I look in the mirror. This is what a miscarrying woman looks like. I stare at my image. I make faces. I look into the reflection of my eyes. This is what a miscarrying woman looks like? It’s a mistake, right?
I told Allyn today that there are moments when it is hard to believe that the last three months happened. It feels like I’m just experiencing a long, extra painful period. Surely I just dreamed this pregnancy—a long dream that just felt like I lived three months.
Today I am at 13 weeks—the “safe” point. Last night I went to bed wondering what it would be like to complete the miscarriage today, to mix the safe and the tragic. I’m not sure if that will happen, although I do believe I’m inching closer to that point. Cramps are getting steadier, holding their intensity. I seem to have moved from the every now and then spotting to something a little more regular, even if still very light. I had to admit last night that I’m not still waiting for miscarriage, but am in the process of miscarrying. I am anticipating that by Monday I will be alone in my body.
Perhaps the thought that this is all a dream is my way of dealing with that thought—my way of being able to get through these ways when my body is expelling my baby, to get through the days when I learn how to be alone in my own skin again. If I can believe it was only a dream, then I don’t have to feel the deceit in my uterus, don’t have to anticipate the emptiness that will come.
On facebook, someone asked Elizabeth Mangham Lott, yesterday’s guest writer, what would happen if all of us who have been there had some sign by which we could recognize each other. I’ve referred to this as a secret club—and I’m certainly not the first to do so. Miscarriage can be so isolating. It falls into the category of “that which we do not mention.” It can even be isolating to write about, because here I am admitting all of the things that we are taught to keep silent. I fear judgment and eye rolling. And perhaps more than that is the fear that I am wrong, that all of this isn’t something that others feel. So to be able to identify others? . . . I responded that at this point in my own loss, I would anticipate lots of hugs and tears. Perhaps we would make eye contact and without a word say, “You too? I thought it was just me.”
Perhaps the face in the mirror would look back at me with something other than confusion.
I have been talking to Avelyn—have been all along. I let her know this morning that it is safe now, that she can go. I’ve been fingering the piece of blanket that I intend to wrap her in—a small square of the Tigger blanket I made for her a month ago. I realized recently that she was likely already dead as I was sewing it together. I’m not yet sure what we will do with the rest of the blanket, but I am glad that this piece will always be hers, will hold her even when I cannot.
This is what a miscarrying woman looks like.
Author’s note: This is the tenth post in a series on pregnancy loss/miscarriage. Read the first post, “First ultrasound,” here.