Surviving a Miscarriage — and the HolidaysAela Mass
December had always been a fun and festive time for me. Actually, it was one of my favorite months of the year. My family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah, my mother’s birthday is this month, and New Year’s Day is one of my favorites of the year.
But the seasonal joy disappeared a couple of years ago. In 2012, my water broke three days before Christmas, I lost my twins at 17 weeks pregnant, and my milk came in on Christmas morning. That was really just the very beginning of the heartache and physical pain that comes with a 2nd-trimester miscarriage. The emotional toll the loss took on me hasn’t really ever gone away. Sure, it fades from time to time and I’m able to find happiness in my life.
But the pain associated with miscarriage never fully leaves.
And now. Now, we’re dealing with another pregnancy loss in December. My wife miscarried earlier this month at 12 weeks. Now, we both know the personal pain of losing a pregnancy. Now, we both know what it’s like to miscarry.
Isn’t it enough that I lost our twins right before Christmas? Why did we have to face this again during the holiday season?
We were going to make a creative Christmas announcement for her pregnancy. We were looking forward to celebrating what we were hoping would be our last childless Christmas — who knows now when or if we’ll ever celebrate such a holiday?
December is such a sentimental time on its own. Toss in loss and the month becomes pretty dreadful. I try really, really hard to keep my spirits up. But the heartache is simply too much.
Family Christmas photos and pregnancy announcements and birth announcements all litter my news feeds, and it’s hard to smile at them. When I started this journey, I had such a positive, happy outlook. I even held on to that outlook for quite some time after my miscarriage.
But the years — and the continual disappointment — have gotten the better of me. The void in my heart is so heavy, and twinkling lights and party invites and holiday decorations just don’t feel the same.
We’ve had our Christmas tree for over a week, and just yesterday I finally put the lights on. But that’s all I could do. It’s still not decorated, except the single red ornament I added for the sake of this picture.
New Year’s used to be an exciting time — looking forward to what the next year brings, setting new goals, enjoying the passing of time. But it’s no longer exciting. It’s a reminder of what we still don’t have: a family. The years go by, but I feel stuck. Motionless. Progress-less. Time continues, and the story stays the same.
This isn’t a self-invitation to my own pity party, and I haven’t been talking about this pain on Facebook at all because it always turns into an “I’m so sorry” fest, which I know everyone is and I’m grateful for the love. But, truth be told, I’m tired of my own story. I’m tired of the sorries. I’m tired of knowing people feel bad for me. And I’m tired of feeling bad for myself.
So I’ll put on a happy face, and I’ll toast my glass at the holiday party.
Image courtesy of Aela Mass