Yesterday I got my first period since losing the baby. From reading other women’s experiences, I knew that it would be heavier than normal. I knew that it would more painful than normal. I had prepared myself for it…or so I thought.
The pain was excruciating, and my usual go-to remedy of Midol only dulled it some. Within the first few hours, I soaked through an entire pad and a tampon. The blood leaked right through my pants and onto our sand-colored couch.
Scrub. You failed as a woman.
Scrub. You failed as a mother.
Scrub. Your baby is dead.
No matter how long I soaked the stain, no matter how hard I scrubbed, it refused to come out.
The painful reminder of my failed pregnancy was set, fully visible right smack dab in the middle of the living room.
As if that weren’t enough, I received an email from an acquaintance asking how the pregnancy was going. “You must really be showing by now!” Delete.
Three women I know are due next month. Nine others next year. As happy as I am for them, I can’t help but feel saddened as I look down at my empty womb. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t become one of those women — the bitter ones whose sorrows overshadow others’ happiness. But as time go by, I am finding myself more and more like one each day. With each belly shot, each photo of baby purchases, I am reminded of our loss and I die a little bit inside.
The memory of that last ultrasound haunts me every night. The images of the fully formed body. The head, the limbs, even the tiny hands and feet…
And I have a horrible feeling that I will look at our future children and ask myself, “Why were they able to survive when our first didn’t?”
Yesterday I got my first period since losing the baby. Yesterday I lost my baby again.