1. Anything can happen to me.
While I miscarried I was a bit paranoid. All around me I saw accidents about to happen and about to happen to me.
I’ve never been a tin foil hat person, but suddenly I realized: anything can happen to me.
Anything. If a miscarriage can happen then anything can happen.
I sat around waiting for airplanes to crash into the house, close friends and family members to die, and more bad shit to happen in general.
My imagination took me there and I let it because why not? Later, I confessed these thoughts to my mom and she said, “Yes. But if anything can happen to you that also means anything good.”
I needed that reminder because it’s true.
2. I have maternal instincts.
I knew something was wrong four days before it was confirmed I was miscarrying. There was light-colored blood on the tissue—similar to the blood before a cycle is about to start—when I went to the restroom, and I knew. Still, all I could think was: What do I know? I’m not a real mother. How would I know?
It didn’t help that online forums told me not to worry, and that the doctor (who wasn’t the doctor I usually see) brushed me off and handed me the ultrasound picture with a pat on the back.
I thought my anxiety and my constant habit of worrying had gotten the best of me, and so I tried to think positively. Positive thinking was helpful, but positive thinking doesn’t keep babies here. I’m finally in a space where I’ve come to accept (though I don’t like it) that there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop my miscarriage, but I’m still upset with myself for lacking confidence. I’m upset with myself for not believing that I already possessed the power of discernment.
If I had been confident,
and if I had believed that I was a mother as soon as I conceived, I would have said goodbye.
I would have thanked the baby, or maybe sang a song to the baby as the baby transitioned. I would have done what I could do for my sake. But I didn’t consider myself a mom even though I loved my child deeply. To me, moms were women who got to hold their children in their arms and yet, ain’t I a mother? After all, I got to hold my baby in my uterus and act as a little ‘g’ god for a while.
So, the lesson that I’ve learned is that—I am a mom. The same way a mother is still a mom when her baby makes it all the way here only to die in a school shooting or from old age. My baby was real and I have maternal instincts.
3. I love my husband.
Even before the loss, I became aware of Mikey in a different way than I ever have before. The shift happened when I started to suspect I was pregnant. My emotions were heightened, and I loved him so much during that time.
All I could think was, “Look at what my body is going through because of you. Thank you so much for my baby.”
But after my miscarriage or rather in the 11 days it took me to miscarry, I became acutely aware of him in different ways. My guilt catalyzed part of my concern for him. Guilt, because even now I struggle to remind myself that I did not do anything to him, but instead this loss happened to us. Mainly though, my concern for him stemmed from love.
He gave me my first baby and was a rock star through all of my fatigue, sore breasts, cravings, and emotions. Not only that though, but I know that Mikey felt this loss as deeply as I did while at the doctor’s office and deeply with me now.
I wanted people to give him the same grace they had shown me and I wanted him to have his space to mourn. In all, the baby brought us closer than we thought possible, and while I hate that we went through this I am thankful I had and have him the whole time.
4. We have to tell people every time.
We made a list of people we would tell as soon as we found out we were pregnant. To be honest, we did toy with the idea of keeping it to ourselves for as long as possible, but then I came across an article on Pinterest. In the article she stated that her and her husband faced the same dilemma about whether to tell or not.
At the end of the day they decided to tell their closest friends and family. Because if something, God forbid, did go wrong they wouldn’t have to endure the pain alone.
We took this thinking and ran with it and I am thankful. I don’t know who I would be today if I had to miscarry without the support of our siblings, our mothers, and our married mentors. I honestly don’t think I would be here to tell anyone about it.
After it was confirmed that I was miscarrying I lived in a dark, dark, dark place. I liken it to falling in the sunken place.
And sometimes I go back there at night when everything is still. But when it was confirmed?
That week of contractions and watching my body dispel clot after clot after clot for seven days. That week where I literally labored and gave birth to a dead child?
If I had done that by myself?
Well, we’ll never know because I didn’t.
I had to physically miscarry by myself, but after our doctor’s appointment we grabbed clothes and went straight to my mother’s house, and we stayed there for seven days.
My siblings and my closest cousin were in rotation as well as our moms and my mentors. There were times when I insisted on isolating myself, but I knew they would be there as soon as I opened the door.
