On grief, loss and Jojack

Up until a month ago exactly, I was pregnant…

I’ve always wanted kids and I was always excited about having them sometime in the future. However, reality tells a different story. I struggled to find any unreserved excitement. If anything, I was scared. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy seem like that for many women. For women struggling to get pregnant at all, that moment of finding out is the most exciting thing in the world, but for me (and it all happened so incredibly quickly), I was freaked out. Only a couple of days earlier, I was having a few drinks with colleagues. A few drinks turned into a few too many and then into several too many. Then suddenly, can’t eat that, can’t eat that either, don’t eat that, don’t drink that, don’t stress too much, don’t sit on the ground, don’t wander around at night, just relax, and make sure you’re taking your folic acid.

I don’t know if I can begin to describe what it’s like to miscarry a baby. I consider myself an empathetic person and I’ve journeyed alongside people who have miscarried before, but I don’t think you really know how it feels until it all falls out from inside of you and you can do nothing to stop it from happening. And then you pick it all up, hold it in your hands and you wonder what on earth went wrong. 3 days ago, you could see a healthy heartbeat and you could see tiny little Jojack and today you’re holding little Jojack in the palm of your hand. It is a dirty rush of emotions (and I mean rush). One minute I’m fine and within the hour, I’m clutching my gut in agony but I can’t tell which hurts more, my suddenly empty abdomen or my suddenly holey heart. And you’re searching for people to share your agony with but they don’t quite get it. In fact, your facebook newsfeed is overloaded with photos of recently born babies, pregnancy announcements and pictures of healthy scans. Why can’t that be Jojack?

Them tears, they flow.

Jojack is a funny name. Hubby and I had a conversation once about what we would call a child if ever we were to have one. He said Jojack as a bit of a joke. Then Jojack became more a term of endearment, a funny little person with a funny little personality, a bit geeky, a bit nerdy and a bit crazy like his/her parents (and very imaginative like his/her parents).

It makes me sad that there’ll never be another Jojack, that he’ll never live to make us laugh or smile.

There is something dramatically unfair about the way that life pans out. And believe me, I felt it. I’ve never cried so much in my life. The tears are unending. Now, four weeks later, it’s like it never even happened… like Jojack wasn’t even real. But I still weep for what could have been and I still envy mother’s who can listen to their babies cry and laugh and snore and cough and breathe. I’m halfway between excitement for my friends and general guttedness.
A large part of me wonders whether I can put myself through that again. I fear that the next pregnancy will produce the same result… more pain, more tears and some more fighting with my husband. But for now, I guess we’ll just see…

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sidenote:
After publishing this, I was sent a reminder as to why I posted it in the first place. It’s the loneliest journey in the world. I’m inspired by the strength of women who have suffered, even to a greater extent than I with numerous miscarriages. And in fact, the same week we miscarried, we also lost a friend and fellow musician. I cannot imagine the pain if burying a 26 year old son.
In some ways I feel disrespectful speaking about something so taboo and sacred, but when I was going through it, I felt like I was grasping out in the dark chasms of both real and virtual worlds for a hand that would help me navigate what I was then experiencing.
I’m not without hope. Nor am I without self-respect. Just with a little brutal and painful honesty because that’s what connects us in the end.
🙂

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