Thinking of that place where one is forever changed in pregnancy. Just found this photograph that David took of me after I miscarried on the bed and then got into the tub to deliver the placenta. Here I am probably 23 years old after being in denial of being pregnant for many weeks and wishing I wasn’t as my son was just a year and a half old. I had even thought I might feel movement but that disappeared and I was relieved. Maybe I was paranoid and made it up. I was still nursing. Eventually, I had my period, and soon after in the middle of the early morning hours I awoke with the building intensity that came and went. In realizing I was miscarrying I remember having some grief – for part of me wanted a baby. Yet, that experience was empowering for me for my body. Through the labor and birth, I was relaxed and my body knew where to move and what to do. And when he was born I do wish I had looked him over more. I remember later comforting others for my miscarriage because I felt I was not ready and that I didn’t have sadness that day for this labor and birth.
We buried the little boy in our backyard. When they tore down those houses which are across the street and down a block from UCSD Hillcrest Hospital. I sat and looked out over that lot and thought about it. I still stop and look out and think about him. Funny how over 25 years later something that for that day seemed somehow normal to me still comes back to my body memory and brings emotions. The body memory, the understanding of a life process that can reframe a miscarriage as empowering and still affect you as you pause, stop, and sit in your car.
As a midwife, we have interviews with people who are not yet in care with anyone and yet we may be the person they reach out to as they are in the place of the in-between. Are they spotting? Are they miscarrying? How we might assist them, listen to them, or show up for them can look many different ways in this space.
I guess I could have put a trigger warning on this post. At the same time, some miscarriages and births are traumatic and others aren’t. Some are part of life and part of death.
I remember when Amayi, my second child, was in elementary school, the teacher had announced to the class that his wife was pregnant, and they were going to have a baby. Soon after, she miscarried. He had to tell the entire 2nd grade class about it so that they didn’t keep expecting they were going to have a baby. He told me when I picked her up that day that he was relieved because he didn’t know what was going to be the reaction of the class. But after he said it, Amayi raised her hand excited right away!
“My mom had a miscarriage too!” she said. Although she had not been born, she had heard us talking about it. No shame, just excitement that there was a connection. The teacher said it took off the pressure from him as if it almost normalized the experience that he wasn’t alone.
I know not everyone has an easy experience. For some, it can be devastating and for those of you I send love and respect as you grieve. We all attend to ourselves differently and even at different places in our lives. Blessings to you all and even to the little boy who chose to be with me for that brief time.
#miscarriage #birthworkersjourney #midwifeskills #midwife