By: Shawanna Allen
Numbness, Confusion, Anger, Pain, Shame, Emptiness, and Sadness
In no particular order are the aforementioned all the emotions I experienced on August 8th when I, in my heart knew and then affirmed by the emergency room doctor that I was indefinitely having a miscarriage. Prior to this day I had been back and forth to the doctor’s office for countless visits for lab work to track HCG levels. In addition to ER and office visits where I was examined, poked, and progged, my anxiety during the second month of pregnancy was through the roof. I was worried day in and day out about the outcome.
My first ER visit I was assured that it was normal to visit the ER during pregnancy as a result of spotting, this gave me hope that perhaps this is rare, but can lead to a normal pregnancy. My second ER visit where my fate was confirmed, I could do nothing but cry. Cry for myself and cry for my baby that decided not to come. I cried and cried to the point where sobbing overwhelmed me. Shortly after, I said to myself, this loss has to be for a reason. In my mind the reason was to help someone else. That same night, I went home and was overcome with fear of what was taking place. In my home, I had to watch my little baby leave and endure the physical and mental pain that comes along with it. Never in my life have I feared going to the bathroom, but these days ahead I did. I Shawanna, had to watch what was a huge part of me leave my body and there was nothing I could do.
My pregnancy was planned, I did all the “right” things. I took my vitamins, ate pretty healthy, and tried to keep a peaceful atmosphere, although hard at times when you realize you’re carrying a little life and everything you do, he/she is effected by it. I had prided myself in waiting until I was “ready”, so why would my little baby not want to be here with me. My baby was created out of love. Created between to two people who wanted a family and had plans for a healthy and loving family. Was I not fit to be a mom? Is this not my destiny? Was this punishment? Why, just why didn’t my little angel want to be a part of our lives.
There were many times I didn’t want to come “clean” about what happened to me, not to anyone. The biggest shame was the feeling I had toward my partner. I felt as though I couldn’t do for him what a “woman” should be able to do. The very few people I told I was expecting, I felt they’d judge me. What I’ve found is that many people don’t understand miscarriage, the first thing I was asked is: were you stressed? Of course I was, but I understand that mere day to day stress doesn’t cause this loss. I found myself owning their ignorance and internalizing it, thus resulting in me hiding from my truth
A secondary emotion to fear, sadness, and disappointment. The truth is, I was all of them, but it was easier to be angry. I was angry at what happened to me, how it happened, and even more angry at my partner. I felt like he didn’t understand, he wasn’t sad enough or angry enough. It wasn’t his body that felt hot throughout the day while carrying, experienced acne, or abdominal pain. It was my body that went through it all, and he got off easy. I remember sitting on my sofa with my grief and got angry at my little angel for not staying. I quickly snapped out of it because guilt followed and overshadowed that short moment of anger. How could I be angry at a sweet little soul I thought. You did nothing wrong is what I said, I love you too much to be angry at you.
Feelings of missing something, then feeling like something was taken away from me left me empty. What else do I have? I don’t have my little baby anymore. I don’t have someone growing inside of me. What else is left?
After the many emotions circulated day in and day out, I went numb. I didn’t care about much. I didn’t want to feel anymore, and I was glad I didn’t. I didn’t have much to say or give in some moments. The moments of numbness were welcomed, as far as I was concerned, I didn’t have to deal.
While many of these emotions to-date come and go, I realize that it is OK. It is okay to be angry, sad, confused, and any other emotion I feel. It’s normal, a part of me has left. I’ve learned that grief means one day you’re good, the next day you’re not. And that too is OKAY!
I’ve gotten to a place knowing that my grief may not ever go away, but I will find it easier to face. Until then, I honor my loss and embrace each and every emotion that comes along with it.
Shawanna Allen is a Marketing Professional in Chicago, IL and is a mom to an angel she lost in the first trimester of pregnancy. Although her loss was unexpected and resulted in a hard journey to healing, she’s found a new passion: to help other moms of angels. Her goal is through her writings to give hope and comfort to any woman who has gone through such a devastating loss. She aspires to create her own blog to further spread awareness and design keepsakes to honor little angels. Shawanna on her journey has found meditation and sketching to aid in healing, but most importantly, being able to share her story, emotions, and healing process with others helps the most.