Being a woman…is a lonely battle.
A close friend recently told me that she was a couple of months pregnant. I was so elated, about to cry, but then I was upset that she had waited so many weeks to tell me. She said she didn’t tell me because ‘you’re supposed to keep it a secret for the first 3 months because the risk of miscarriage is so high, and I didn’t want to tell people in case it didn’t work out.’
Bullshit, I told her. If the pregnancy terminates does that mean it didn’t count? A baby can be stillborn after 9 months – should the entire pregnancy be kept secret too, ‘ in case it doesn’t work out’.
But I understood her.I’m not a mother, and I can’t fathom what that entails. But I’ve seen what mothers go through.
The miscarriages that are mentioned in passing, void of importance, the post partum depression suffered in complete isolation.
When a woman falls pregnant, it’s not like an oven you pop dough in and wait for it to turn into bread.
As the embryo is growing, the woman’s body is flooded with hormones and her entire being is in fluctuation. Her body doesn’t belong to her anymore, another human in the making is draining her.
And yet, in between the terrible waves of sickness that strikes most women and the bloating and swelling and crying spells, she’s helping the baby grow by sending it thoughts of love and hope. For those first months before the bump appears, the miracle in making is a secret between her and the baby. They communicate by feelings and morning sickness and pregnancy cravings.
Her life flashes before her eyes. She will now and forever be in second place. Will it be a healthy baby? Will I be able to be a good mum?What if I fail?
So imagine all those questions, feelings, hope, – and the sad news:
“I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat. You’ve lost the baby.”
The hearts that were beating in tandem – abruptly returns to be a solo act. And what a heart wrenching song.
And because she never told anyone, she has to mourn in secret, continue with her daily life, greet her neighbours with a smile that never reaches the eyes, and walk past mothers with their strollers in the grocery store without breaking down in tears.
And if she did tell people, then her wounds will be ripped open over and over again:
– Oh it’s nothing. You’ll get pregnant soon enough
– OMG what did you do? Did you carry anything heavy?
– You have to be careful! What were you thinking?
– At least you didn’t go full term. Imagine if it was still born?
Darling, I don’t know what you felt in those scarring moments you lost your child. But your child mattered, your pregnancy counts. You will always and forever be a mother – even if your child doesn’t remain with you throughout your life. They will remain in your heart. You lost those first steps you envisioned, their 3 year birthday party, their high school graduation… I think sometimes the mourning no one can relate to or feel is the worst…So be your own best friend, and allow yourself to cry and grieve for as long as you are emotionally pregnant.