In my last post I shared about my second heartbreak of losing yet another baby. When my husband arrived at the hospital, I could not look at him. I could not bear to look at him. The day before the miscarriage we had had an argument and I did not want him to think it was his fault. I knew it had nothing to do with the argument at all. He stayed with me. He started teasing me about my hospital gown. He whispered to me that the visitors should leave so that he could help himself to some hospital food. It was not long before I was literally giggling in the hospital. To an outsider, I may even have looked like I was beginning to cope with everything. I finally started talking. And I started eating. My husband ate with me. We held hands. I told him I was sorry, and he said it was not my fault. I believed him. But inside I was dying, my heart was breaking into pieces, it hurt, and the pain was almost physical. There was a lump in my chest that just would not go away.Why did it have to hurt so much? Why does a miscarriage or a stillbirth hurt? When asked such a question, how do you even respond? Is this question a suggestion that because you never physically saw the baby, then the pain should be less? Is the loss of a child not just that – the loss of a child? For me there were a number of things that made it hurt so much.
One of the hardest things about a still birth is that it happens so late in the pregnancy when you have hope. I was in the third trimester and thought all danger had passed. I had gone shopping for baby supplies. The anticipation of meeting my daughter was high, and I had been excited. I had imagined how she would look like, and wondered if she would have hair that grew like mine. The equally hard part is that the baby is considered a human being at a certain point and they have to be either buried or cremated. In fact, the family must make arrangements. The nurses took my husband and I to the room where she was. It was not a mortuary, and she was in one of those hospital cots that look like a dish. We stood there saw her lying there lifeless. She was beautiful, she was breathtaking. She looked more like my husband than me. She looked like she was just sleeping and I fought the urge to pick her up. I held on tight to Khu, I was afraid that if I let go I might fall. We opted for cremation, it seemed the easy way out. In fact, I don’t even think we discussed it, Khu just made the decision and I went along with it.
The third hardest thing is the milk production. The day when my breasts starting hurting from the milk build up, I cried so much that the people around me did not understand. I sometimes think they thought I was being overly dramatic. I had milk in my breasts and no baby to feed. I HAD MILK IN MY BREASTS! I can never find the words to describe how that felt. The medication meant to dry the milk did not seem to work, the breasts were swollen – it was pure torture. Facing people was also a challenge. At that stage everyone knew that I had been pregnant and so people were bound to either ask if I had had the baby, or if they knew about the miscarriage some would awkwardly mumble a sorry. I did not know how to respond, and there were few times when I found myself comforting someone who was too pained by the whole situation.
One thing was certain, our families were now worried about us. Two babies lost in as many pregnancies was a cause for alarm bells. If I had known what the future held I would have prepared myself for the fight of my life, which would put to test all my values and beliefs.
I look forward to sharing the rest of the journey with you over the next couple of months. Look out for the next post soon, and in the meantime, feel free to leave a comment, and also check out the other posts on the blog….God Bless, Zwi