Fourteen years ago, my love and I went on our first date on the fourteenth of February. Little did we know then that this is where we would be now. We have endured graduate school, moving, buying a home, seeing our furry child pass, the birth and life of our 18 month old daughter and so much more. We have discovered who we are together.
Through good times and bad.
Fourteen is also the number of weeks I ought to be. I should be fourteen weeks pregnant, but four weeks ago, we suffered a loss. A loss my body failed to notice. A loss that took us reeling from the sonogram room to the doctor’s consultation room. A loss that we couldn’t, no didn’t, imagine would be, could be a possibility.
My baby, my little girl, died at six weeks gestation.
We found out at ten weeks. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to be exact.
I knew once they couldn’t find the heartbeat on the sonogram that we were headed down that path. The gestational sack was too small. Tears. Tears. Tears.
We couldn’t believe it so we did a blood test. We found some hope – maybe the dates were just off. My HCG levels were high, super high.
High enough for a heartbeat.
But two days later, they had dropped by 10,000.
And two more days later, I was wheeled into the operating room to have a D&C to remove and genetically test the “products of conception.” I will never get to see her.
My child. My daughter. The one I will never get to hold. The one we lost too soon. The one that looks over us from heaven being rocked in Jesus’s arms.
She had Trisomy 16. “Incompatible with life”.
Her name is Jessie. Our gift.
There is no funeral. There is no ceremony. There isn’t even a record of her person. She is just 47, XX, +16.
I had a “missed miscarriage.” Those words are so loaded with shame. It presumes that not only did my body fail to sustain the pregnancy, but it also failed to notice the baby’s death.
But let’s get one thing straight. Miscarriage is not a failure by the woman. It is a loss. A loss that is hushed. That is quiet. That changes a woman. That is contained. That is misunderstood. That is
f o r g o t t e n.
It. is. Loss.
I should be publicly announcing my pregnancy on Facebook this week. But instead, I’ll avoid pictures of newborns, quickly like and hide other people’s announcements for due dates after what should have been my own. I will encourage myself to be joyful for others.
And, keep my loss quiet from unsuspecting eyes.
Which is a bloody, damn shame.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.