Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The sad month of May

So here it is; I'm really hoping this will be therapeutic.

In late April Travis and I thought we might be pregnant. After Mass one Sunday we went to the drug store and bought an ept. This felt funny to me. I kept thinking, "People are going to know that we did it!" I was embarrassed and tried my best to hide it, especially from the people who had also just come from Mass. But I was so excited and wanted a baby.
In the end, there was just one line. Not pregnant. But Travis didn't care. "It's just too early. You're pregnant and we're going to have a boy."

To make a long story short, I was pregnant. On May 7th I took the test again and it was positive. On the 9th the doctor's office called to confirm it and we went to our parents' homes to tell our families. On the 10th there was bleeding and cramping. The 11th I went to the doctor who said things were "worrisome." And on the 12th we found out I had miscarried.

Here's the thing. When we went to Scotland I asked a woman if we should go to the Battlefield at Bannockburn (where the Scots, led by Robert the Bruce, defeated the English). She said yes, but that it wasn't just a field any more. Homes were built up all around it. "It was major, but life goes on, ya know." So that was the approach I tried to take. We told a small group of friends, many of whom didn't even know we were pregnant. We felt overwhelmed with grief - I certainly didn't want to be overwhelmed with phone calls. So I grieved on my own or with Travis. Life goes on. But that was stupid. In fact, I think that this grieving thing would be easier if more people knew.

We had a son. He has a name. He would have been born in January. With God, Travis and I created a new, unique, little soul. I felt him in me, or at least felt the effects of him in me. He deserves to be loved and acknowledged, even if his life was only 2-3 weeks in my womb.

We call ourselves pro-life, but we focus mostly on abortions. Well, what about people like me and Travis? Where are the links for grief counseling on the Diocesan website for us? Why isn't there a section in NFP literature that explains what my body will be doing after a miscarriage? Why didn't someone tell me, as soon as they found out I was bleeding that I could save the blood and anything else.
What the hell does the doctor think he's saying when he tells a Catholic, NFPing woman to "Chin up. Think positive," when her first child has died. He has pamphlets on breastfeeding, epidurals and the pill but nothing to offer a woman who has lost her child. I know miscarriages are common - he deals with women like me every week - he should have something more than "Don't worry. You're healthy. It's not your fault. You'll be okay to have more."

I know it's not my fault, but you telling me that there was a fatal defect in the chromosomes in my son so that my body rejected him does not make me feel better. I don't care what the science is - a baby is supposed to be safe in his mother's womb. I can know it's not my fault and still feel like crap about it.

And of course we will have more, but that doesn't make up for the one we lost. Our first.

I am angry and sorrowful. But what I am most upset about is the lack of a dignified burial. I was told God does not expect us to do the impossible, but I wish I would have done something. The feelings of guilt, however, are nothing compared to the helplessness.
There's a feeling of emptiness, too. Empty womb, empty arms.

And it can be hard to be around babies. But at least I can look at an image of the Infant Christ now. I couldn't do that for weeks.

Here is the tricky part: Life does go on. We make dinner and see friends and watch movies and pick out kitchen cabinets. But I want you to know that I do want you to acknowledge him. And tell me the good things that are happening in your life. And give me a call and catch up. Just please, instead of telling me that it's not my fault, or that it'll be okay, or just that you're sorry, will you please say, even if you can't understand, "You're right, Bonnie. That sucks."

Travis and I are parents. We have one son, Peter Mark, and no matter whose singing voice he inherited, I'm sure he sounds just beautiful praising before the throne.

3 comments:

  1. First, thank you for linking to my blog.

    Second, I know. I know what you are going through and it is sad. I think the support that moms of dead children get are via other moms of dead children. I called my two friends who have miscarried because I knew they would understand. I am also very blessed my priests were so kind and thoughtful with me when I was so emotionally raw.

    In a town near here, two women began a support group for other mothers who have lost their children via the Church. Maybe you can be that woman who begins a special organization for other grieving moms. If I can remember the name of the group I will email you.

    God bless! (By the way, it gave me REAL, concrete peace to ask my daughter to pray for me as I grieved her loss. I would recommend the same for you).

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  2. For a long time I couldn't put into words how I felt after I lost our baby. I still don't talk about it. My husband doesn't talk about the baby and my family doesn't really say anything either. My friends, who all have children, don't understand and treat me like I am broken.

    My heart still hurts and I feel incomplete. Even though I never met him in person, I miss him so much.

    Thank you for your words. God bless.

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  3. This is a good, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing. I lost a baby son in a miscarriage, also. After reading your post, I'm very happy to be able to pester a specific Saint, St. Peter Mark, to get his little brother James swallowing bottle milk soon.

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