October 19, 2016

Moving on From Miscarriage

It’s been three months and four days since I lost my baby. That sounds like a line to a terrible country song. But it’s my reality. I’ve now been without longer than I was pregnant.

After I posted my piece both on this site and Today.com‘s, I received an overwhelming outpouring of support, of which I’m enormously grateful for. So many prayers and well wishes. They made me cry harder, feel deeper, and, ultimately, carried me through. Many said, I assume in an effort to acknowledge the impact and not pacify my pain, that “it doesn’t get easier”. And I get what they’re saying, I do. But, the truth is, for me, that it has gotten easier. I’m able to smile again, make plans, get excited about life. I’m no longer angry at the world. Seeing babies and pregnant women is far less hard.

But that doesn’t mean I feel whole. That I’m not seriously scarred and sensitive at times. Like anyone with any sort loss in life, I have my good days and my bad. I’ll be going along completely fine, almost old Natalie-like for weeks or more and, then, wham, out of nowhere, without any premeditation, I’m a puddle.

In telling my story, I hoped it would help. Cliché, yes. Sincere, absolutely. And, to my delight, it appears it did. So many of you shared your stories that you’d never told or hadn’t accessed in years, things you’d been wanting to say and that people deserve to hear. (There was also, of course, a side effect to those tellings. The number who experienced not one or two losses but three, four and five was alarming, soul-shattering and sleep-depriving. Ever the optimist, I believed I’d be successful if I tried again. And I still do. I have to. But I’m also now numbingly aware of the statistics.)

But the love wasn’t just from strangers. My family and friends rallied around me in ways that make me want to be better. From a relatively new bestie who insisted on coming over when I didn’t want her to but secretly needed it and called me out when I was lying to everyone including myself about being okay, to two close friends in California who not only (separately) sent flowers but call and text weekly without response back and another in Massachusetts who tapped into her own pain, offered advice and combed every resource she could think of, to my sister-in-law in Texas who wrote me the most beautiful letter. Undeterred, these girls and many more, showed up and continue to. Forget motherhood, it takes a village to get through grief.

If I hadn’t been so open and accepted so much love, I wouldn’t be nearly where I am today in terms of health and healing. I wish for all of you out there struggling, peace. However it comes, however long it takes, whatever form it shows up in. Accept it, embrace it, pay it forward.