This Is Not the End

You'll always love the one(s) that were never born, and that's okay.

This Is Not the End
The room is dark, save for one fluorescent light turned on in the corner. My heart races, my palms are sweaty, and I feel the familiar sting of tears for probably the thousandth time that morning. Something isn't right, and I know it. There's no way the doctor is going to have good news. You don't bleed that much, have that much pain, and not have it end in the worst way possible.

At times it feels as though I'm watching this awful scene on a TV screen, rather than living it. Since six o'clock that morning, I've gone back and forth from thinking everything is okay, to letting myself accept the bad news to come. I've rationalized, cried, and withdrawn into myself to try to make it all go away, if only for a moment.

But, you see, it's not every day that you wake up in that much pain. That you discover yourself covered in that much blood. That you are forced to watch as what would have been your child, your first, literally go down the drain as you flush the toilet to try to hide all of the blood.

The doctor enters the room, and I know from the look on his face. The ultrasound confirmed what you already knew. Your child was gone. A missed miscarriage, is what they'll say, because the night before, there was a child in there. Just with no heartbeat. Severely underdeveloped for the gestational age. And your world will fall apart. That child that you had spent weeks loving and caring for, imagining what they would look like, what kind of person they would grow to be, is gone.

You'll deal with the weeks of bleeding that follow, all of the while hearing things like "It just wasn't time, yet," or, my personal favorite, "At least it happened early on." As you'll come to realize, people have no idea what to say to somebody that has experienced a miscarriage, or lost a child. And while they'll certainly mean well, it'll still feel like a slap in the face. Because that was your child. It can't just be brushed off easily.

My child would be turning two this month. It's been a rough two years. There are times where it feels like a thing of the past, but something that you'll always carry with you. That child will forever hold a place in your heart. And it will feel manageable after some time has passed.

But then you'll just be walking along, and suddenly it all comes rushing back. That crushing grief. The kind that makes it feel as though you can't breathe, and like your heart just might stop at that very moment. Where your throat closes up, and that all too familiar feel of tears stinging your eyes returns once more.

That feeling of failure will return, and with it will come all of those insecurities. But this time, you can push through it. Because you may have a little one to care for already, or you recognize those feelings, and tell yourself that you'll be okay. In some way or another, you will be okay. Forever changed, but okay.

There will be people that don't understand. They won't understand how you could still hurt from it. You still hurt because you are a mom. Whether that child is no longer on this Earth, or you went on to have another child, you are a mom. You carried that child in your womb, whether it be for a minute or nine months. And you'll always love them.

Dear mama, this is not the end.

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Emilie Dowty
See all posts by Emilie Dowty