My little family sometimes feels incomplete

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Jaime Best

I have two little boys that I would do absolutely anything for and love with all of my heart but sometimes it feels like something is missing.

I’m not big on statistics. I’ve always fought against being a statistic–from my sexual abuse and other unfortunate things I have faced–and this is no exception. I know statistics exist for certain reasons, but those reasons seem beyond little ole me.

Most people don’t even know about it. Like other life-changing events in my life, I chose to keep it mostly to myself. I try not to dwell on it or make a big deal out of it, but sometimes from seemingly out of nowhere it throws me on my ass. It happened this past weekend and I don’t really know why but it made me feel like it’s something I need to share with others.

It was summer 2011 and I, just like millions of other women, had a miscarriage. You always hear the stories of it happening to friends or friends of friends so you know it is a possibility. You try your best to prepare for the what ifs during pregnancy but I never really wanted to dwell on them. Even though I knew miscarriage was a possibility I really didn’t think it would happen to me. I assumed that all would go well considering my first was a total breeze–no morning sickness, no high blood pressure or other awful pregnancy side effects and labour that lasted only about an hour and a half.

Just as with my first son, when I found out I was expecting again I waited to tell anyone about it. With him the only person who knew for the first 4-5 months was my ex-husband. It felt like it was our little secret, something that we could share, just between the two of us. This time I wanted it to be the same–our little family without any influence from the outside world.

In many ways I was glad I waited to say anything because I was able to avoid the sad looks and the questions that I didn’t want to answer. But not telling anyone made things difficult because people couldn’t understand why I was so quiet and withdrawn. I didn’t want to drop bombs of bad news everywhere so I simply continued to keep it to myself and deal with it alone. It was so hard walking around with my secret sadness.

My ex didn’t seem to be that upset about it and I was angry at him for not feeling the same way that I felt. To him it was just a matter of trying again. He would say things like, I know you’re going to be able to get pregnant again. If we want a baby badly enough, we’re going to have another baby. He was ready to move forward, but I wasn’t. I was stuck in what it was.

I was thankful I had just started my summer holidays the morning that it happened and would not have to return to work for 2 weeks. The break made it easier to avoid people, avoid calling in sick and having someone know something was wrong. I spent the entire time at my favourite camping spot with just my son (my ex-husband had to work) and felt completely devastated inside.

Time becomes a blur afterwards. It’s hard to shake the feeling that other people think you did something to bring it on. That somehow something you did, or failed to do, resulted in this type of punishment. I found it difficult to think about wanting to try to have any more children and go through the possibility of it happening again. For me, it felt like I would be moving forward and forgetting what was lost.

I obviously did get pregnant again and now have my youngest son but the entire pregnancy was incredibly anxiety producing. My ex-husband thought it was all completely irrational and couldn’t understand how the fear sometimes took over my days and I was left lying in the dark begging for the baby to stay alive. I would go to my doctor appointments and hold my breath until I could hear the heartbeat, wanted to beg for extra ultrasound scans and waited until almost the end of January to tell most people I was expecting even though he was due at the beginning of May. I didn’t buy a lot of clothes or accessories because I didn’t want to build it up in case it was all torn down again. It was difficult to believe that he would ever actually be a part of our family. I don’t think I truly believed it until I held him for the first time.

It was weird but as soon as I had my son I knew I wanted another child. Regardless of the feelings that surfaced during my second pregnancy I felt that I was meant to be a mother of three. For months it was all I could think about. Unfortunately, it never happened because about a year and a half after my second son was born my ex-husband and I separated. He now has two more children with his new wife. Sometimes I feel angry about it, especially since he gave his second daughter the same name we had picked out for our child (if it had been a girl).

Some days my little family of 3 feels incomplete and I can feel that tiny person that is missing from our lives. I’ll think about what he or she would be like. Would they have the dark brown eyes and soft olive skin like their father and brothers, or blue eyes and freckles like me?

You don’t lose a person you know and love when you have a miscarriage, but gone are your hopes and fantasies for the future. You put one foot in front of the other, but I’m still not sure how you manage to make your way in the world without that missing piece of you.

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