In the winter of 2009, my partner and I decided to try for a second child. At the time, we'd already been blessed with a precocious (almost) 3 year old, but longed for her to have a sibling. We tried for months until, one September day, I discovered I was pregnant. Overjoyed, we scheduled our first doctor appointment for that very week, only to have the ultrasound reveal there was no heartbeat. Our baby was not alive. I quickly realized that some of the nicest things you could possibly do for a woman who just had a miscarriage aren't that difficult and, honestly, might help the healing process move along a little easier.
The day this devastating news broke, I had a nagging feeling deep in my gut something was "off." It certainly didn't feel the way my first pregnancy did, and though that's not the only identifier (because all pregnancies are different), I can only narrow it down to an intuition. My reproductive system has always been the cause for all sorts of problems. I went through puberty early (around 9) and menstrual cycles were so painful, I was put on birth control not long after. Doctors would inform me my uterus was titled and cysts grew on my ovaries en masse, often, so becoming pregnant the first time was nothing short of a miracle. However, I still wanted more children.
A few days before that doctor appointment, I suffered slight cramping, nausea, and other symptoms I simply wrote off. I did this because maybe I wasn't ready to face what I deep-down knew to be true of this pregnancy. Once the loss was confirmed, the rest is a blur of memories. I remember sobbing in the corner room with my paper gown still covering me as the doctor tried to console me. My mom was there, and my daughter, too, because we thought we'd leave that afternoon in celebration. Instead, we left grieving.
The next morning, because of health reasons, I had surgery to remove the deceased fetus from my body. While still a tiny being, I felt that loss once home for recovery that evening; physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's so hard to explain that great responsibility of carrying a life, only to have my body betray me. My grief was heavy and took many months to remotely come to terms with all that had happened. I still remember some things others did during that time, that absolutely helped me get through it. Without any of these things, I honestly don't know I would have.