The Grief of Miscarriage is a Family Affair

Heartbreaking 169

grieving womanAnn Romney’s revelation on how a miscarriage devestated her youngest child is apparently shedding light on the impact such a loss can have on the entire family. But anyone who has ever had the misfortune of having a miscarriage knows all too well the devastating impact that the loss has on every single person in that family. I certainly didn't need Ann Romney to help me figure that one out. I know from my own experience.

I find it kind of condescending that just because someone famous says this, its suddenly a revelation. Is this loss supposed to make the Romney family more relatable? I'm sorry for the Romney family's loss because I know how world shattering it truly is but how is this relevant in casual conversation or interview?

Explaining our miscarriage to our little girls was one of the hardest things that I ever had to do in my life. My children had been begging for a little brother or sister for years. When we found out we were pregnant, it was supposed to be a surprise revealed at my youngest daughter's 5th birthday party. I lost our baby 3 weeks before we were going to tell everyone in the family.

We had to tell our children that we miscarried because I had to have a D & E and my Mother-in-law was going to have to watch them while I went to the hospital. I still wasn’t convinced that I wanted to tell them but my husband felt it was best to tell them or they would keep harassing me for a sibling, only adding salt to the already gaping wound of the loss. I knew he was right. But I didn’t want to be the one who told them. I felt like I was already the one who had failed them.

It's devastating to have to tell your children that you almost gave them what they wanted but you lost it. I was sad about the baby and felt like a failure to the other two. I was suffocating from the heaviness in the air. I was enveloped by my own pain it was almost impossible for me to help my daughters deal with their grief so I let my husband handle the bulk of it.

I hugged them and kissed them and let them know they could ask me anything (even though my youngest was breaking my heart on a daily basis). I remember as I lay in bed cuddled closely with my girls, my 5-year-old lay in bed crying, kissing my stomach and asking me why I hadn’t told her about the baby sooner because then maybe she could have loved the baby more and the baby would have lived. What could I do but stifle my own tears and hold her tight?

Or the morning of my surgery, as I was trying to stay composed before heading out to the hospital for my D & E, my 5 –year-old kissed me through sobs and begged me to get a photo of her baby then she kissed my belly and whispered to her baby brother or sister inside me, “Goodbye, I love you.” I won’t lie. These simple sweet gestures of hers were enough to almost kill me in my fragile state. I think my heart shattered into a million pieces a thousand times over in those first few days. I just wanted to be numb to it all.

Through all this, I wasn't as involved in making sure my kids were okay as I feel now like I should have been. But when you're going through a miscarriage, it's hard to see past your own pain and so it was hard for me to try to make someone else feel better. I tried my best to comfort my children, but my whole world was falling apart.

I don’t need Anne Romney to tell me that. I found this all out on my own, the hard way.

Image via Jingkay 2008 /Flickr

1st trimester, miscarriage & loss