Today is superhero day.
I have a confession to make: while I wanted to do this Self-Isolation Spirit Week to help other families, a big motivation for creating it was selfish. I knew I would need a distraction this week… and there is a specific reason that I chose today as “Superhero” Day.
I think this COVID-19 crisis is redefining who we see as superheroes. To me, first responders now include doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, grocery clerks, restaurant cooks, pharmacists, delivery drivers and so many others. These people are putting themselves at risk so that we don’t have to. If that’s not heroic, I don’t know what is.
…but I also believe there’s another group of heroes out there fighting quietly. Another group wearing a different kind of mask. Another group of heroes quietly fighting to be brave for their families.
They are everywhere. Some wear their masks in public, others keep their crests hidden close to their heart. They are your mothers, aunts, sisters, friends and cousins. It might be you.
A year ago today, it was me. A year ago today I learned that I was having a miscarriage and endured the most traumatic experience of my life. My scars are healing, but they are still there. I needed this spirit week to distract me from the roller coaster of emotions I have been wrestling with for the last few days. So you see, spirit week was for you… but in so many ways, I needed it for me.
I was really reluctant to talk about this right now with everything that’s going on in the world. I’ve been trying to keep things light and happy to lift others, but inside there has been a weight on my heart as this day approached. I wasn’t sure if talking about this would help anyone… and if it’s not helping, then what’s the point?
Then, as always, the universe sent me a gentle reminder of why I started my Miscarriage Project in the first place. Over the past week, I’ve had several women reach out to me to ask if they could share my blog posts and my contact into with friends and family members who are living this right now. It was a reminder that miscarriages don’t stop just because we are in self-isolation. It was a reminder that there are women and families who are struggling and may not have the same access to their support communities because we are in self-isolation.
I needed to take a break for a while because my own grief felt heavy… but it was the push I needed to talk and share and hopefully help someone else get through this.
To be honest, I have been dreading this day. Being here has brought back so many feelings from where I was a year ago… first laying in agony through my ultrasound praying for my baby’s life, then later being brought to the hospital in an ambulance, praying for my own.
When I wrote about my miscarriage last year, there were pieces that felt too fresh to write. I wasn’t ready. The piece I struggle most with were those hours in the middle of the night when I was alone. M stayed with me until almost 2am, then I sent him home to get some much needed rest so he could be there for our children in the morning. I knew they would need their Dad as they began to process this loss.
In the quiet of my hospital room, I knew what was happening to my body wasn’t normal…. I knew I was bleeding too much. I could read it on the faces of my nurses whenever they came in, and when doctor #3 came in just after 3am to tell me to prepare for the possibility of a transfusion if things didn’t turn around in the next 60 minutes. I lay in the quiet darkness on my aching tailbone and wept as I prayed. I prayed that the bleeding would stop so that I could go home. I prayed that I would live through this and not leave my beautiful children without a mother. It was a dark moment for me and I have only ever felt fear like that one other time in my life.
I’m still processing and working through it. For a while I was almost embarrassed that I’m not “over” it. To be honest, I don’t know if I ever will be. That trauma and the loss of our baby changed me. Every day is a little easier, but the scars are still there… and they always will be.
And I’m learning to be okay with that.
I don’t know why this happened to me, or why it happens to so many others. I do believe that it has helped me learn more empathy, more understanding. It’s made me want to spread kindness and light wherever I can, because I’ve learned firsthand that you just don’t know what others are carrying on their shoulders.
So that is why I think these women and their partners are super heroes too. This weight of grief after a miscarriage is so heavy, but they carry it with grace. Most don’t ever let on that they are carrying this sorrow in a quiet corner of their heart.
The weather forecast for this morning originally called for rain, but instead I woke up to glorious sunshine. I felt like it was a small sign reaffirming that the future is bright. A year ago, March 26th was the worst day of my life. It was full of anxiety, fear, grief and hurt.
Today, as I stood at my window and watched how my backyard was bathed in sunlight, I felt peace.