More than 25 years ago I lost my older brother. I still remember phone and intercom calls very early in the morning, hush hush along the corridor at my house, my dad waking us up, on a weekend, to tell us the news. I was 12. I didn't know it yet, but everything in life was going to be different after that weekend. There is not a single a day I don't remember I had a brother, there is not a single day I don't think my mom lost a grown 19 year old son.
The pain of losing a close family member is excruciating. The pain of losing your child the same. Or so I thought. Until exactly 5 months ago I didn't really know what it felt like. I do now. 5 months ago I had a miscarriage. At home. I never really saw it coming. My first pregnancy was perfect. Aside from some minor spotting and stomach burning (and the extra weight), from positive results to delivery, perfect and magic. You would think (aren't we trained to believe the good will happen again?) the second was also going the same way.
And for a moment there I thought it was. When we decided it was time I got pregnant (almost like a sign that it was meant to be specially when the first had taken us almost a year). It is a different country but I thought it was nice to be treated like a normal person (pregnancy is not a disease!). I laughed at the midwife's suggestion to have the baby at home (not knowing it was exactly what was going to happen, only many months earlier).
The details of how it all happen don't seem important now (like many things in my life when I realized it was actually happening I had the practicalities taken care of to make sure the entire process was bearable). The reasons don't seem important now (although I still think - even after hearing the expression 'natural selection' so many times - about the things I could have done to prevent it?).
It does matter that my husband was with me through the whole thing and cried with me through the whole thing. It does matter that I cried with my mom over our transatlantic call when I shared the news. It does matter that everything happened as nature wanted and I had my moment to say goodbye to the baby. At home.
And, it does matter that I had so many strong women friends around me. Some brought me flowers, some called, some sent a sweet message, some gave me a quiet space in time before they had their moment to hug me, some had wise words, some told me to cry (hard enough and for as long as I felt like it), some cried the month after when they met me and saw something was wrong. And, all of them had a personal story to tell. I found out that many of my close friends have been through a miscarriage before. Some have been through more than one. Some know of other stories from other women (usually very painful ones). And I just didn't know.
Like it is something we do not share (true enough). Like it is something we only feel entitled to share with someone who is going through the same thing (true enough). Like it is something we share to let a girlfriend know it is ok, it has happened before, you will heal (like I have), chances are you will try again and have more babies.
I realized it doesn't matter how far ahead in the pregnancy you were. Some friends even had their angels in their arms before they had to say goodbye. And like my mom it took close to 20 years for that moment to come. I also realized that none of these stories make your own pain easier (a wise friend kindly told me that too). But they do make you feel like things will be better. They do make you feel like you are not alone. And that is a good thing when you feel so empty.
I feel it is time I share my story because it is time to move on and look forward, teary eyes, marked soul and all.