When friends 'solve' your miscarriage by telling you to try again
After my miscarriage, my friends, doctors and nurses encouraged me by telling me to try again. But I can't.
I hadn't intended to get pregnant, and the news of my pregnancy came at an extremely challenging and inopportune time. But in the weeks between the positive test and my first sonogram, I came to love the life that was growing in the secret of my belly. She — although I had no idea if the baby was a boy or girl — was a promise for the future and my heart's unveiled desire.
She — my beautiful baby — had no heartbeat.
Tears burst from my eyes when I saw her unrealized life on the shady sonogram screen, and I wailed for my lost child, my lost promise. The sonographer, nurse and doctor all handed me tissues and stood in awkward silence. Inevitably, though, when the silence grew too heavy, they chimed in with some variation of the following most-reviled words:
"It's OK, honey, you can try for another."
No, I can't. The pregnancy was an accident and I can't just magically snap my fingers and wish that the father of my unborn dead baby would impregnate me again. She was an accident, and the thing about accidental pregnancies is that they are accidental. They cannot just happen again. The sudden and brilliant intrusion of an unexpected life in a dark season isn't so easily replicated.
Image: Mary McCoy
Just don't say those words to me as though another pregnancy could erase the pain and confusion of my dead baby. Another baby cannot erase the monumental ache of the loss of a child. Time might comfort those wounds and nurture the sting so that it doesn't command my attention at every moment of the day, but another baby cannot.
If you say those words to me — or to any mother who has lost a pregnancy or a child — you're wishing my dead baby and my grief away from the world because it's uncomfortable for you. It's not because it brings me comfort. Know that.
And if you really want to be a friend or a physician, sit with me in the stark light and let your only sound be weeping, for me and my dead baby.