Finding a Rainbow
Nothing in this world is as bad as losing a child. Nothing. When you are a mother and have more than once child and suddenly one is taken from you, you still have to go on living when all you want to do is die. Unless it's happened to you you can't imagine the pain. The way you have to force yourself to live each day, to keep breathing, to adapt to the pain because it never goes away. Nothing is this world is as bad.
It's the same for miscarriages. Often people don't realize that the loss can be just as great. Where the loss of a child is met with unconditional sympathy miscarriage is met with comments that are supposed to make us feel better and only make us feel worse.
"At least it happened early on"
"At least you didn't have to name it"
"At least you can try again:"
"At least ...."
No comforting words start with "At least". Even worse are when we are told things like "It wasn't meant to be" or "It's Gods plan". Comments like that are negating how devastating a loss it is. It hurts. It hurts no matter what and telling us at least or blaming fate or putting it on God doesn't make the pain go away. It's still a loss that needs grieved.
To be growing a life inside of you one moment and to have it gone the next... Nothing can prepare you for that.
Telling your family that you lost a child.
Answering over and over again when people ask when you are due and having to say you aren't.
Trying to explain the reasons.
Being put on the spot and asked if you will try again.
You come home and walk into the room you set up for the child that will never arrive. You have to decide whether or not to pack it up of leave it for the next time. You wonder if there will be a next time. You wonder if you want there to be a next time. Do you return all these things you acquired in anticipation of your new addition. Do you want to face the stranger at the store as they wonder why you are there returning these things? Do you explain? Do you once again share your grief with someone who is probably fortunate enough to have no idea how hard just breathing is for you?
Some morning you wake up and before you are fully awake you forget that the belly you just laid your hand on is now empty and you feel the wave of loss crash against you again. Only in those brief minutes after sleep may you forget your pain. But at night until dreams take you you think. You think until you cry and often those tears take your dreams to a dark place filled with the pain you hoped you could escape in slumber.
You walk by your babies bed. You take the small stuffed animal from the shelf and hold it to your chest and sob because the baby you lost will never rest on you like this doll. It will never hold this doll. All the firsts you imagined are now nevers.
You want to yell, to cry to scream and maybe you do. You forget sometimes that your spouse who is trying to be there for you suffered a loss too. You want to comfort him too. You try. But you don't think they can be hurting as much as you. You try to keep it together for your family. You try so hard that slowly you try less and less. It's not that it doesn't hurt. You are just learning to live with the pain.
If you are one of the lucky ones you get a another chance. Many women don't.
When you find out you are pregnant. you are both excited and terrified. Will it happen again? Will you lose another baby? Can you go through this again? Do you tell anyone and risk having to tell them you lost another child? But maybe this time it will be ok. Maybe this time you will meet the child you are carrying. And maybe you do and if you do you wonder...
Was the baby I lost going to be smart like this one? Chubby like this one? Have a smile that melts my heart like this one? And as that child reaches it's milestones, the same ones you dreamed of for the child you lost you may wonder how the baby you never meant would have looked at that point in it's life. Would it's first words have been mama? Would it's first steps have been to you?
You will never know. And the pain you finally learned to live with may subside. Here you have your rainbow baby. Your baby that came on a ray of sun after a dark storm. A baby to bring color and light back to your life. Not a baby to replace what you lost. Nothing can do that. But a baby you wouldn't have had had you not been through that storm. And you think this... maybe this is why this happened. You never get over the loss fully. But you live. And the more you live the more of a life you have. with your rainbow baby.