I never thought I would have two miscarriages and no baby at the age of 32. I didn’t think lightening would strike twice but it did. Since the age of 18 I had been told my PCOS would make it difficult to have children. It was pounded into me at each yearly check up and I was prepared for whatever infertility issues would arise.
But no one told me that I could miscarry. Just as causally as my doctors told me it would be hard to conceive, why didn’t they tell me, ‘Hey, did you know that your chances of miscarrying are pretty high because it’s super common?’
I mean obviously I know why they don’t tell women that, it’s a total downer.
The hardest part
So here I am, two miscarriages in the last 6 months and I am finding myself feeling very empty. It’s been 4 weeks since I passed our child at home and I am feeling pretty raw. An early loss is very different from a second trimester loss. HUGE.
With James, I had more time with him. I felt his precious kicks and movements. We saw him dancing around on the ultrasounds. After my loss I got to hold my son and talk to him. I counted his fingers and toes over and over again. We named him. We have photos of him. We can say his name and people get it, they understand our loss.
But with early loss, it’s none of those things. I carried for 10 weeks but had a missed miscarrage. Which means my body never recognized the baby stopped growing at 5 weeks. I didn’t feel any kicks. We saw blobs on the ultrasound, no heartbeat. I miscarried naturally at home, the day before surgery was scheduled to remove the baby. So I didn’t have fingers and toes to count. I didn’t hold our baby and didn’t name it. It was all too early.
This is the toughest thing we have to wrap our heads around with this loss: we have nothing to hang on to. It’s a mind f*ck and it’s really messing with my head and my heart.
How can we remember an early loss?
There is a sense of needing closure, something tangible with this child. No gender and no name. It feels like we have left this creation that represented hope and our future, out in the middle of space, alone.
I asked for advice from my online support group called Hope Mommies and found comfort when I wasn’t the only feeling that something needed to be done. I had over 25 responses from mom’s that have been in the same situation.
The general consensus: creating an identity for your child will help you in the grieving process.
The women responded with some really great ideas, some women went with their gut feelings on gender, some just named the baby something gender neutral and others just left them in their nickname. With this loss, Bunny is a cute nick name and all but again, we have a son that got the royal treatment in remembrance.
I can’t celebrate my son and call him by his name but his sibling gets nothing. Talk about favoriting a child. Maybe it would have been different if I had an earlier loss first? I don’t know. But here we are, stuck in this part of what to do. How do we let this second child live on in our little family?
And who is to say we will ever have an earth child? This may be our only chance to name a child we made.
Listen to your gut
The moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew it was a little girl. Before pushing my thoughts on Chris, I remembered I rolled over one night before he fell asleep and asked him what he thought we were having and he said ‘definitely a girl’. And he followed that with wide eyes and a goofy look of panic, “Ah! I don’t know what to do with girls!”
We thought this was our rainbow baby. Our chance at having a family on earth. So we have decided to go with our mommy and daddy instincts and give our baby a gender and name.
Meet our daughter, Iris Marie Miller. We have buried her in the mountains and look forward to being reunited with our James and Iris one day.
Iris: In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, a messenger for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow as a multicolored bridge from heaven to earth. The color purple of an iris flower also represents ‘faith’.