It’s in the quiet moments that I hear it the most. The soft pop and hiss of tiny fractures spreading across my aching heart. It reminds me of that first step you take onto thin ice. You feel the millimeter of give beneath your boot, and hear the thick crack as the ice groans in protest under your weight. Your stomach plunges, your heart races, your breath rushes out in rapid steamy gasps. Frozen, you wait, knowing that at any minute you may plunge into the icy depths unsure if you will resurface.
It’s in those quiet moments that I know it’s coming and right now there is nothing I can do to stop it. I know as time goes on I will be able to slowly ease back from the edge, creeping ever so lightly to a different and stronger path. But for now, I fall, over and over into that frigid painful water, struggling for breath, tears blurring my vision, fighting against myself while I attempt to gain my footing in flailing failure.
I know I’m not alone in this; a myriad of women have been exactly where I am. Many others are still here with me, picking up the pieces of their hearts, attempting to mend them. To put them back together as they were before. But, hearts can’t go back as seamless and as perfect as they were before a miscarriage. There will always be little chips, cracks and craters that remain. Little pieces of yourself that were lost along with your child.
Miscarriage is never an easy word to say. It’s a word that brings nothing good with it. It’s a word that makes people uncomfortable. One that is spoken in hushed whispers and with solemn expressions. A word that carries pain and sorrow; a life changing word. It’s a word that steals away the innocence and bliss of pregnancy and leaves in its place fear and questions. It’s a word that thrusts you into an unfamiliar and scary new world; one you don’t want to be in. It’s a word that is often hard to say, even by those who have endured it.
Why is it so hard for us to speak freely about this? Not just for myself but for other women as well? Why is there such a hesitation to share our loss, our grief? Miscarriages are not uncommon, they’re not new and they’re not going away. So why do so many women feel like they have to suffer in silence, only sharing with a handful of family members and close friends? Why do we feel we can we only find solace within the secret groups of other mothers whose hearts are chipped and cracked like ours?
Maybe it’s because we’re subconsciously afraid that we will rub off on someone. That our bad luck can spread from person to person like a nasty unseen virus. Maybe it’s because we know how much it hurts. And we’re afraid that if we say the words out loud to someone who has been there as well that their heart, despite all the repairs, will begin to crack and creak as they are reminded again of their loss.
Maybe it’s because hardly anyone knew that we were pregnant? Most women wait until it’s “safe” to share the news of the secret new life growing inside of them. Having been a Labor and Delivery nurse, I know that no one is safe. Ever. But if we haven’t told anyone about the baby, how do I tell them when its gone? Because that’s a really easy conversation to have. Do you say “So last week I was pregnant, and this week I am not” or “Please excuse my pallor and mascara runs, I lost my baby, the one you didn’t know about”.
Maybe it’s because, right now we have near constant physical reminders of our loss that we can’t bear to see sad eyes, or hear “I’m so sorry” or “It wasn’t meant to be” or “there was probably something wrong with it anyway” or “you can always try again”. Maybe it’s because we want just one place where we can go and play pretend. Imagine that we are not shattered, pretend that we’re whole and perfect; that we’re not holding ourselves together with sheer will and Oreo cookies.
Maybe it’s because in a society that is so centered around choice that a determination of actual “life” has yet to have been made and that we are afraid our baby “doesn’t count”. That our loss is no real loss, our heartbreak is just our own making. Or maybe it’s the fear of being blamed. That somewhere deep inside that person who we have just told, is thinking it must be our fault someway or somehow. We had to have done something wrong, or definitely didn’t do everything right to be where we are.
Maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe it’s just fear. That saying the words out loud will send us plunging through that thin ice again to drown again in our tears. Or a fear that talking about will make it easier and that easiness will mean we are forgetting. Not forgetting the hurt or sorrow, but forgetting the baby that flew away from this earth before we did.
Maybe it’s because it really just sucks. And it hurts. And because we can’t say the words without crying. And because maybe we’re tired of crying, but feel guilty if we aren’t. It’s a crummy roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, that leave us feeling dizzy and disoriented.
It’s in the quiet moments that I know, regardless if I talk about it or not, say the words aloud or not, that I will slowly pick up the pieces of my heart and fit them back together. They won’t be seamless, it may be hard to get them to stick together, and there will always be gaps, but it’s in those places that I will tuck the little life that was a part of me for too short a time. It’s in those places that I will place the lifetimes of hopes and dreams formed during the too few moments we were together.
It’s in the quiet moments, that I hear it the most. That soft hiss and pop of breaking hearts. It’s because of those moments that I know the silence must be broken. I have had a miscarriage and it hurts. I am slowly putting the pieces back together and while I do I remind myself that “He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles”. You don’t have to be alone in those quiet moments, I am here if you need me. We can heal together.
18 thoughts on “Deafening Silence ”
So sorry sweetie, I wish I could take your broken heart and remove all the pain and smooth out all the cracks and put it all back together again, but I know I can’t, your arms will always ache to hold your precious baby, and only God can comfort and mend broken hearts so I ask Him now to minister peace that passes all understanding and mend your broken heart.
Ms Joyce thank you. I think that my heart is just the way it’s supposed to be, it’s going to be a little rough around the edges, but maybe that’s just what it needs to catch the blessings that will come my way!
