I had a miscarriage once. I was nearly three months pregnant when it happened. I was certain I’d be holding this child. The event itself was something from a nightmare.
I started bleeding in the bath tub. Only small clots appeared at first. When I got to the emergency room, alone, I had a few tests done. A soundless sonogram, alone. A motionless ultrasound, alone. I sat alone in the bright white room for hours. It looked so dark through my eyes.
Daddy showed up and we sat in silence as I had been told nothing. Not one word was said. Only blank stares. I have only memories of my crying and screams as a soundtrack attached to this trauma.
I had the urge to use the bathroom so I rushed down the hallway. Blood began gushing from me. I could feel large clots breaking free and I panicked as I sincerely thought my child had fallen in the toilet. So, I covered myself and hysterically relayed the tale of the toilet to the nearest nurse I could find. I begged her to get my baby out of there.
Back in the room I was still covered in blood. It was everywhere. On me, and the wall, and the table, and smeared on the floor. One of the nurses had even scolded me for putting my street clothes back on after wearing a gown for over 3 hours.
Sorry, B*tch. Did I ruin YOUR pants?
I had thought I would be leaving there pregnant. The lifeless tests worried me but the doctors, technicians, nurses, etcetera never said anything like, “Hey Lady, your baby is dead.” I fully expected they would let me know as soon as they did. I saw concerned looks, but nothing like the equivalent to the facial expression of someone who was witnessing death. My child did die, after all. They felt nothing, said nothing, did nothing. None of them did a thing. None of them.
When the blood came, I knew. I cried as I tried to clean it from the floor. Blood really does smear endlessly like they show in the movies. I sat down, shaking. No one holding me. No one did. The doctor came in to confirm what we already knew. My baby was gone. Then he said D & C. I couldn’t bear it. The pain was insane, physically and emotionally. He was chopping my child into chunks with a scissors, scraping bits of her off of my uterine wall, pulling her out of me bit by bit with a tweezer. Placing her pieces on the gauze covered tray that they didn’t even try to conceal from me. She was to be put into the garbage can. Biological, with feces and vomit. God dammit. That still hurts.
What was I to do? Demand her remains? Bury her in the backyard in a shoe box next to the cat?
That wasn’t the worst part of this experience. It was afterward that my heart died a little bit.
We weren’t in my homeland when it happened. We were visiting another state to attend the funeral of the best man of my wedding. Since no one but mommy knows how real that child is from the moment it’s conceived, this man’s death largely overshadowed the one I had just had to birth and bear.
I lost my child. She was as real to me as the two I already had. I mourned her in silence, feeling foolish for feeling so strongly. I’ve never been allowed to feel my emotions at full strength without cruel judgement. Not in front of anyone.
So what I hadn’t held her in my arms? I felt her tangible weight in my stomach and heart. I saw her face in my day dreams from infancy to High school prom as mothers often spend their pregnant time imagining what their babies will become. I missed her deeply. I knew her. I thought about her constantly while she LIVED in my womb. Everything I ate, drank, did, and every move I made was with her in my mind. I was her protector and somehow I had failed.
I had killed her. I did something wrong. I was sure of this because my boys were perfect, healthy, born without complication. What had I done this time to make my baby girl die? I thought about it constantly, I cried to my sister. My family was understanding, empathetic, perfect, but I had a nasty habit of pushing them away as I often felt I was a burden to them. Misunderstood. I grieved her death alone for the most part.
I continued to obsess about it, constantly, but rarely out loud. I didn’t want to offend the mothers who had held their children briefly, only to hand them back. I didn’t want to offend others grieving the deaths of those they’d seen living on the surface of the planet.
I’ve realized there is NO difference.
That baby was real to me. I had/have every right to grieve her. I didn’t want to seem weak and crazy as I’ve often been persecuted for having depression. I didn’t want my boys to suffer without me if they stuffed me into an asylum again when all they really needed to do was show a little empathy. Show they cared about me at least as much as they cared about themselves. So I suffered in silence. I still do to some degree.
When I gave birth to a living child, my third labor, my little girl, I realized that the girl before her had been just as real. Now my daughter, the second one, talks about her sister. Yes. I said she talks about her.
It used to confuse me. I asked if she meant her cousins, or me, or her aunties. She’s still very young, we assumed she was confused. She started talking about her as soon as she could talk and understood what a sister was, which was very early as she was a sister to two boys herself. She’s still very young now. She says, “No. My sister.” She means HER SISTER.
Maybe, before God put her in my stomach to care for, my little Earth girl knew her angel sister in Heaven. Their souls may have met and known each other at some point before this place. My living daughter knew her before she knew me and she remembers her. She’s so young, the world hasn’t told her what’s real yet, and I won’t be arrogant enough to assume that I know more about that place than she does. Perhaps she remembers Heaven. Maybe they played together there.
Annalise would’ve been her name. She will always be my child, even if others don’t recognize her as one because, technically, she never really lived. She lived inside of me. She lives in my other daughter’s original memory.
Maybe that’s the meaning of life. Being born pure, remembering the other realm, some call it Heaven. Knowing God’s face and having all of the wrong information forced into your new human ears from the rest of the world. Finding your way back to that original state of peace that we’re born with, before the world f*cks it all up. Maybe that’s the meaning. To be who we were when we were born with the same sense of what lies beyond all we grow to know here.
I love ALL of my children. ALL of them. They taught me to reclaim that feeling, the one I originated with. Thank you, babies. Thanks, Annalise.
Mommy loves you.