Last month, I was sorting through my under-the-bed box of clothes, the ones I keep to fit into when I lose the weight “someday,” when I came across my bin of old summer clothes.
When I opened it up, a flash of bright pink caught my eye. What is that? I thought to myself. I don’t remember buying anything so pink…
Not realizing what it was, I pulled the pink shirt up and held it in front of me. Instantly, the room closed in on me and I felt the air leave my lungs in a rush of pain. I closed my eyes and shook my head to stop the tears from falling down, hot and angry, unbelieving that I could have forgotten.
It was the maternity shirt I had bought to announce my pregnancy last summer, bright pink, with two tiny baby feet stamped at the bottom, right below the words “running buddy.” I had signed up to run a half-marathon before I found out I was pregnant and knowing that I would have been about 8 weeks along at the race, I had searched Etsy for hours to find the perfect shirt to wear while I ran. Just me and my little running buddy.
Unfortunately, however, I lost my running buddy the week before the race. I miscarried over a period of two months and unable to get rid of the shirt, despite the pain it causes me to look at it, I had shoved it under my bed where it had remained. Seeing the shirt and feeling the pain of my loss as fresh as it was the day my midwife broke the news to me has only made me realize, more than ever, that a miscarriage is never something you just “get over.”
Honestly, part of me worries that everyone near me is sick and tired of hearing about my loss. I know of so many women who have had it “worse” than me, if such a scale exists, with multiple losses or later, traumatic and very physical losses and it makes me wonder what’s wrong with me—that mine still seems to be affecting me even a year later.
I had a hard time this fall and didn’t make the realization that my emotions were actually connected to my loss after all this time. I was snapping at my husband, losing focus at work, and crying seemingly for no reason at all.
It was in the middle of one particularly hard night, when I couldn’t seem to shake the depression that had settled over me like a cloak, that I thought long and hard on why I seemed to be dreading this time of year, why I was having such a difficult time, and asked myself if there was anything that I was avoiding dredging up because it was too painful. And that’s when it hit me:
I was mourning the loss of what would have been my six-month-old baby.
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