by Cassidy Doolittle from 2014
I just sat there, under the buzzing florescent lights, staring at a picture of a girl in the rain instead of meeting the pity in my doctor’s eyes...reality was coming into focus: what we thought would become our third child, was becoming our third miscarriage. The last light of hope had been snuffed out as a forth sonogram revealed an empty womb and a bump on my left ovary. Lab results said the baby was already on it’s way out or fused somewhere it would never survive. More blood work should help determine what direction we were headed, but I was told Methotrexate would need to be administered as soon as possible if the Dr. did not like the morning results. I went home that night and told my husband I may have to take a chemo drug to kill the baby that may or may not be lodged in my ovary. When looking at it logically, there was no other choice. If I did nothing about it, my ovary would eventually burst and I would internally bleed out. I would die. Either way, the baby was gone. But for a night I had to wrestle with myself, the emotions, the loss...present or impending, the utter alone-ness, my two oblivious and living children who still needed their mama...palpable yet nameless guilt...an unexplainable sadness in my soul...fighting the tendrils of depression that sprouted from the fertile soil of that sadness...fearing the stabbing pain I felt in my pelvis would rupture and finish me off in my sleep. I dozed for a few hours in the early morning then dressed and drove to hear the verdict. No, the baby was not in the ovary. The pain and bump were from a burst and benign cyst with really bad timing. Yes, you are miscarrying and the baby will be passing soon. There was relief that I did not have to make a decision, take a drug, end a life. Slight buoyancy that I was out of the woods and ok. But all at once those same buzzing lights, pitying eyes, faint thai smell from the nurses lounge threatened to undo me as I rudely bolted to the door and out of that place. But as I wept in the car, feeling silly on a level for mourning so deeply for something so small...I realized something...I was not alone. I had three texts waiting for me. A voicemail. I glanced at the card on the passenger’s seat. My first two miscarriages were largely hushed and quiet, the fallout was less but the feelings of internal loneliness and ache were crushing. This time I had chosen to take my own advice and pushed against every prideful, private, angry tendency and told some dear people in my life when things started looking doubtful weeks prior, asked for their prayers, for their support. And they gave me more than I could have imagined. They made all the difference in the world. It was a group of about six strong women I’ve come to know and love and trust, near and far. And they got me through this. I was floored to experience such a demonstration of love and care and support and practical help from these incredible friends. Texts, calls, books, mail, prayers, words, babysitting, embraces. Most of these women had not experienced a miscarriage, but that did not inhibit them from being there for me during mine. Extending of themselves. Shifting their schedules to watch our boys. Praying for me. Encouraging me. Telling me they had no idea what to do or say, but they would be right by my side through it all. Today is October 15th : Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Today is to remember the little lives we’ve lost. And today is also about awareness. Awareness doesn’t happen unless we open up and let others in. And letting others see and taste and experience our pain is hard. It’s vulnerable. It’s choosing not to press the hurt into a bolus of anger and resentment and swallow it whole and alone. It’s taking that uncomfortable step and telling others and allowing them to help bear the pain. It’s also letting women aching in their own silent hells, know that they are not alone, either. The hurt is still raw for me, just barely a week old, and most of me doesn't want to write this. It's not eloquent, it's pocked with errors I don't have the energy to correct, it's more raw than I'm comfortable sharing. But if I wait until I'm healthy and happy and well, it will never get written. So today, I'm writing this for you out there who think you're alone….you're not. Tell a select few friends, see a counselor, share your pain. It will help greatly. It will begin the healing. And today, I'm also writing to those in my life, neighborhood, timezone, and beyond who were there for me and continue to be.
Cassidy Doolittle lives in Fort Worth, Texas and is a freelance writer, baker, and former registered nurse. She is married to Steve Doolittle and has three beautiful boys and dog named Greta.
Cassidy is also a talented doodler and artist. She constantly creates napkin doodles for her boys or comical cartoons for friends and family, bringing a smile to some of life's unpleasant moments.
You can see some of her work on the Facebook page Orbiting Normal.