My friend miscarried this morning.
Many women know what that is like: I lost a son at three months. Miscarriages are common.
Of course, we know, with all our logic, that it is "probably for the best", and "maybe something was wrong". That's what we SAY.
Then there is the unintended pregnancy (me!) that you take weeks or months to get a grip on, only to have it end. And the guilt. Oh, boy, the "it's because I didn't want it" guilt. Or how about "what did I do wrong?"
A miscarried baby is real, and many people feel that since you didn't hold your baby or go through labour, you should not feel the way you would over a "really real" baby. I guess this is true.
A miscarried baby is purely a dream, a possibility, a wondering. And losing that, is really real. In a different way.
I had some lousy advice when I lost my baby: the doctor said to "forget all about it. Move on, it was never a viable pregnancy." I wondered how there could have been a foetus, an actual baby boy, if there had never been a viable pregnancy. But I took his advice to heart. I moved on, stoically. Sean and I moved to the UK for a wonderful year of work and school and fun. After all, it WAS for the best, wasn't it? We weren't ready for a baby. Right?
When we decided to go ahead and begin our family, I conceived quickly and had a dream: I dreamed that I went back to the hospital where I had gone when I had my miscarriage, and asked for my baby. I was ashamed: what kind of mother forgets her baby at the hospital? But the staff there had no idea what I was talking about. I became more and more frantic, searching the aisles and calling for help, and finally woke up sobbing for the baby that I had left behind.
It is difficult to know what to say to someone who has suffered a similar loss. But one day, someone told me something so beautiful: "There are some souls, who have a very difficult journey. Their past lives have been filled with suffering of the worst kind, and they have more ahead. Sometimes, it becomes too much, and they need to be held for a while; warm, nourished and loved; before they can move on. Your baby knew no pain, no anger, no fear, no sadness, no hunger, no cold. You were chosen for this job, because you could give love to a possibility, a dream, under any conditions. We special women who are chosen this way have been blessed, and those little ones thank us as they leave us."
I choose to believe this. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel like there is a purpose, beyond the negative "something was wrong." I love my baby boy, but I can let him go. I wish him well, wherever he is, and thank him for sending me that dream, so that I could cry over a really, real loss.