The loss of an eight-cell embryo.
The loss of miscarriage at six weeks, 10 weeks, however many weeks.
The loss of stillbirth at any week.
The loss of a toddler.
The loss of any child.
I had the honor to process this lesson of life with a client on the same day that my fellow warrior at My Perfect Breakdown wrote a beautiful, kind of rebuttal, piece to my piece "Our Infertility Rap Sheets."
Again, I am reminded that there simply are no mistakes made in this life or coincidences. And that I have amazing people around me in this journey.
In her post, My Perfect Breakdown discussed how her numbers are important to her because they are her children lost to miscarriage. In my piece, I wrote about taking my numbers out because, for me, they came from a place of shame, scarcity and comparison.
It is simply impossible for me to live a whole-hearted life with courage, compassion and connection when I live from a place of shame, scarcity and comparison. I believe this to be true for all of us. And, I challenged those of us with the struggles of infertility to ask themselves where their count, their infertility rap sheet, was truly coming from.
What I did not write in Our Infertility Rap Sheets was the number I will never remove.
To the general population, they may have just been three eight-cell embryos.
To me, they are my three babies.
My three babies who never had the chance to take a breath of earth's fresh air.
My three babies who never grew.
My three babies I can parent only from this side of eternity.
My three soul scars.
Three will never be taken out of my story. It is within these three lost souls that I have been found and have found myself.
I see three everywhere I go. I feel my three every single day. I dream of my three and mourn the what-ifs. I heal from my three always.
LOSS IS LOSS.
Being able to process this difficult lesson of life with my clients, women who have had miscarriages, women who have given up their child for adoption, clients who have lost their child beyond way too early to tragedy, is something I feel honored with and thankful for.
Does is hurt less that I lost mine before they could grow?
Does it hurt less that she didn't suffer?
Does it hurt less that she was only in the first trimester?
Does it hurt less that I have lost three, but she has lost five?
Does it hurt less that you at least got a couple of years with him?
Does it hurt less that she lived a longer life and mine never grew?
This comparison, this my pain is worse than yours, or even my pain could still be worse, is heartbreaking, soul-crushing comparison.
And, it keeps us alone.
All alone with only our losses.
If we can embrace that loss is loss; if I can sit across from my clients in the presence of their loss, with their loss, rather than comparing our losses then we are simply two mothers who have lost.
People who have lost.
And, that it is all just really f*cking horrible.
But, we're in it together.
And, at least, we are not sitting in it all alone with only shame, scarcity and comparison as our comrades.
In this, is the ever upward recovery.
I choose that.