I had a miscarriage on December 23, 2016 at 13 weeks pregnant. I found out when I went in for my ultrasound. For 45 minutes a technician probed around with a wand up my vagina, clicking away at this measurement…and that one…never giving way that anything was out of the ordinary. Looking back, I knew something wasn’t right immediately. The fetus looked very underdeveloped and I knew within seconds that I should have heard a heartbeat as I saw the child inside of me on that screen. Still, the knowledge I had didn’t prepare me for the words from the doctor.
“There is no heartbeat.”
Three months have gone by. Has it been easy? No. Have there been days that have stopped me dead in my tracks? Yes. Have I cried at every period since my cycles started again? YES! Have I been able to move forward? YES!
I have a beautiful 4-year-old stepson. He is my world. The moment I became his step-parent, my life was complete. I had a wonderful husband and a wonderful son. I never needed anything more. This surprise pregnancy was a bonus in our already complete life. What I was surprised at was how devastating the loss would be. With time, love, support, and patience for my adjusting hormones, I found my way back to me relatively quickly. I went back to work, back to my hobbies, back to running and enjoying the warm winter (and now spring) with my husband.
Part 2: The Letter
But then, today, I received a letter from the hospital
More of an invitation actually…which is strange to say. I was ‘cordially’ invited to the “Memorial service for miscarriage and burial of ashes.”
I got an invitation to my own baby’s burial: nobody spoke to me about this, nobody asked me, nobody ever inquired about how I chose to grieve. And yet…this invitation.
I understand their care and commitment to Mothers who have lost their children. I am now one of those mothers. The second I found out I was pregnant, I was a mom. That’s my feeling and my opinion of myself. I had many post D and C appointments and my final one revealed that there was a birth defect with my child that would not allow him/her to continue to develop. Here’s the honest truth though…when a doctor tells you that there was nothing you did wrong, you still feel like you did. It was my egg. My egg must have been bad. That is how I felt. I can say now that I no longer feel that way. I will also say it is nice to hear myself say that feeling is in the past. THERE IS NOTHING I DID WRONG. My head still needs to hear this every time I look at my tummy and feel like it should be huge right now.
Back to the invitation and the point of this ‘Part 2’…I cannot attend. I respect that my baby’s remains were cared for, but I wish I was part of the planning process. I wish that there was a recognition that this baby wasn’t “a baby,” it was my baby. I am the mother. The responsibility should reside with me: why didn’t anyone even consult me?
Not attending does that make me a bad mother. I have worked my own way through my grief, and I still have my July 1 due date to grieve a passing of time. I am prepared for that and will continue to make sure that day is what I need.
On that day, I will cordially attend my due date and grieve my child. This is my loss, that is my day, and I will do what’s best for me: what I know to be best for me.