I’ve never really been a fan of Christmas. Unlike most people, I’ve always dreaded the holidays and I honestly find this season of the year quite depressing. The financial strain, the numerous obligations you wish you could get out of but mostly, for me, I’ve always disliked the holidays because I rarely got to spend it with my whole family under one roof. The holidays make me sad, plain and simple.
Two years ago, Christmas day really gave me a reason to be miserable. My husband and I had the best gift of all to give to our family and friends. We were 2 weeks away from that famous 3-month baby announcement. Except for that day never happened and now I have all the reasons in the world to hate Christmas.
The first few months of 2017 were extremely painful both physically and psychologically. Fortunately, the physical pain following a miscarriage is somewhat manageable. The psychological pain though, that is a different story. I didn’t handle it very well… I couldn’t comprehend the sadness I was experiencing over something I’ve never had, over someone I never got to hold.
But being pregnant even for only a few weeks was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced. I felt so strong: a baby was growing inside of me, a new dream was in the making. My plan for the months to follow was set in stone. I would study part-time, I would prepare his or her nest. My husband and I started thinking of names. We ended up just calling our unborn baby “Peanut”. Peanut became our biggest obsession. EVERYTHING revolved around Peanut.
But Peanut ended up being just a series of symptoms, the most beautiful series of symptoms nonetheless. I didn’t get to carry him or her in my arms, but I’ll always carry my Peanut in my heart. It will forever be my favorite “what if”.
I trusted my body to care for my unborn baby, but after the miscarriage, I couldn’t trust it anymore. I felt like a failure and kept asking myself what I might have done wrong. I had so many questions but no one had answers for me. “It happens more often than you’d think. One in four women go through a miscarriage”, my doctor tells me. One in four women??? How come I’ve never met anyone who’s had a miscarriage before?
Chances are though that one of your aunts, your mom or grandma, a distant friend or a colleague have miscarried at least once in their lifetime. But no one talks about it because hello, who likes to talk about their failures? No one, yet you shouldn’t think of a miscarriage as a defeat. It just means that the pregnancy was not a viable one. As Michelle Obama superbly puts it:
“ I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work, and how they don’t work”.
Yes ladies, please speak up. Don’t be ashamed or scared to share your story. Let’s help each other get through something so traumatic, yet so common. Let’s stop making this topic a taboo one. It is (almost) the year 2019, for F*** sakes!
Almost 2 years have passed since that stormy night in 2016 and I am still waiting for my bright rainbow. Only now I am not as sad anymore because I am grateful for the things Peanut was able to teach me. It taught me how strong I could be and how much my body is able to handle. It taught me that a storm doesn’t last forever. I might haven’t come across a rainbow yet, but I sure have seen lots of rays of sunshine since December 25th, 2016. And for that, I am extremely thankful.
If you or someone you know has gone through a miscarriage, I strongly recommend reading Ariel Levy’s memoir “The Rules Do Not Apply”. But really, it is a must-read for all women.