Greeted early by two bright sets of eyes I rolled my tired body out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen. I started water for tea and began to make the worst breakfast smoothies ever. Neither child would touch them opting instead for cheesecake. (Wouldn’t you?)
I wrote out an ambitious to do list for the day hoping to keep my mind occupied and was well through the first task – an enormous mound of laundry – when my body cried uncle. Back down the hall to a bed kept warm by my sleeping mate. A light but persistent cramping hovered in the background until I rolled myself out of bed for the second time. Will cooked a real breakfast and I returned to my list ignoring the ever increasing cramps that came and went on some erratic schedule.
Around 11, I returned to bed for the third time. The cramping had increased and now washed over me in waves radiating pain around my abdomen, lower back and down both legs. I glanced at the clock, “God, when will it end.” Another wave – another look at the clock, another wave, another … and then the realization hit. They are not just cramps. They are contractions. Of course. Now we were in familiar territory. As fear of the unknown subsided so too did the unbearable pain. The waves still came but I was no longer drowning – at least not completely.
As a doula I have seen a number of women in labor reach a point of despair thinking it will never end. The point for each was different but I told them all the same. “It’s okay. You can do it. I know it’s hard but it’s worth it. There’s a prize at the end.” About 12:15 I thought of those words and began to despair myself. If there was no prize then all was for naught, wasn’t it?
I sent my longsuffering husband on a hunt for the strongest medication in the house. “I want four.” He returned with two. “I need four.” He hands me the two. “Just take these. You don’t need to have liver damage on top of everything else.” My reply came through clenched teeth. “I need four. You will bring me two more or I will get them myself.” I have, with the help of my husband, birthed two children sans medication of any kind. I am sure he found my attitude bewildering at best and to be honest I did to. The doula part of me whispered, “You’re in transition.” while the laboring part of me wailed, “That’s ridiculous. This isn’t even a real labor.” Will returned with the requested caplets but it was too late. I waved him away, leaned over the bed and let my grief have a voice. Tears dropped unchecked onto the quilt below and when there were no more left to fall my body finally released its precious charge.
If you have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage please know that my deepest sympathies are with you. Understand that I am not trying to be flippant by publishing such a loss as a birth story. It was simply one of those things that begged to be written and remembered.
Know also that I have found a Hope in the midst of grief and I wish the same for you.
“Why are you downcast oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
I put my hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my Lord.