Miscarriages and infant loss - what comes after?

(As far as I remember I reveled in the beauty and mystery of life when I sat on this rock overlooking Grand Canyon. I had no idea that two months later I would have a miscarriage.)

Today I'd like to honor each woman in our community (including myself) who has lost a baby. This month was Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day and I am sure we all have been touched one way or another by the pain and sorrow such loss brings.

I remember well the January morning two years ago when I met a dear friend and her son in the organic food market in our neighborhood. 

Last time I had seen the two, my friend's belly had started to show and I was excited to hear that she was expecting again. Now, a couple of months later, I saw her for the first time in her winter coat and said: "Wow, you look great, you wear your pregnancy really well!"

She looked at me surprised. Or maybe confused, I wasn't sure. She hesitated for a moment. And at this moment - during this small silence - I instinctively felt that I had just said the worst possible thing.

She shook her head. "I lost the baby on New Year's day."

And I could not help but blurt out: "And I miscarried on Christmas Eve."

As our toddlers ran off to scout for cookies, my friend and I just stood there. In the busy supermarket. Among all the shoppers with their carts and grocery lists. Their lives were the same, ours irreversibly changed.

We looked at each other. Hugged. Held each other just that tad bit longer and harder that our tender hearts needed. There was understanding. And connection.

And compassion for all the women who had also known the pain that we now knew. 

Eventually, we let go off each other.  We laughed about the most surreal conversation we had ever had in a busy supermarket. And how shitty our holidays had been. Then it was already time to run after our kids before they could wreak havoc and stick us with a huge cookie bill. 

We did not speak about it again, but I never forgot these few yet sacred minutes with my friend (who did conceive again and birthed a healthy and super cute baby this spring!).

I, on the other hand, mourn and miss my girl. Every. Single. Day. And that, unfortunately, is not an exaggeration. 

So I write this blog post for all of us who have experienced infant and pregnancy loss because I do believe that life is a mystery and that sometimes we simply cannot explain a miscarriage and we also don't know what comes after such a loss.

Life is a mystery. We can try to explain all that's happening in our lives with a rational mind, but the older I get, the more I realize that not everything is rationally explainable.

In fact, it may be better not to. Especially when it comes to conceiving life and carrying babies inside our bodies. 

I mean, really, why do some couples have a harder time to conceive than others?

Why do some couples struggle for years?

Why do some (actually one out of four women) experience the heartbreaking loss of their child through a miscarriage, maybe even more than once?

Sure, we can now try to explain it all medically and physically, but that's not the whole picture...

I strongly believe that there are mysteries and spiritual aspects to creating a life that cannot be grasped with our limited mind, nor intellectually understood regardless of how much we try.

My mother had eight miscarriages. I am child number 10, the second to survive, and the only girl. 

My parents were married for over 20 years before I arrived on the scene. 

I have only a vague rational explanation as to why my mother is the mother of 8 angels, but I see the bigger picture.

(I chronicled my mother's struggle and triumph, and that of dozens of other women, in my bestselling book The Joy of Later Motherhood)

I am extremely grateful that my parents did not give up. 

Please don't get me wrong but in a way, I am also "grateful" for the other children's passing.

I would not be here if two or three of her first boys - my brothers - would have survived.

I am thankful my six brothers moved to heaven and thus made my life possible.

So to all of us who experienced miscarriage and loss let me say: we may not know why these heartbreaks happen but we also don't know what beauty and joy lie ahead of us.

And we don't know yet what baby spirits will finally come to us and be very grateful how it all played out....💕😘💥

 
With love,
Bettina
 

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