I was sure I was going to rip in two...
By Charlotte Coren, Israel
Someone once told me it is not easy bringing life into this world. They were right. Even if for so many it seems to be. For many more, there is heartache and there are struggles. So many struggles. Many think I first became a mother when my twins were born 6 years ago. They are wrong. It was long before I held my own, live babies in my arms.
The bleeding started Erev Rosh HaShanah (New Year’s Eve). At first it was just a bit of spotting. I was in denial. Pretending to not know what was happening opened up a space for hope. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe one of my worst nightmares wasn’t coming true. Maybe the baby was ok. Maybe. Just maybe. Maybe not.
My sister-in-law told me to wait and see. The cramps in my thighs were getting stronger. Slowly but surely working their way up my legs and around my belly. Somehow I made my way through the family dinner. Somehow I made my way back into the small, old flat we were staying in for the holidays. I took a paracetamol thinking it might help. I took another and then another, but the pain just got stronger. I was sure the whole town could hear me screaming. I was sure I was going to rip in two. I was still not sure what was happening. Denial was still trying to protect me. My mind trying to save me from what my body could not.
The second miscarriage nearly killed me. The third was quicker. The fourth I barely felt.
Nothing can prepare you for the emptiness that comes. The nothing that replaces the something. The worlds of potential somethings. Potential futures. Potential people. Potential lives, loves. Gone.
I couldn’t talk about it at first. It was too painful. Too sad. I would be OK, I said. I don't want to talk about it, I said. But I wasn’t ok and I did need to talk. So I talked. I talked to a therapist who helped me put all my feelings into words. I talked to other women who had lost their babies. Woman who were yet to have their babies. So many women. So many babies. So many devastating stories of loss and pain, disappointment and yearning. So much suffering. Yet still, so much hope.
Infertility and pregnancy loss affect many woman (50-70%)- it’s likely you know someone who has experienced it. This no longer needs to be taboo. Sharing our stories allows us to hold a little of each other’s pain, to bring some healing to our trauma and normalize something that, unfortunately, is a very very normal occurrence.
May we all find the courage to listen and may all of their memories always be a blessing.