I’ve learned firsthand that miscarriage is a silent grief, one for which there is not a lot of readily available support. Of course, medically speaking, I didn’t have a miscarriage. I had a missed abortion, which almost makes it worse. I was pregnant for two whole weeks with a baby that wasn’t alive. My body did nothing to alert me of this loss other than not throw up two days in a row, which of course I took as a sign that something was wrong but was assured that I was being silly, a worry wort, a hypochondriac.
I was relieved when I threw up that third morning. And even though I couldn’t feel any movement from the baby, I allowed myself to believe that everything was fine. I trusted both my doctor and my therapist when they reassured me that it’s unusual to sense fetal movement in the sixteenth week, that lack of fetal movement isn’t even a concern until after the twentieth week. These were the last words my OB said as she placed the ultrasound wand on my belly only to find a tiny heart that wasn’t beating.
On my way to North County today, I drove past the hospital at which I was due to deliver and starting weeping uncontrollably a full three freeway exits before it appeared. Yesterday, at the doctors’ offices, I made it all the way off the elevator but not quite to registration before the tears started streaming down my face. The grief comes in waves, I do my best to ride them with grace and acceptance. Staying busy is my best defense, so for now that is the plan. Run all the errands, clean all the things.