This was a beautiful post! Thank you for breaking the silence and proclaiming your great love for your precious, irreplaceable baby. I’ve been there. Losing a baby changes you forever, but you’re not alone. We are united in grief. This is a poem I wrote about this some time after losing my daughter Josephine in labour.
Song of Longing for Little Ones | Just East Of Crazy Land
And here’s one more little one that your post reminded me of:
“Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in front of those you love;
when we allow others to see our brokenness,
God’s light shines through the cracks in our heart.”
I just completed a book of poetry that I wrote the year after losing Josephine. It will be available on Blurb soon and is called “Unexpected Blossoming: A journey of grief and hope.” Let me know if you would like a copy, as I want to make it available to bereaved moms as a gift. In the intro I talk about how silence is toxic where grief is concerned. We need to let out the pressure, and our grief is a sign of the great love we will always have for our little lost babies…until it turns into joy when we see them again.
Sending you prayers and huge hug, warrior mama. Keep fighting the good fight! Please let me know if you’d like any other miscarriage grief resources, as I’m aware of quite a few books, sites, and local organizations.
Anna, thank you! You are so right, silence is toxic!
I really loved your post and shared it with a friend. Plan to share with others as well. Brave and beautiful writing. 💕
Thank you Anna! You’re welcome to share it!
God be with you in your time of need. We lost a grandson at 22 weeks, and pain is like no other. Stay strong in God and his love. Diane
Diane I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your encouragement
I’m so sorry…. Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully.
Maybe we are hesitant to share news of a miscarriage with others because grief is such an intensely personal experience. When someone we know dies, we have no choice but to grieve alongside everyone else who knew and loved them. But with miscarriage, no one has known the baby except you (and your husband, but even then not in the intimate way that you have). No one can truly know what you’re feeling even if they’ve experienced something similar; it never comforted me much to hear other women tell me that they had also had a miscarriage and knew what I was going through. And maybe we want to hold on to the grief because it’s the only thing left of the pregnancy to hold on to. I do know that, as with any loss, the pain eases with time. The scar will never go away completely, but it will become so much a part of you that you can’t imagine yourself without it. I am comforted now by the hope of Heaven: of all the people I may get to meet there I look forward most to meeting my babies. The thought gives me hope, and even a little joy. I hope it will for you too.
Carrie I am sorry for your losses. Thank you for sharing with me. I think you’re so right. Our grief is often the last thing we have left of our child. Everyone will heal in different ways. I know some women want to share and speak about it but some don’t. It’s the ones who want to share but feel like they can’t because of the taboo that still surrounds loss that I hope this can help.
Carrie, no one can really understand how YOU feel, but we can sympathize with you. I lost 2 babies, so I can imagine you ache. The first one was on Memorial Day 2009, the event was 2 days long and to say it was horrific would be an understatement. I don’t remember the date of the 2nd lost only that is was in the winter of 2012. My heart ached for what seemed to be an eternity. But, each day, my heart mended enough to love the two little boys that were birthed between the 2 losses. I was so nervous the entire pregnancy with both children. Afraid that I would have a recap of what happened on Memorial Day 2009. I can’t say anything to you that will make you feel better. For me, it was time, prayer and the hope that God will allow me to meet the two little ones that left me before I was able to meet them. I look at it as I have 2 on Earth and 2 in Heaven 🙂 You have to find your way to make peace in your heart. Btw, my boys just had birthdays in June, ages now 6 and 3.
You’ll get through this Carrie, and just as I’m able to send this to you today because I got through it. You will also send a note of encouragement to someone else and tell them how you made it through. -Angela
I had a miscarriage, too. I could relate to not wanting to see the sad faces–the discomfort and awkwardness of it. I felt that way when my dad died. I didn’t want to be at church and have to talk about it to everyone. They’d see me, they’d remember, and the look would come on their faces. They meant well, and I didn’t blame them, but it was so hard. I did tell a handful of close friends, though, and I’m glad I did.
I, too, have lost a baby! It was our third, and having 2 live healthy babies, why wouldn’t I, again? We found out when I was 13 weeks there was no heartbeat and I had surgery the next week. Instantly, I was expected to be “Ok”, and life had to get back to normal quickly. My poor husband, admits now he didn’t do so well with it, but we learn, and I know he didn’t understand.I ended up having to have another surgery because the original surgeon missed the baby when doing the 1st D and C. YES, I carried our deceased child for over two months. God’s grace covered, and a different surgeon did the final one. I had to learn to forgive and move forward…IT WAS HARD! I remember my arms ached for my child, and we talk about our “Aaron” from time to time..:) Love this post, Thank you for being vulnerable! I believe being real, heals!
Thank you so much for your story. We lost a baby three weeks ago and while I am slowly surfacing again, “holding ourselves together with sheer will and Oreo cookies” sounds entirely accurate.
Katherine, I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s devastating and it hurts like nothing else has ever hurt. But it won’t always be like this. The pain changes as the days do. It’s okay to not be okay right now; you do whatever your body and heart say to do while you grieve. You are welcome to email me at Mommychronicles@outlook.com if you would like to talk some more. Sometimes just knowing someone else has hurt like you can be healing.
Thank you so much! We have a great deal of support here, which is a tremendous blessing, and I’ve yet to have any truly insensitive comments made in my hearing. Mostly these days I’m feeling much better, but the fatigue (emotional? physical? anemia?) still lingers. I’m trying to just be gentle with myself.