Before we even meet them, we have already planned their details and we have already seen their faces and we have already embraced them, alive. And then they are gone, and they will never sit in our car or sleep in that bed or look at the walls of that room we decorated with them in mind.
For a woman who has been trying to conceive, without success, this type of reflection and comparison can be devastating. Of course, it is always difficult for women dealing with fertility challenges, but this time of year seems to be the worst.
I am all for celebrating the phenomenal beauty of a healthy pregnancy. After losing three pregnancies, I'm likely more appreciative than the average person of what a remarkable miracle a full-term pregnancy and healthy baby is.
Most of the things you aren't supposed to say are the things that made me feel better. After reading that, I thought for a moment, Maybe things don't happen for a reason... then what the heck is going on?
On the night of my son's stillbirth, I experienced a range of emotions I could live several lifetimes and never really begin to describe. I felt absolutely separate from my body. I felt intermittently like a witness to events.
In the months following my son's death, yoga enabled a pathway for me to experience myself in my body again. In a rich and saffron-hued yoga studio, lit in the evening with candles, I learned to stay in a moment even as I yearned to escape it.
I won't tell you to hang in there. I don't expect you to cheer up just because people keep saying encouraging things to you. I actually will say the opposite: you are allowed to be sad, frustrated and even angry.
It was such a gift to realize that I was not alone. So many women have miscarriages, even ones who have healthy babies now. It is nature's way. And it can also be a cleansing process to have a healthy pregnancy going forward.
The common line of thinking is that in the first trimester you should "only tell people you are willing to also tell about a miscarriage." The problem with this piece of advice is that it also leaves us with the impression that we're not SUPPOSED to talk about miscarriage.
I don't harbor resentment about being given up for adoption. I don't see the point, because constantly questioning my identity would just eat me up. Instead, I'm grateful, and I can't begin to explain how liberating that is.
Whether or not you hold your own baby in your arms, squirming with life and constant need, you are still a mother. With the weight of your loss, you are not diminished. You are not other. You are one of us -- one of the club.
To understand why Texas' new anti-abortion law is an invasion of privacy, you have to know my friend. It's a sad story, and despite what Texas Republicans might claim, it has nothing to do with abortion.
How do you say goodbye to someone with whom you shared not a past full of memories, but a future made of fantasies? How do you make space for sadness when you're surrounded by messages, both internal and external, telling you to buck up and move on?
Miscarriage isn't about pregnancy ambivalence or anxiety, prior abortions or outbursts of venomous anger, feelings of sadness or anything else that you can seemingly control. Miscarriage is simpler than all of that. It is loss of life that wasn't sustainable.
This was a major turning point in my life. It didn't make sense to me, and it did not seem right. It is one of the reasons I gave up my former career path, went back to school, and became an infertility counsellor.
Anyone who has had a miscarriage, or even worse a several pregnancy losses, can't help but ask herself, "what is wrong with me? Why can't my body hold onto a baby?" Oddly enough, scientists are asking just the opposite.