Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I said I'd deal with this openly here if it happened, and it has. Late Sunday/early Monday, soon after I put up the post about Finn's birthday, I had a miscarriage.

How much do I tell about it, and when do I tell what I will tell? How do I make that call? What do I factor in?

On the one hand I want to tell you everything, so that the record will exist properly. As I write this, I'm understanding why I, in fact, have to tell you everything. The only thing that would stop me is shame or embarrassment, and those things have no business hovering near me right now. I have to tell you everything so this child will exist as tangibly as possible in the world.

It doesn't matter how not far along I was. This is a life that began, and for me that means there is some soul connected to that grain of life, if not embedded within it. And that is the soul of my child.

While I was pregnant, I would be nursing Finn and I would feel so good as I thought to myself, "Look, I have both my children with me. I have both my children so close to me." This is a road where if you go down it an inch, there's no turning back. I don't regret going down that road. Absolutely not. I understand why some people will not allow themselves to go down that road. It's reasonable to gird yourself against grief. I don't mind the grief. I don't mind anything that acknowledges that this baby was real, really here, and I was the mother of it. I completely claim that.

I demand it.

I have to do something imperious with it. The powerlessness in the moment I realized I was bleeding (yes, I will be talking graphically about unbeautiful things) - how do I say what it was? It was like a person suddenly faced with an opponent, and the opponent is the ocean in all its size and force, or gravity itself, some law of nature at work. That's it. The opponent was Nature. So in that moment when I saw that I was bleeding, I was a mother holding a child and facing down Nature, who wanted my child from me.

This is a point where I stop and ask myself, do I go on, do I tell more? Is it seemly? And again, I don't fucking care. I hope if you're reading this and you're wondering if I'm going to be unseemly you will jump ship immediately and consider, in fact, not returning. That seems clear. I feel clear then that I'm going to go on.

I did feel like an animal at this point, when it became clear what was happening. Pacing in the small bathroom. Having to make my fearful sounds quietly so I wouldn't wake Finn in the next room. I felt like I was obligated to fight, but I didn't have the sophisticated weaponry or elegant strategy to defeat my opponent. I felt clumsy. Animal brain, animal body, registering a problem, pacing around, too obtuse to solve it.

I'm glad I'm writing about this. I couldn't defeat the opponent in the moment this happened, but now I can capture the moment and kill it, dissect it, own it, take charge of it. I can feel my posture improving as I type.

My brother was up, and heard me. Then my mom came out, and then Dave. Finn kept sleeping, which was wonderful, so I could have the response I needed to have. Dave and my brother and I talked a while about what was happening, wondered about this person who had come to be with us and then left so quickly. Was this person really gone? The physical element of this person was leaving or had left or was packing. But we all agreed that the essence of this person had not gone anywhere, seemed to still be with us in the room. And I felt furthermore that this person was not intending to leave us, that this wasn't it for us. We entered into a contract when we invited this person to come here and this person accepted, is what it feels like. The contract is binding, I think. I think that on both ends, the terms of the contract are in fact still embraced. I think there is still the intention to fulfill the contract, with this same person.

Dave had the analogy of a plane coming in for a landing and having to pull up before hitting the runway for safety reasons. The plane has to circle the airport and try again. The plane doesn't go, fuck it, I guess we're not going to London. That's how I feel here. We're not done with this child.

There's a feeling of peace in here that has planted a flag. There is still grief, because there's been a death. But I don't feel like Nature is my opponent any more. Nature knows what it's doing, my body knows what it's doing, neither of them failed me or are against me. I respect the both of them, and give them the nod.

It's been a roller coaster. In the span of a month, we've made the decision to try and conceive, we've joyfully done the work to make it happen, we've waited impatiently for the results, we've succeeded, we've been growing a person, and then now we've lost the person, or at least their form. My body and mind are exhausted. Yesterday was horrible, today was better. I'm alternating between real grief, real peace and a calm feeling of unreality, like the pregnancy was a dream. I've been to the doctor and she confirmed both the pregnancy and the loss.

When I wake up tomorrow, Dave is going to give me the morning to be sweet to myself. I'm going to lie in bed and watch a movie, I think. I'm going to have to take a shower first. I realized tonight that I hadn't showered since this happened, and that subconsciously I was avoiding it because I didn't want to lose the last physical traces of this child. I have to do it, I can't never shower again. I don't want to do it, but it will feel good to be clean.

