A Little Eucalyptus Leaf

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*Content Alert: miscarriage*

Dear Baby,

I found out about you on Wednesday and you were gone by Tuesday.

Most of the time in between, I spent dreaming of our future. Carrying you in my womb, having dad check what position you were in, listening to your heart tones with the stethoscope, working together during your birth (would your brother attend your birth or no?), would you have brown hair or blonde? Would you laugh at Hugh and the silly faces he makes? I imagined nursing you, fresh from birth, with some vernix on, watching you grow and learning about your personality.

And then you started leaving me. I should have held back, not imagined all those moments. I should have stayed silent and not held my belly with anticipation.

I first realized you were leaving very early Sunday morning, I got up to pee and noticed some blood on the white bedsheets. I was a little nervous, but, maybe it was implantation bleeding or something. I went back to sleep.

Throughout the morning, I did regular things: ate breakfast, showered, got Hugh dressed, went to church. At church, I went to the bathroom again, and noticed some mucus mixed with blood and felt more alarmed. I texted a few friends who I knew had bleeding early on in their pregnancies, asking for their experience. It felt nice to get their advice.

We came home from church, and I made snacks for choir. I listened to them sing and dad commenting on their vocals, while I started to feel the cramping intensify. The choir members left and I sat on the couch, feeling my cramps turn to contractions. I finally truly realized that these weren’t signals you were staying, but that you were leaving. The contractions kept coming, and I really felt like I was in labor. I was giving birth to you, but you are so small, I couldn’t even find you in the blood loss. Dad is taking really good care of me, I want you to know.

I loved having you here. I don’t know why you left, but I am trying not to blame myself. I water the plants and admire them when I feel sad. I try to remember that I am not alone in this experience, and to be grateful for the time I did have with you. I found a eucalyptus leaf that fell from Gram’s tree by the pond, it’s the size you probably were. So tiny.

Thank you for letting me be your home. I loved the time I got to be with you.

*I wrote this letter more than a month ago. Some days are still really rough, but I am trying to be grateful for what I did have. I bled and felt physically weak for a little more than a week afterward. It was hard calling the midwives I interviewed, but they were understanding. Ethan’s parents were able to watch Hugh for the first couple of days, for which I am so grateful. Ethan took me for Thai curry one night, and I am so glad he did.

The last few weeks I have been less resentful toward pregnant women, and for that I am so grateful. I . . . wish this was an easier experience. It takes my breath away, thinking about how much harder it is than I thought it would be (before this happened to me).

I told a friend what happened and she said she got some advice for when things like this happen: “to feel happy when you feel like feeling happy and to feel sad when you feel like feeling sad.” So, maybe you or someone you know is going through this, maybe that thought will help you like it has helped me.

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4 thoughts on “A Little Eucalyptus Leaf

  1. Emily Hubbard

    I’ve had two miscarriages. It’s hard…definitely harder than you think it would be when you haven’t had the experience. But, now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I think I actually don’t wish it were easier. I think it’s a testament to my humanity and my capacity for love that I can feel so much pain over losing someone that I never really knew, that never did anything to earn my love–except exist.

    And it’s made me such a better person. It’s taught me to be the kind of woman who runs toward other women who are suffering from loss, instead of shrinking back. It’s taught me to appreciate the child I do have and not to take her for granted. It’s taught me more about my Savior. Somehow, impossibly, I’m grateful for the experience.

    That said, it took me a long time to feel this way about it. I have had almost one year since my second miscarriage, and three years since my first miscarriage. In those first weeks and months, it doesn’t help to tell yourself to be okay with it. The best thing I did for myself was just feel my feelings…like you said, be happy when I wanted to be happy, and sad when I wanted to be sad. Angry is okay. Desperate is okay. Relieved is okay. There aren’t any wrong feelings. Trust that time will heal, and give yourself that time.

    Like

    • honest honey bee

      It may not seem like a lot, to say this virtually, but, thank you. I am feeling so much love and gratitude for your comment right now. I feel like i just got a hug and I want you to know how much what you said has comforted me. You are beautiful. It’s always the ones that are the most beautiful, that go through so much pain.

      Like

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