Miscarriage Is Real: Why Conceal the Suffering?

Every day, women find out they’re pregnant. Within five seconds, they learn they’re a mother. And every day, women have those babies. They’re beautiful and perfect and they weigh 7 pounds, 21 ounces, and everything is wonderful and painful and so many emotions at once.

But also, every day, women lose babies. They lose them at birth. They lose them a few minutes after. Many—too many (25% in fact)—lose them in the womb. They lose them at 5 weeks, or 8 weeks, or 12 weeks, or 4 months. And no matter when the loss occurs, it’s devastating. It takes a part of you to whatever lies beyond this life. Still, pieces remain: 

 

Grievances

 

The one who occupied my body
screamed to leave before it was ready—
left me wan and wanting for something I never
wanted to begin with. One by one doctors wrote
on clipboards and asked the same thing:
what brings you in today

 

M took over said she’s pregnant in pain bleeding
not right how many months was she “was” they said,
was two and too early to tell loved ones they say wait
until second trimester the risks of complication are too common
and for what, exactly? why conceal the suffering?

 

At each visit I was checked in with the same questions
always the one I didn’t know how to answer do you feel safe at home

 

yes, I said, voice hoarse from crying thinking
how could I feel safe when my own body unmothered itself

 

it’s normal to take on blame, the nurse said, sensing my guilt
and I silent, nodding how the fuck do you know
I didn’t say.

 

It took fifteen days and four hospital trips and then
found an 8cm block of tissue stuck in my cervix keeping
me open until infection set in
M made a terrible joke said it’ll never let go, jack

 

For weeks I sat in a hospital bed on drugs
while doctors tried everything to figure out why
I was still in pain. how can people let themselves
become addicts I used to think and now months later
when I still crave that once sedated space understand
they gave me morphine and dilaudid and fentanyl and
percocet and lortab and everything else

 

why didn’t they do a D&C, a doctor finally asked me
saying everything should have flushed out by now
but things did flush I bled for days and days and passed
a softball sized clot felt there it is and took a picture
with my phone to save as my own ultrasound photo because
nothing ever appeared on any screen even though hCG levels said
I was clearly pregnant and rising until of course they didn’t

 

Now, it’s been months and this grief plagues me I’ve never
been so upset to see pregnant women on the subway the other day
while riding the A sat across a woman rubbing her belly
and I was reading an article in the NYTimes
that said women retain cells of the baby
even when the baby is gone called it
fetal souvenirs said the cells live inside
the mothers brain and heart from day one
of conception like I need science to tell me

 

 

(Original Poem by Hillary Ferguson, 2016)

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