When one buries her first son and devastatingly has her third son torn from her body, she contemplates.
At least I do.
Since Matthew’s death in 2009, and learning Trey’s heart stopped in 2012, the perplexity of my contemplations drives me wild, but also releases me because I know the sheer futility in trying to understand.
I don’t. I won’t. There.is.no.good.reason.
And this time of year is very hard for me, though very few, including people who are intimate staples of my life, know.
Two years ago, I was pregnant. Again. Our third IVF. Our third miracle pregnancy. People rejoiced on my blog and through various social media outlets; in real life I received cards and letters and generally speaking, the outlook was wonderful. Matthew’s death was considered a ‘fluke.’ Luke was perfect, as had my entire pregnancy with him been. It had been said of me many times that (once I finally got there) I “did pregnancy well.”
I expected the baby to live. Learning there had been a twin we didn’t know about but lost felt like our “shoe-dropping” in that pregnancy. But the one survived. And thrived. Until he didn’t.
There is such a difference in the way people rallied around us, and specifically, me, after Matthew died than how they did after “we lost the baby.” When we learned he was a boy, we named him. That was questioned. His entire existence was brushed off as “early loss,” “miscarriage,” “common at your age.”
All the talk of my cute bump and presents bought in anticipation and family discussions of good names for a boy or a girl seemed to vanish. Evaporate as if it hadn’t.even.happened. The baby hadn’t happened. Instead, a miscarriage happened.
Matthew happened. He was real. He was born. He lived. He breathed. He died in his daddy’s arms.
Not so much.
I did not have much anger after Matthew died. Betrayal, disappointment, depression…all those, yes. In spades.
I’m angry right now. Two years later and my IVF cycle and pregnancy and ultrasounds watching him suck his thumb and wiggle around still weigh heavy in my mind, but it seems as if to the rest of the world, it was not much of anything.
Why? Why the difference? Because Trey’s heart didn’t beat as long? Matthew’s didn’t beat as long as Luke’s has, and very few people, if any, would deny his existence. Why? Because I’d barely gotten to the second trimester and Matthew was overdue?
WHY? Why do people not understand that when women experience miscarriage, their hearts still break? Their dreams are still shattered? That beating heart inside of them meant something. MEANS something.
And more, how can the same people who sat in the pregnancy cheering section (before the loss) act as if it never happened, or was just a ‘blip’ in that mother’s life?
I don’t understand.
But I do know this. Trey lived and formed just as Matthew and Luke. I have video of Luke wiggling and waving his hand in utero at 10 weeks, and Trey’s heart beat nearly three weeks longer. I have pictures of Matthew, Luke and Trey at the same gestation. Could you tell them apart if you didn’t know?
The second collage is one of Matthew and Luke at my 12 week scan. Do you see those arms? They waved at me. Do you see those toes? They were perfect and I dreamed of nibbling each one with joy and gratitude. When we lost Trey, he was THIS developed. He was THIS formed, wiggly and already endeared to me.
How in the world, simply because I ‘miscarried him’, is his life all of a sudden negated? Why would I love him any less? Miss him any less? Wish for that day when I’d hear him say, “Mama!” any less?
We mothers beg, plead and pray for our children to live and be born…and have long, healthy lives. The world follows along happily, provided that we stay that course.
But when we miscarry, and little ‘evidence’ is available to support a life existed, the support disappears—leaving the mother grieving and treated as neurotic for mourning the very same ‘baby’ who’d been exuberantly cheered for all over Facebook just an hour before.
Such disservice is done to those who miscarry. The world acts as if it expects the baby will live.
Until the baby dies.
And then…’the baby’ never was.
Replaced instead by such an ugly word: