In the same way, you can't force them to make decisions that you want for them; they will have to make choices for themselves. Sometimes all a mother can offer is her presence and a promise to stay with her child as long as they need her. That's what I could do for my baby.
I quietly breathed in the darkness with my baby for an hour. With each cramp, I sent out the message, there you are! Here I am. I am here with you. I love you. You are not alone. But you can do what you need to do. If you have to go, I understand. In this moment, my presence and your presence is enough. It is an honor to spend this time with you.
Some might think it morbid, lying awake feeling my baby die, but it was one of the most beautiful and sacred gifts of my life. And in that moment, in the pain and the joy, with gratefulness, I knew I was a mother.