I recently found an email in my ‘drafts’ folder that has validated my motherhood status. For those women that have miscarried their first child, a big struggle is feeling non relevant as a mother amongst her peers. Especially when the ever so popular condolence phrase is “at least it happened early”.
What not talking about miscarriage does to a mother
Even though I know that I am a mother despite not having an actual child to hold in my arms, it’s hard not to pay attention to what society puts out there. And the fact that talking about miscarriage is still a taboo subject doesn’t help this. What we all need to realize is that:
By not talking about miscarriage, you aren’t acknowledging the fact your friend was pregnant. And if the that friend was never pregnant, your friend was never a mother.
Ouch. See what we bereaved first time mother’s are getting at?
When a woman becomes a mother
I firmly believe that we are mother’s the moment we find out the news we are pregnant. I will be the first to admit I had a meltdown the day after I found out that I was pregnant. I was in the middle of my spiritual happy place, Target, when a flood of realization hit me. Every scary, selfish, illogical thought came to my mind: we can’t afford this child, we had a trip planned, what if I raise a baby serial killer, what about my career, what if my baby has an illness, how much weight will I gain, what if I am a terrible mother and what about my wine subscription I just signed up for.
(If that freak out is not mom material, I don’t know what is.)
At least it happened early
I am guilty. Three years ago, I told my very own twin sister ‘at least it happened early’ when she miscarried at 8 weeks. I truly believed what I said was logical and helpful. My thought was ‘hey, losing a kid earlier is better than later. You won’t be as attached.’ With that phrase and thinking, I denied my own twin her right to motherhood. And it took me losing my own son at 18 weeks, to learn how incredibly wrong I was.
I heard and still hear ‘at least it happened early’ quite often. And the moment I do, I start to question my relevancy as a mother…
That is until I was trying to find an old email and ran across this draft that I had written while I was pregnant.
I had this grand vision that I would start occasionally writing my child and on their 18th birthday, share my emails with them. So to dispute the belief that it’s easier to lose a child early on, I bring you this:
Date: February 11
Subject: Baby Miller #1
Well, it’s official. I now believe that you are there. You are officially 11 weeks old and we went in to the doctor today to hear your heartbeat. It’s not that I didn’t believe you were there before but you have to understand from my point of view.
I can’t hear you, feel you or see you. The only thing I have indicating that you are there is my ability to hug a toilet and wish I have never eaten a tuna fish sandwich.
So back to today and how I know you are like, legit in my belly.
Dr. Hammond used a doppler to hear your heartbeat but apparently you were hiding behind my intestine. So she immediately sent us down the hall to get an ultrasound, just in case. Boy am I glad she did. I have never seen anything so cool in my life. There you were, with a round little head, an arm near your face and your foot just perched up like you were kicking back and enjoying a beer during the Super Bowl 50. (Which was last night. The Broncos won and we are happy about that. Also Von Miller won MVP and your mom/me-went to the same college. WHOOP. We will talk about colleges later.)
But the best part came next. You moved. And I’m not talking like you moved a finger-you literally jumped. Several times. It was like you were trying to get comfy in your recliner while holding a beer steady. You wiggled and moved, your little foot was kicking. This by far is one of the coolest things I have seen and as your mother, I have seen a LOT of cool things. Because I’m old. 32.
Then we heard your heartbeat and you sounded strong. Your Dad squeezed my hand and was beaming from ear to ear. I cried. This is the first time I have cried during an appointment. Because I will be honest, the first two times we are saw you-you were kind of boring and looked like I had eaten a jelly bean (which I had…several). But this time…damn. You are growing. I have no doubt with your moves today you will be our little soccer player. I am pretty impressed with your agility and dexterity, but then again I am your mother and think everything you do is pretty spectacular. You could eat a penny and I will beam with pride and say ‘Look! Our kid already knows how to save money!”
I can’t feel you move but we will in a few weeks. Until then, I will replay this indie short film in my head over and over again.
The throwing up is totally worth it. My back pain. My teenage breakouts. My weight gain. My non stop crying over nothing is worth it. The no wine is totally worth it…well almost. And because you are my child and you will understand this last part one day. We will discuss over a glass when you are 21.
You are worth it. All of it. And we are pretty excited to have you. We will see you in two weeks and can’t wait to catch up with you then.
I love you so much my sweet little Mexican jumping bean.
Yeah, totes attached, totes in love and totes a mom. So that whole biz about it thankfully ‘happening early’…