Miscarried. I miscarried. I was eight weeks pregnant, but then I miscarried. That word stings like no other I’ve heard before.
Miscarried – like I dropped a jar of olives while bringing in the groceries. Miscarried – Like a pen slipped from my fingers and tumbled to the ground. This was more than an “oopsie daisy.” This was my body, my family, my future, my life.
They say I can’t blame myself: these things happen sometimes. Why does that word beg differently to my ears? Every time I hear it, all I hear is that I did something wrong. I made a MIStake. I MIScarried.
The doctor clutches her hand as she explains to my husband and me that I could have done nothing to cause this. “What would you tell another woman experiencing this and having those same thoughts?” she asks. Well, that’s a silly question. Of course, I’d tell her it wasn’t her fault and there was nothing she could do. Everything happens for a reason; that baby just was not equipped for the life ahead and outside.
However, I am not talking to another woman. I am talking to myself: my own harshest critic.
Maybe believing I had something to do with it gives me a sense of control or power in a helpless situation. Maybe my mind is in some kind of self-preservation mode. Maybe my overthinking this all distracts me from the overwhelming sadness I feel. Maybe it provides at least somewhat of an explanation for the simply inexplicable.
Either way, though, I hate the word “miscarriage.” It leaves too much room for interpretation. Maybe not to the outside world, but to me as a mother. As someone who is supposed to protect her babies, all her babies, at any cost. As someone who, deep down, does know that this was completely out of her control. I don’t know what word to use instead, though, and honestly, I don’t think there will ever be an alternative that doesn’t hurt all the same at just its very sound.
So, for now, I’ll refrain from using it altogether — as society seems to want me to do, anyways. Sadly. I shrug.
If anyone asks, I’ll say, “I HAD a miscarriage” because that’ll scrape off some of the utter amount of guilt and shame I feel for experiencing this at all. That this thing happened TO me, and I’m a mere victim in the sisterhood club to which no one ever wants a bid. (I’m not alone. The first thing I read throughout the process was this post by a fellow Indianapolis Mom.)
In the end, I know I didn’t do this, but that certainly doesn’t make these feelings vanish.
So, all the while, I’ll pick up the pieces of my broken self as I try to move forward. I’ll do the best I can to honor what has been lost. I’ll cry when I need to; I’ll look forward to all that’s ahead. I’ll hope this was just a fluke in the grand scheme of it all. I know one thing is for certain, though, I’ll “carry” these feelings forever, and I think that’s to be expected.
I’m not alone. This article dives more into similar feelings women have after also having a miscarriage, as well as a possible solution for the mystery that lies within having one.