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We Deserve Better

Feb 20, 2021
Today is my due date, well would have been had I not miscarried months back. This date has been looming in the future since that unfathomable day in June when the bleeding wouldn’t stop. Everyday since then I have thought about what it would be like to still be carrying that baby. To feel the elbows, hands, and bottom beneath my skin. To feel hiccups and wiggles that are hard to put into words. To feel that unbearable tiredness and fullness that only a pregnant body knows. To be weighed down by worry about how we’ll make it work and at the same time feel nothing but sureness that we’ll be more than alright.
 
On that day in June, I thought maybe something was off but that it couldn’t possibly be serious, or mean the end. I wasn’t prepared for that. I didn’t want that. I had come to want that baby like I want my earthside child’s hand to always fit in mine. I loved that baby and I was prepared to rework and shift everything in my life to make room for this bright being. But it wasn’t ready, it needed more time to bask in the glow of the moon.
 
But I wouldn’t accept that at the time. I denied that anything was actually happening. I continued to work. I distracted myself with creating facebook posts and something meaningless in Canva. I didn’t want anything to do with what was happening. I laid in my bed and stayed there for hours. But the bleeding never stopped. At one point, I laid belly down on my bathroom floor unable to move. We went to the hospital then. I was unable to talk or move my arms and legs. The nurses and doctor pushed fluids in me and I came back to myself but only for a short time. I slipped back into that motionless state again and stayed there until more fluids were provided and then finally I received an emergency D&C followed by a blood transfusion.
 
I was in the hospital for two days. Nobody talked with me about the miscarriage, in any meaningful way. Just “I’m sorry”, if that. The nurses and doctors checked on my body constantly but not one person sat with me and looked in my eyes and asked me how I felt. No one wanted to risk “saying the wrong thing”. How they would have strung the words together would not have mattered as much as just sitting and being with me and my pain.
 
It was one of the loneliest experiences of my life.
 
My body is healed now. But my heart is still broken; it’s still laying on that bathroom floor refusing to let go and refusing to let be.
 
I wonder everyday what it would be like to be welcoming in a new life right now. To be making space in our home and to be having conversations with our daughter about her role as a big sister.
 
I also ponder the significance of the loss, like if that wasn’t meant to be, then what is? Where is the door that opened?
 
A few friends of mine have had babies since then and I’ve found it hard to be present for them in any meaningful way. I can barely ask how they are doing as new moms or what their babies are able to do now.
 
It’s just so painful.
 
And the ironic thing is I don’t like being a parent all the time. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had in my entire life and pushes every single one of my buttons. Sometimes I just want to take a sabbatical. But I love my daughter more than anything and I loved this baby too...more than I can put into words. And I would have given this baby a beautiful life.
 
I share this with you because it’s in my heart everyday. For those of you that have lost babies too, you know what I mean. I am surprised by how little we talk about loss in this way. Once I was healed and the physical struggles were overcome, people stopped checking in on me. Nobody asked me how I was doing or mentioned the baby. No one. It has been my story, my experience, my pain to bear.
 
Mothers should not be going through these experiences in isolation. We should not be trying to pick up the pieces of our hearts and make sense of the new normal while also trying to be who we were before.
 
I want it to be better for women, for mothers. We deserve that.
 
I want it to be more comfortable, in our daily lives, for pain to be witnessed. For it to even be allowed.
 
I want mothers to feel less alone with their experiences and more connected to the truth of what mothering often looks and feels like.
 
I want to feel that I am not the only one. And I want that for you too.
 
I almost chose to stay silent about the significance of today but then realized that silence is the norm and I don’t want to keep doing what’s been done simply because it’s been the way.
 
Because it’s not working. It just creates shame.
 
Today, I will not push down my sadness or pain to make someone or everyone feel better. Today, I will break the silence and stand here with my feet planted in the ground, my heart pointed up at the stars - towards my baby - and say "enough!".
 
We deserve better.
 
Thank you for listening.
Love, Amanda
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