My Miscarriage: How Much Can You Love A Blueberry?
The process of getting pregnant varies significantly from person to person. Maybe it isn’t planned, perhaps you have been struggling for months, years even. For some it is as simple as the first attempt or as stress-free as "right on time." We are told it won’t be easy. We tend to expect at least a bit of difficulty. For those who struggle with ovarian cysts, irregularity and hormone imbalances you might think it will be impossible. That is what I thought.
As many women do, I struggled with multiple ovarian cysts. Many of which painfully burst requiring hospital visits, monthly external and internal ultrasounds, painful ovulation and periods that came and went a few times each year. It wasn’t until, after six years of extremely clean eating and an awesome active lifestyle that my periods became regular. Lo and behold, even normal. The cysts continued to persist but with less intensity and my husband and I began to wonder if we would be so lucky to get pregnant without intervention.
As we wondered, we planned. We talked about “maybe a couple of years from now”, which quickly became just a year or so and then eventually was just a matter of months away. We became hasty. “It will be hard for us, so what is the harm in being relaxed about birth control? If it happens, we are cool with it. But it won’t happen. Not yet.”
It did. Unexpectedly.
Without knowing how excited we could be and with complete disregard for being ready, financially stable and being 100 per cent prepared, we were thrilled. Terrified and thrilled. We discovered the one thing that no one prepares you for. You can love a blueberry.
At just seven weeks, the websites tell you about the organs that the tiny blueberry-sized fetus is growing. About their potential heart beat. You become attached as easily as you become fearful. We so desperately wanted to tell people, but we knew it was too early. We understood the risks and the reality. We were afraid of viruses, bug bites, Zika (as it happens to exist in the region where we live). We talked about genetic testing and screening and how we would respond. We told ourselves not to get too excited or too attached. And the very morning that I miscarried I said, “It is incredible to think that we are so fearful for the safety of a blueberry and yet I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Imagine what it will be like in a few months.”
Just a few hours later, I discovered blood. Panic. No matter how many Google searches you do to reassure yourself that maybe it isn’t a miscarriage, you know. And even with the love, and unfaltering support of your spouse, it still rocks both of your worlds.
No one tells you that you can love a blueberry sized embryo. You read the sad stories about miscarriage and you brush it off. I always assumed that in the early stages it is so fresh, it can’t be that big of a deal. Try again, you’ll have another. It is normal. it is natural. How sad can you possibly be? I truly didn't understand that it is an overwhelming combination of four distinct feelings:
We wanted to tell the world. We were already imagining the gender, the birth process, the way we would tell our families and the new home we would need to find. The ins and outs of how it was all going to work were inevitably stirring in our minds and consuming our thoughts.
We had to understand that this wasn’t the baby for us. That nature had decided there was something wrong. Something not right, something that need not continue.
PMS + pregnancy + genuine emotion, exhaustion and physical pain is a horrible combo. Acknowledging that the ongoing weepiness and frustration is worsened by the hormones doesn’t make it any better. However, accepting that the veil of sadness will lift is vital to the process. Acknowledge your emotions as persistently as you acknowledge your hormones and know, this too shall pass.
It isn’t my fault. As much as it feels so deeply that somehow, someway, you have caused this. That you are responsible for the hurt that your partner is feeling, you aren’t. It is incredible the sense of responsibility you can feel for a blueberry despite the fact that a billion Google searches will provide you with the same result. It isn’t your fault. It is nature, it was one of the unfortunate 20 per cent of pregnancies that simply wasn’t meant to be.
The big one. Beyond disappointment and the hormonal upheaval as well as the totally irrational feeling of responsibility, there is a lingering feeling of loss. It is as if you are mourning something unknown. You mourn the beginning of something special and a strange love you were excited to experience. With this loss comes strength. The capacity to move beyond this loss and build the opportunity to love a blueberry again and let that blueberry thrive into a watermelon.