Losing something you didn’t know you had

Lex Jacobson

By: Lex Jacobson

I miscarried last week before I even knew I was pregnant. The only reason I found out was because of irregular bleeding and a pregnancy loss was confirmed through testing (at 4 weeks). Apparently I could be one of those rare people who menstruate during pregnancy.

I don’t know how to feel. I’m confused and surprised, but oddly enough, I’m not really upset. I know that a loss is a loss, but I feel a bit lucky that we didn’t get a chance to celebrate something that is so quickly gone – that we didn’t get to know the life growing inside of me, that we didn’t choose a nickname for the fetus, that I didn’t tell my mother.

Throughout this journey, it’s been interesting to hear stories of other women’s miscarriages and all of the things they were told that was supposed to make them feel better–but made them feel worse.

For example:

  • At least you know now that you can get pregnant
  • Well, there was obviously something wrong with the fetus, so it’s better this way
  • I guess this just isn’t your time
  • When you finally give birth to a healthy baby, you’ll look back and think that if you were able to hold on to this one, you’d never have the perfect son/daughter that you kept

I’m the first to admit I never know what to say when people come to me with bad news, but I think that’s the point – you don’t need to say anything at all. This year, for my birthday, I got a tattoo on my forearm with one word, in cursive: “Listen”. It’s a really good reminder for me to use my ears and my heart over my mouth.

This whole trying to conceive journey is humbling, and I am so glad that there is a community of people out there who have paved the road and who tell me about how they did it. I am realizing that trying to conceive is far bigger than sperm and eggs and pee sticks and donors and doctors. It is a life lesson of patience and hope and let-downs and celebrations. It is a gentle reminder to listen to your body and to the world around you and to slow down and realize that, regardless of being childless or not, and regardless of words or not, you have a great big family out there who is there for you and want the best for you.

That, through this loss, is what I’m hanging on to.

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