The Miscarriage Chronicles: Due Date

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Monica's Blog, The Beautiful Mind Blog | 14 comments

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We got a due date.

When I had stopped bleeding.  When I peed on the stick.  When went to the lab for the blood test.  When my partner and I held hands in the doctor’s office.  When the ultrasound showed a tiny circle and a flashing light the OB called a heartbeat.

We got a due date.

And we started planning.  When I would take parental leave, how we would arrange our finances, where the babies would go.  Yes, babies – “twin sacs” the doctor uttered as he jotted down words in the file with my name on it.

Had I not bled, had they developed as planned, had I not miscarried . . . our babies would be one month old today.

The babies would have headfuls of wavy black hair, like I did.  I would have carefully shaped their soft heads, like my Mama did mine.  They would fuss and burp and nurse and cry and sleep and make faces I would swear were smiles and giggles.

My partner and I would be tired from lack of sleep.  We would be dressing them in coordinating clothes.  We’ve be doing laundry every day.  We would be happy with the names we had chosen.  We would have taken a million pictures and emailed them to friends and family.  We would have hosted the grandmothers.  We would have a new rocking chair – maybe two.

We would have one-month old twins.

Forget that babies come when they want to.  Forget the odd dating of pregnancies – as if a woman could be pregnant the first day of her last period.  Forget that twins usually come early.

I remember the due date.

I don’t remember the date the doctor said we conceived.  I don’t remember the date he printed off the ultrasound picture that looks nothing like a baby.  I don’t even remember the date I bled, or the date he confirmed the miscarriage.

I remember the date my babies were due.

I think I’m supposed to remember.  In the midst of going to work, I should remember.  In the midst of making dinner and cleaning the house, I should remember. In the midst of loving other children (future ones I will birth and those birthed by other women), I should remember.  In the midst of forward-looking hopes and plans, I should remember.

I appreciate that I come from religious traditions that value memory.  Being told to lay stones by the river, so that when our children ask what they mean, we can tell them how God brought us through the rivers of this land and the waters in our lives.  The annual re-telling of how God brought us out of bondage and into liberation.  The liturgical calendar that reminds us that how we die says something about how we live and how we should be remembered.  Lighting candles, singing songs and doing dances for ancestors we’ve known and for those who have come generations before us.

I think I’m supposed to remember.

I’m supposed to remember that even though these babies didn’t make it . . .  they are still mine.

 

Previous entries in The Miscarriage Chronicles

 

The Loss of Blood (Part 1)

The Loss of Blood (Part 2)

Sacrifice

Activism Revisited

Motherhood with Depression

Barren Woman Bible

Robbed

 

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  • Joseph Loeb

    We are all wounded healers.  Thank you for sharing your brokenness and strength with us.  Our hope is that we will see the ones who have gone on before us again.  How wonderful. We remember that which matters most; the due date.

  • Ria Megnin

    Love truly does go beyond what we see with our eyes and hold in our arms.

  • monicaacoleman

    Thank you for your comments.  There is hope in the ancestors.

  • monicaacoleman

    Such a nice way of putting it Ria.  Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/graceyiaheikao Grace Kao

    painful and beautiful at the same time. I will remember, too.

  • Karen Baker-Fletcher

    Sorry to hear about the miscarriage. You are in my prayers

  • Mickeyd43

    Thanks for sharing your perspective and experience in a painful event in life that many have experienced but never discuss.  You always have a different way of looking at life. My sincere condolences and prayers for future success.  Hope to see you soon at COR.

  • Colleen Carpenter

    Thank you for this.  It’s beautiful, and heartbreaking.

    Have you ever read Barbara Kingsolver’s _Animal Dreams_?  There’s a bit at the end of a chapter that has haunted me for years.  The speaker is a woman who miscarried long ago, and is trying to describe what that pregnancy, that child, meant to her:
    “A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had. But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.” She’ll know.  And you will know, always.  Because you are right: you are supposed to remember.  We all should.

  • monicaacoleman

    That’s beautiful and well put.  I have not read it before.  Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  • monicaacoleman

    Thanks.  See you at COR

  • monicaacoleman

    Thanks Karen.

  • Kirsten

    This made tears run down my cheeks.  I just went through a miscarriage myself – and you are so right…I know I will always remember the day my baby was due.  20 years from now I will still remember that date.

  • monicaacoleman

    So glad you will remember too

  • Crmilsap

    Hello Monica,
    Thank your for sharing your thoughts and experience regarding miscarriage.  As a minister and counselor, I have talked with women who have experience the public hope of childbearing and the private grief of the loss of that hope.  In general, we do not count the loss of a child who has not yet been born or who has not come to full term, the same as any other death or loss.  And so, many woman and men, suffer their loss in silence.  We need to discover ways to give voice and space for their grieving.

    –Cynthia Milsap, Chicago