Mikey and I slept in my younger brother’s room, drank ourselves silly on alcohol (lots and lots of alcohol), cried, and ate whatever we wanted. One day my mom made me walk outside—just to the stop sign—, because I hadn’t seen the sun since we pulled into her driveway five days before. I was angry about that, but now I know that the time with our family reminded us that we were still alive, and that there is hope. But, even if there isn’t hope they will sit there with us, anyway.
So many women isolate themselves after a miscarriage, and there is no judgment there. But I know that if I had not had people over-explaining that the miscarriage was not my fault and that I didn’t deserve this horrible thing—I wouldn’t be here.
So, we will tell the same people about our next pregnancy. They deserve it and they have proven that they will be here in joy and in the sadness.
But mainly, we will tell our people again because telling people saved my life.
5. Before the baby, I didn’t know anything about God.
I thought I did, but I seriously didn’t. In fact, all of my former posts about God, before the baby, make me feel like such a fraud.
I wrote a separate piece about what the baby has shown me about God. Check it out if you’d like to know more.
6. Being brave is scary, but unavoidable.
No one can explain to me why pregnancy loss is a thing. Even the doctors tell me I’m not a risk.
They say, “1 out of 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage,” and that sadly it is a “natural phenomenon.”
That shit sucks.
When someone dies inside of you the last thing you want to hear is, “It’s unexplainable, but know that you’re fine.”
No, I’m not. I kill babies. Haven’t you heard?
Still, despite myself, I do want to try again and I want to get pregnant and be a mom to a living child, but I don’t want to miscarry ever again.
It’s so crazy because before this loss I worried about affording the baby. Now, getting pregnant results in a different and deeper risk. Now, getting pregnant again means that I know that shit happens, but I still have to try (and it might kill me), but come what may.
I could be one of those women who never ever ever ever miscarry ever again. This loss could be my only loss, ever. Or, I could be a part of the 1% of women who experience consecutive losses before a successful pregnancy and birth.
The really fucked up thing though is that I will not know which category I fall under unless I get pregnant again.
That’s scary, but unavoidable. Because, when I close my eyes and let my imagination go, I see a pregnant Randie. I see live babies who all look like Mikey.
I see joy and joy takes bravery and there’s no way around it.
God help me.
7. I might as well be who I am, and for the right reasons.
My goodness—feigned and real did not protect me from losing my baby.
I spent 11 days miscarrying and I reeled in rage because the loss was and is unfair and horrible.
What was the point, I thought to myself, in following the “rules” when the rules are shit.
What’s the point of calculating my every move when at the end of the day none of that keeps babies here?
I’ve done my best to be perfect, I’ve deprived myself, and let people slide with some wack shit. I’ve done so many things and I wouldn’t be mad about it if I had done those things for the right reasons (all of the time).
But this baby showed me that I can’t buy my way into heaven. I can’t bribe God or the universe in order to get and keep the things I really want.
I know that in my life I’ve done my best to be very controlled and slow to anger and craziness. I’ve calculated a lot of my steps days and years in advance. This is because I’ve always believed control, perfection, and preparation would protect me. I’ve always thought this way because, in my mind, the times I wasn’t in control, perfect, or prepared ended in catastrophe. And without fail, when I think about when those times occurred, they always start and end with my sexual assaults.
To me, those attacks happened because I wasn’t in control, perfect, or prepared and so I deserved it.
Ironically, this baby has freed me from that thinking (though I don’t believe the baby had to die in order for me to understand this).
Essentially, I didn’t deserve this loss. Mikey didn’t either and neither did our mothers or siblings. No past shit in our lives made this happen. Nothing we’ve ever been through or done resulted in me losing my baby.
(And if you have experienced the loss of a pregnancy, the same is true for you as well).
I didn’t get pregnant because I was perfect and I didn’t lose the baby because I failed.
In all, now that I know all of these things all I can do is be myself—all of myself and for the right reasons.
In my heart I want to be good, and not because of what it will get me, but because that’s who I am—even in all of my vulgar, raunchy, and imperfect moments.
This, I’ve found is the only thing that matters.