When it comes to my pregnancy with Mia I feel like I literally planned for everything but losing her. Some things you just can’t prepare for.
Your body doesn’t get the memo
So as far as your body in concerned. You had a baby. Your body has no clue that that baby didn’t survive labor. So first, I was not prepared for the amount healing my body went through post labor. I thought because I was only pregnant for 22 weeks, and Mia was really small that I wouldn’t need much time to heal. Wrong. I by no means think my body went through as much trauma has a mother who has a 10lb baby, but I was still surprised.
YOUR MILK COMES IN! WHAT!? You read that right. Even at 22 weeks pregnant my milk came in. Let me tell you, that was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Both physically and emotionally. Physically I had two engorged, heat radiating, bowling balls on top of my chest. Because of the loss, everyone was wanting to hug me all the time. You don’t want to tell someone you don’t want a hug and telling them your boobs hurt is uncomfortable. So for a solid week, I winced during every hug and spent my nights slathering on the cabbage leaves and peppermint oil (it works). Then there was the emotional pain. Breastfeeding was something I had thought a lot about during my pregnancy and looked forward to trying. While I was glad to find out that I didn’t have problems creating milk, it also consistently reminded me what I was missing out on.
Then there are the hormones mixed with feelings of grief. Still full of crazy pregnancy hormones and now grieving the sudden loss of our daughter was just plain exhausting. I ate ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a couple of weeks because that was all that sounded appetizing and spent a lot of time napping.
People will avoid you like the plague
People don’t how to react when you lose a baby. They’re afraid they’ll say something wrong. I get it. I don’t even know how to talk about it some days. But not saying anything at all is very isolating. For some reason, that silence was so painful for me. For me, talking about Mia validates her existence and assures me she will not be forgotten. I personally like when people tell me they don’t know what to say. It lets me know that they really care and they want to find the right words to make me feel better. Asking about Mia is like a double edge sword. On one side I am beyond happy to know you haven’t forgotten about her, but on the other side I miss her and wish I could have shared her more with others. So ask me what she looked like, how big she was, and I’ll be more than happy to tell you about those short 16 hours I spent with her.
People will hurt your feelings
Not only will people avoid you, but they will say some things that will hurt your feelings. I know that most of these people have good intentions so I do try to take it with a grain of salt, but sometimes it gets under your skin. Like, “you can have another baby” or “you can babysit my children anytime.” Thanks, but no thanks. Watching your children isn’t going to make me miss mine less, and having another will never replace our daughter.
Speaking of replacing our daughter, Mia is and always will be our first born. So any babies following Mia will be her brothers and sisters. So please don’t refer to the next child as our first born or our “real” baby. Someone seriously said that to me, “next time you’ll be able to take a real baby home.” I’m just going to leave that there.
The idea is that I wasn’t prepared for others to dismiss Mia or forget her so quickly. I believe this has to do with the lack of awareness when it comes to miscarriages and stillbirths. People don’t talk about it so others just don’t know or can’t even begin to understand it if they haven’t experienced it.
Doctors lack sensitivity
I don’t want to generalize and say that all doctors lack some sensitivity but unfortunately most of the ones I’ve come across have. They tend to use words like termination, abortion, and fetus to describe your previous pregnancy. Those words don’t honor Mia’s life and somehow dehumanize her. Doctors tend to advise based off numbers and statistics versus emotion. I’ve been assured a million times by multiple doctors that the chance of something like this happening again is extremely low, but I’ve already been that unlucky 1%. I wanna hear what you are going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen to me again, and how you are going to support me if it does. Because the reality of this happening again is very scary to me.
*We announced Mia’s due date on the 4th July in a fun way by writing “Baby” with sparklers.
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