Lindsey’s Story

It was the last day of September.

The fall weather was attempting to come out, the bees were finally going away, I was two months into a new position at work that I loved, and everything was okay, until it wasn’t.

I knew it wasn’t when everything was red. Red and alarming. A color you don’t want to see in early pregnancy. My least favorite color. The sight of it made me dizzy. I grasped on to one tiny spark of hope that it was a fluke, and that maybe, somehow, everything would be okay. But it wasn’t.

In a whirlwind that felt like hours my husband was in the school parking lot to pick me up. Parents had already started arriving for dismissal and I remember leaving quickly and quietly, so as to avoid small talk with them.

Then there were nurses, pads, IVs, BP cuffs, ultrasounds. No answers. Just questions. The same questions on repeat. Don’t these people communicate with each other?
“How far along were you?” Their use of past tense in this question struck a nerve with me. It was tactless, and confirmed what I already knew to be true.
“When was your last menstrual cycle?”
“When did the bleeding start?”
More questions, more notes typed into my file.
What seemed emergent to me seemed like another day on the job here.

“Wait back out in the waiting room until we get a room ready” they said.
So I sat there, in a chair on top of my folded up cardigan because I had bled through my pants. I stood in line at the front desk to ask for a few more pads. Why would they send me back out here without one? I was embarrassed and frustrated.
I waited, anxiously, for the door to open and for them to call my name.
I started to accept the situation, that the baby I had grown to love was no longer nestled safe and snug inside my womb.

Why? “Don’t blame yourself” they say. This is difficult to do when you find yourself questioning every decision you could have, should have, would have done differently.

5 minutes turned to 20, then 20 turned to 40. The nursery chimes played on the hospital intercom to indicate that a baby had been born. Tears soaked my mask as the realization hit that someone else was celebrating their miracle at the same time that mine had slipped away. For the first time since the pandemic started, I felt an ounce of gratitude for the mask that concealed my sorrow from the strangers in the room. My husband grabbed my hands and we sat in solitude. Just the two of us, when it should have been three. I thought about that scene from UP, where Carl holds Ellie. I was grateful that I had my own Carl. I felt sad for him, having to grieve our loss while watching me in pain.

I was sent home with nothing but a written excuse to be off work. I felt empty, in the worst of ways.
The days that followed that night in the hospital were dark, and despite the outpouring of love, support, and gifts from loved one, this was the loneliest I’ve ever felt.

Friends and family said every combination of all of the right and wrong things. Some said nothing at all.
I thought of the irony that it would be my luck to lose my baby the day before Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. I tried to busy my mind with social media and quickly shut that idea down when every other post violently reminded me that my body expelled a baby that I very much loved and wanted. I didn’t need awareness for the new hell I was succumbed to.

I wondered how long it would take for me to be happy for pregnant friends? How long will this sting for when I hold a new baby, or shop for a shower? How long will I wonder who that sweet baby would have been? How my girls would have loved them, what they would have looked like, what name we would have chosen. How long will I be bitter, sad, and unapologetically pissed off at what could have been? How many times will I shake my fists and wonder why this happened to me? Will I ever be brave enough to try again?

It’s common, to lose a pregnancy. 1 in 4. I now fall into the “1” category. Why, I wondered, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why is there still a stigma associated with miscarriage?

To those who have walked this same path before me, I’m sorry if I didn’t say enough or do enough to support you. I didn’t understand then, but I do now. To those who walk this same path with me, I am here for you. To those who will walk this path after me, it’s not your fault. I share this, because even though it’s vulnerable and emotional, my loss mattered and my baby mattered. If I can help someone else heal or talk, even in a small way, then I’ve made a difference.

Thank you to my support system for being a light in the darkness. And to my beautiful girls, for giving me a reason to pick myself up and keep on going. I needed to feel needed, and I needed to stay busy, my children are perfect for both of those things.

And so I’ll grieve, in whatever way feels right. I’ll allow myself time and space to feel whatever I need to feel. And I will pause and remember my sweet baby, who only knew love.


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