Unwarranted shame imprints on the mind
Poisoning otherwise pure moments
Infecting the smiles of momentary relief
From a grief abundantly potent.
The struggle to heal and fight is real
The weariness impedes battling limbs
The heart, the stomach, the brain all weak
Marching making no more than a quiver.
Dragging the soulless creature to the front
To face the demons with open arms
Embrace or decline? It is not yet decided
But a fight will occur ’til death do us parted.
One month ago today, I went into hospital to have medical assistance for my miscarriage. Four days before that, I went to have my 12 week scan. There was no heartbeat and the baby measured at 9 weeks in size. It was the worst experience of my life.
For about 10 days after finding out, I was very closed off and, although I attempted to talk to people as though life was normal, all I could think about was that I wanted my child. After a breakdown following a conversation about babies, my husband made me go to the doctor to see if there was anyone who could help. I went to the doctor and broke down with her. She said the most important words to me, words which every family who have a miscarriage, however early, need to hear.
“You cannot go back to work like this. You need time to grieve.”
On those words I realised that I hadn’t allowed myself the opportunity to grieve for the child I had lost. I knew they were gone but I hadn’t grieved it. I felt like I would be judged for grieving the loss of a child I had never met but it was something I needed to do. Doing this changed me.
I had very dark thoughts during the start but after visiting the doctor, the edges of my mind started to have glints of light. Up until this point I had only written a sort of diary as my creativity had disappeared but, after the doctor, I started to write poetry again. I opened up my first poem “Poem 1” to a few friends who loved it. I then shared more of this poetry with a good friend who encouraged me to share it with the world. She said it helped her understand some of what I was going through and know how to respond to me without hurting my feelings. I have since shared a poem a day and I have more to come. Some are dark; some are hopeful; some have no relation to the miscarriage but I still want to share them.
No two people will experience miscarriage the same way and whether or not these poems help anyone, I will continue to expose them to the world just in case they provide some tiny comfort to a grieving family. I will end this with a fitting quote from C.S. Lewis:
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid,
but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach,
the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.”