It’s September, and I can finally say that it’s been a month since our miscarriage.
Mostly, it’s not a lie to say that I am doing well now, that I am even close to being back to “normal” again. I’m drinking wine, and I’m eating sushi and deli meat sandwiches. I’m laughing with friends and spending time with Emmy and Alex. Life looks basically like it always did.
On a logical level, I understand what happened. That my body determined the baby growing inside me was not viable, and had stopped expending the resources to continue developing it. Looking back, I can even say I might have seen the signs: I wasn’t as tired as I had been with my first pregnancy, I wasn’t desperately thirsty around the clock, my hair was still falling out at its normal rates. But, it was our second pregnancy, following a very normal, uneventful first pregnancy. I chalked it up to my body knowing what it was doing this time around.
And ultimately, it did know what it was doing.
In the 9 weeks and 5 days we had him, so really, roughly a month that we knew about him, I had already seen the long and winding road of his life. I had seen him meeting Emmy, and my parents holding him for the first time. I had seen his smile and his tantrums, and a distant future where we dropped him to college, walked him down the aisle, held his children for the first time. Before I ever saw or heard his heart beating, I saw him and who he would be.
A devout Jewish friend told me that in discussions with rabbis about these types of miscarriages, he asked what God’s intent might be. He told me that they hypothesized that some souls are nearly close to perfection, and need only a short amount of time on this earth to reach it. That even though this would cause pain for the mothers that would lose their babies, that hopefully it could be a comfort to know that we had helped to create angels.
I’ve had an image of a paper lantern floating into a night sky in my mind tonight, after secretly celebrating it being September (finally!) these last two days. Sometimes people write wishes or hopes on paper lanterns before releasing them. I couldn’t sleep tonight without writing these words down, a virtual paper lantern for the baby we’ll never get to know.
Dear Little One,
You are loved, and were loved from the moment we knew you had arrived. Even though it might look now like we’ve simply moved on, it’s not the truth. You’re a part of my soul and I will carry you with me in the same ways that being Emmy’s mother has changed and altered me forever. My biggest regret is that Emmy won’t get to be your big sister, because I know she would have been so good at it. If we’re lucky, maybe she’ll get to be a big sister for someone else, but even so, it doesn’t erase you, or mean that you didn’t matter.
For now though, I know I have to say good-bye. That I need to release the sadness, the grief, the pain, as much as I can, into the night’s sky. Maybe you are an angel now, watching over us in your beautiful perfection – and if that’s true, even more reason to find joy in the brief time we had you and celebrate the lessons you managed to teach us in such a short amount of time.
You are loved beyond measure, and will never, ever be forgotten.