It takes sunshine 🙂 and rain 😦 to make a rainbow.
The roller coster of life has the biggest thrills in store for us and at many points there are no choices, no instructions and no warnings. During our highest highs we enjoy the fun of this mystery of life, and during our low’s we curse it. These traits make us human, but how we react in these situations ourselves or with other’s is what truly makes us humane…
I feel blessed to be have this platform to pour my heart out on various occasions and this time is no different. Before I talk about my life’s roller coaster I would like to mention this post may not be the usual light hearted ramblings, nor is this a heart breaking saga. This is an instance of having faith even when it is the hardest thing to do.
The journey from womb to world is truly miraculous and you appreciate it most when you witness yourself or someone very close go through it. The female body is a complex creation of God with unimaginable powers, yet, more often than not we powerful beings fail at being pillars of strength for each other.
Our life took an unexpected turn when we were surprised to know that we were expecting a little bundle of joy in 2018. At that point we turned our world around to prepare for the new arrival in our family. Like any first time parent we were excited, nervous, joyous, confused all at once. I am no expert in medicine but being a student of biologic sciences I had a fair understanding of the changes to expect physically and mentally. What I was oblivious to, was the fact that there is a 1 in 4 chance of a miscarriage in the early weeks of pregnancy. Long story short, we were shocked out of our minds to know that there was no heartbeat at the expected time during the scan.
The condition blighted ovum (also known as an anembryonic pregnancy) is a type of very early miscarriage, when a fertilized egg never develops into an embryo. This was our situation. No specific reason to cause it, it could be a chromosomal abnormality that causes this. But the human tendency to find a reason behind everything is natural to move on. The other annoying female tendency is ‘Guilt.’ Blame oneself, weeks and months of what did I do wrong? did I eat wrong or work too much? Multiple ways to blame myself even when the logical part of my brain knew there was nothing that could be done.
The worst part of such a loss of pregnancy is that the body is still in denial of the fact that an embryo has failed to develop, meaning you still have all the same symptoms of first trimester like nausea, vomiting, cravings. The hormones are still active to cause these pregnancy like symptoms and it takes weeks to more than a month for the levels to normalize and then starts the actual miscarriage/ period. For weeks you are aware there is no hope but you still suffer the same symptoms which you were cherishing earlier for the sake of your baby.
I cannot stress the need of emotional support from family and friends. We were supremely blessed and lucky to have our families take care of us while we recovered from the initial jolt and very few friends who understood the gravity of our loss. It took more than weeks and months to be able to understand what had happened, longer to understand this will forever be a void and it was ok to live with this realization. It was essential to have such people around who would let us be, and made sure we did not loose hope.
An unfortunate fact is that you feel your loss and pain is less when you see other’s suffering more. As Hellen Keller quoted, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
After our diagnosis, I spoke to many of my close women and found out that miscarriage was extremely common and yet we don’t talk about it. Maybe it is the pain of loss, the guilt for no valid reason or just the negativity it brings to an otherwise positive topic, we women avoid sharing our pain and choose to agonize alone. I read a few articles online of other ladies who shared their experience like I have done here today. During my days of misery that gave me strength, hope and relieved me of my unnecessary guilt.
Unfortunately there are people who love to judge and draw their own conclusions to all aspects of your life, keeping such negativity at bay is best. I think that is why in many cultures, or as a matter of choice many families don’t share the news of their pregnancy for a few initial months. There are no rights or wrongs, no rules to follow. Do whatever feels right, not out of fear or superstition, for peace of mind and ease of life.
One thing I learned was of all the challenges we faced together as a couple, such a loss is something you can never prepare for. The need to be each others pillar of strength and to give time to heal is crucial to grow your relationship. Yes, in matters of creating and loosing life within us, it is hard work to be a woman but it is equally hard for your man to see you in misery and feel helpless. It is the worst feeling a man in love can go through.
I hope and pray such an experience or misery never falls upon anyone reading this article, and God forbidding if it did, never feel alone. It is NOT the end of the world, life goes on we just adapt and become stronger. Multiple women have multiple such painful experiences but later many of them have wonderful healthy pregnancies. There is hope…
Our story also has a positive ‘Rainbow’ ending. The joy and journey of creating a life has been beautiful, miraculous and powerful. Parenthood is a huge change, it’s exciting and scary. Just the thought, that a tiny little life will be totally dependent on you for everything! The sweet joys of feeling those tiny kicks inside wrapped with immediate anxiety if I don’t feel them for a few hours… it is true that you don’t know fear till you become a parent. Every time I lay eyes on my little one I have a strong urge to make this world a better place for him growing up. Hence, now with renewed spirits and immense strength I could share my experience so that everyone who reads this feels equally empowered with positivity and life. As I said earlier, these traits make us human, but how we react in these situations ourselves or with others is what truly makes us humane…