When You Know Loss Too Well: By Rachel Windley
When you enter into “happens often” to “we need to run tests” to “what is going on?” …
When a positive pregnancy test does not equal joy, expectation and relief but instead fear, anxiety, grief
When your once positive fades into negative just a few days later, just as your heart and mind were starting to feel a little better
When you start to understand why people wait to tell
When you begin to cringe at pregnancy announcements, not because you aren’t happy for them, but because your first thought is “I hope you get to meet your child”
When you know that you are never safe
Not after the first positive test
Not after the blood tests that confirm
Not after a sonogram
Not after the first trimester
Or the second
Or the third
Or the birth
Or the first birthday
Your feeling of safety when it comes to your unborn children has been completely violated before they are even given a chance to live.
When you see a baby and that reality for yourself seems further and further away.
When a baby shower turns into a bittersweet celebration.
When holding a precious baby turns from being enjoyable to therapeutic, cathartic, heartbreaking.
When your period becomes the enemy.
Blood means death, not life.
When life doesn’t allow for time to grieve, so you push on and work hard to keep everything together, only to have moments of completely overwhelming grief that come at unexpected times.
When you realize that your life is not your own.
Your timing is not your own.
Your wishes and dreams potential to become reality are not your own.
Your children’s lives, born and unborn, are not your own.
Your plans for your life are not your own.
When you hear the news of another experiencing all of these things, and you still don’t know what to say.
Because this pain should not be happening.
When you cry and grieve with others who cry and grieve with you and you cry together over lost lives and lost dreams and lost joy.
When you still hope for the future.
When you wake up and keep going.
When you break again.
When you understand what this is like, all of this, and you wish you didn’t.
When sharing your news each time feels like the boy who cried wolf and you are so scared people will stop believing you.
When you feel like you are going crazy and imagining the positive tests.
When you take pictures of the positive tests to remind yourself that you aren’t.
When you don’t want to hear congratulations because it doesn’t feel like there is anything to celebrate yet.
And you are scared that you are jinxing the process if you receive these greetings too soon.
When you know that you aren’t supposed to have this much fear,
that you should have hope,
because you know Who is in control,
but you are still hurting and scared and feel alone no matter who is around, who has shared this experience or who is trying to comfort you.
In honor of my four little loves that I wish I could have met and for the countless others who left lives and wombs too soon, but never left the hearts of those who carried them. This is for all of you.