That's enough for now. I'll want to tell you more about this person, how she affected me, and I will, until I've told everything That's the last thing right there, my saying "she". That's the last bit of truth for the evening. I can drop the pretense of saying "this person". For me, she was a she. It doesn't matter whether or not that would have been true. For me it was true. I made a playlist of songs on my iPod to welcome her into my mind and body, and one of them was Stevie Wonder singing I Was Made to Love Her. Oh, there's more I can tell you, and I will. Later.


Deb Abramson said...

Oh, Tina. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I hope your writing about it--the words both raw and graceful, so tiny and curled and yet so triumphant--will continue to bring you comfort. And the rest, and the time, and the talking about it with those you love. Sending you big hugs and healing thoughts from over here....

la Ketch said...

well if anyone doesn't want to read THAT, they can take flying fucking leap. thank you for sharing. very moving. ugh. heart hurt for you all.

keep working it out. you will all be better for it. and she will come back to you one way or another. most probably in the baby in your uterus way though, i'm guessing.

i love you!

Eve said...

You sweet, sweet, wise mama. That baby will be back, you are 100% right about that. She's yours- signed, sealed, and soon to be delivered. I love the contract, I love the circling plane, her sweet spirit lingering, I love your heart and your words.

Who knows why Nature delivers such blows when it comes to motherhood- such vicious joys and sorrows? I don't know. But those little baby souls are the most real thing I know. Take good care of yourself, mama bear.

Sending you the warmest comfort filled crazy love hugs that I can from here,


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that, Tina. You write so real. I cried.

"Touch and go" are what they are called, those exercises that planes do when they touch down on the runway and take off again immediately...seems like something a soul might do as well.

DL said...

Oh T, I am so sorry.

I can't even imagine since I don't even know what being with child is like , but I am so so thankful that you shared this for all to see. That was a brave and beautiful thing to do.

She will return and Finn will have a sibling, I just know it.

girlysmack said...

Thank you for sharing this. I think it is so important for all of us who have experienced a miscarriage to talk about it, and as openly as possible. So that when it happens to some other poor mother she does not feel alone.

You are such an amazingly beautiful writer.

Oona, when she decides it's time to come sit at the table with the rest of you like a good girl, is such a lucky, lucky little girl.

Anonymous said...

Good job, Tina, good job. I'm so sorry. You're handling it up front and in-its-face and you're doing the good work and that's going to help you in the long run. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Oh Tina, I am so very sorry to hear about this happening... I send you big comforting mama hugs mixed with some salty tears.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your writing is so wonderful. Be good to yourself and do whatever it feels like you need to do to get through this.

Mother Theresa said...

Oh, I'm really very sorry. Thank you for sharing this very painful and personal experience with us, and know that we won't be scared away by it. It's amazing that you are able to write about it at all, I don't think I could if I were in your place. I'm sure that darling girl that you've been anxiously waiting for will soon decide to make her appearance, and the next time she'll stay. Hugs.

the beige one said...

Quite movingly written, luv, and I'm so sorry for this to have taken place.

My thoughts are with you and the Mr.

kww said...

I am also very sorry. It is so strange to live in a world where that rarely seems to happen and no one ever talks about it, to having children, and suddenly it is real, and it is near, and it is often. Thank you for writing about it, you are a powerful writer. I am so sorry you have lost her, even if it is only temporary, I am sorry.

hpmelon said...

I am so sorry that you lost her. I am sorry that I only know you through this computer, and I am sorry that the only condolence I can share is an electronic one. Nevertheless, I offer it all the same.

Boliath said...

I've been awol, I'm sorry to have missed this, sorry this happened to you. I have two lost babies, I called the 1st Maedbh and the 2nd the same name as my older son has now. I wonder about them often, I've never forgotten them but time has healed the wounds somewhat. I hope time is as kind to you. I did grieve, for quite some time, I called them my maybe babies, it's good to grieve, the death of hopes and dreams, potential and a little piece of your heart and mind. My thoughts are with you and yours, I won't lose your blog again. Bo xx

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Tina Rowley said...

Yes, Visa Casino. That miscarriage was a super, excellent idea. "What words", all right.