I just knew I was pregnant. We got home from Trunk-or-Treating with our toddler and I took a test. The line popped up quickly: faint, but it was there. A few days went by and I took another test. This one was nice and dark. But just a little over a week later, it started to slip away. By the middle of that week, it was like the pregnancy didn’t even happen. Whoosh. An entire lifetime of existence I fantasized about was gone, and I felt like an idiot for even having those dreams in the first place. After all, I was only a few weeks pregnant.
I had a nursing exam on the day I started to miscarry. I had an inkling that something was wrong the night before, so I emailed the level coordinator, telling her I had an emergency regarding my pregnancy. She wrote back quickly, telling me to do what I needed to do, but that taking a makeup test incurred a 5 point penalty. So I went. I took the exam on the day I was supposed to, while I was actively miscarrying—because it was important. The next day was election day, and still miscarrying—still crushed—I voted. Because it was important. But when will I be able to make myself and my family’s emotional health important? When would I be allowed to truly grieve? It didn’t seem to matter to anyone else but me and those close to me. And why would it? After all, I was only a few weeks pregnant.
I felt so foolish. I bought clearance Halloween pajamas for a baby who didn’t even have a heartbeat yet. I dreamed of my son being a sibling to a baby who didn’t have a fighting chance. I was so excited. Hope springs eternal – except after a pregnancy loss. After that, every choice regarding growing a family is deeply measured. Every thought of a future baby is clouded by the dark “what ifs?” But, really, what was I to expect? Loss happens all the time in early pregnancy, and I was only a few weeks pregnant.
But grief knows no logic. I can’t intellectualize myself out of the hollow sadness of losing a pregnancy—losing who would have been my second child—as I am often inclined to do. Grief doesn’t care that I was only a few weeks pregnant. It seeps out from every crack no matter how hard I try to compartmentalize it. And that’s OK. No matter how much society at large wants us to run away from it, grief isn’t something to avoid. Intellectually, I know the pregnancy simply wasn’t meant to be. Something must have gone wrong early on. These things happen all the time. But today, my heart hurts. I lost my baby. My baby. Even if I was only a few weeks pregnant.