Life After Miscarriage

Its been 19 days since my miscarriage and the D&C at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. I can’t believe its already been 19 days. Two weeks and three days. Time, they say, heals all wounds. Time, for me, is taking its time.

I still hurt, but it’s not the same, raw, shocked, open wound hurt that I felt 19 days ago. When we did our second scan to confirm that I had, in fact, miscarried. I was 8 weeks pregnant, and the Dr. said I miscarried around my 6th week. But, the sac kept growing even though there was no longer a viable baby inside.

We quickly scheduled the D&C. I needed my Dr. to take care of me swiftly, and efficiently, so that the bleeding could start and I could begin to come to terms with the loss. Without any bleeding, I still felt hope. That maybe, just maybe, the baby was hiding in there. Maybe he or she was just too tiny for them to see but still there, and they would discover a mistake before they went in for the procedure.

But, there was definitely no mistake. What was happening to me was very real, and the baby was definitely no more.

My parents arrived two days after the D&C to help take care of Baby J, and the help get me back on my feet. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to climb into bed, pull the covers over my head, pop as much Advil as possible, and sleep. I wanted to dream about the baby I had lost, and imagine he – or she – was up in heaven with our Grandparents.

I wonder, when we die, do we get to meet the children we never had? Will he or she be waiting for me when I cross to the other side? I wonder if this is something I’ll think about until my dying day.

When I light Shabbat candles on Friday night, I think about the baby. I wonder if I will always think about this baby when I light Shabbat candles.

Life these days are different. Physically, I’m feeling like I did before I was pregnant with Baby J. There is no more morning sickness, no more queasiness, dizziness or any of the other first trimester signs and symptoms. I’ve put on 15 pounds in 19 days, a ridiculous amount of weight, but I’ve done nothing but eat through my grief.  I wish I was the woman who stopped eating, that would be better for me, but I’ve always found comfort in food.

19 days later, and I think I’m ready to stop eating through my grief. I think I’m ready to move forward. We went out a few  nights ago and bought a necklace, with a Hamsa, which is a symbol that wards off the Evil Eye. According to Wikipedia, The hamsa’s path into Jewish culture, and its popularity particularly among the Sephardic Jewish community, can be traced through its use in Phoenecia.[8] Jews sometimes call it the hand of Miriam, referencing the sister of the biblical Moses and Aaron.[8] Five (hamesh in Hebrew) represents the five books of the Torah for Jews. It also symbolizes the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, “Heh”, which represents one of God’s holy names. Many Jews believe that the five fingers of the hamsa hand remind its wearer to use their five senses to praise God. The renewed interest in Kabbalah and mystical Judaism is a factor in bringing the hamsa pendant back into vogue. In Jewish mysticism, fish are a symbol of good luck, so many hamsas are also decorated with fish images. Sometimes hamsas are inscribed with Hebrew prayers, such as the Sh’maBirkat HaBayit (Blessing for the Home), or Tefilat HaDerech (Traveler’s Prayer).

Mine is a very small, simple Hamsa. In fact, unless you looked for it, you probably wouldn’t notice that I’m wearing it. It’s my way of never forgetting about the baby that we lost, and when I put Baby J down to sleep at night, and she fingers it as I rocked her to sleep and sing, it brings me so much comfort.

19 days later. I no longer wish to stay in bed all day. I wake up, and pull open the shades in all the rooms of the house, letting the beautiful sunshine stream into the windows. I had started smoking again last week, but it didn’t do what I had hoped it would do, so I think I’m going to get rid of the remainder of the pack. The Dr. said we can try again after my next cycle, and I’d like to try to get my body back into shape.

19 days later and I no longer crave boxes full of baked goods to deaden the pain. Instead, I put all my energy into my daughter and husband, and I take incredible pleasure in making them happy.

On Friday, as I was cooking in the kitchen, Baby J. walked up to me, put her arms around my leg and just smiled up at me. I saw how much she loves me, and it melted my heart. For a minute, I wished there was another little guy holding onto my other leg, smiling up at me. But, in the meantime, I felt blessed that I least there was one. At least I have one, wonderful, amazing, incredible child to love. And for that, I am so thankful.

19 days later and I feel grateful that I’m alive. Grateful that I have an amazing husband who loves and cares about me. Grateful that I have a healthy, happy and beautiful daughter to take care of.

19 days later, the pain is still here, but I am on the road to healing.

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