“Breathe. Listen for my footfall in your heart. I am not gone but merely walk within you.”
– Nicholas Evans
Heartache. Heartache is worse than any physical pain; unfortunately, time is its only healer. A lot of you may have first experienced heartache back in school or college. I have also had a fair share of heartaches in my life. Boyfriends breaking up, cheating, and moving to different time zones; I’ve been through it all. While I managed to cope with many heartaches with the help of my friends and countless scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream, there’s one heartache which has still left some scars unhealed.
Here’s my story. It’s taken me a long time to share it with the world. Not because it’s something that I am embarrassed about, but because I wanted my story to be inspirational, rather than pitiable.
It was a pleasant evening, and I was sitting in my bathroom with a pregnancy test strip that read positive. Instead of telling my husband right then; I chose to wait and make the moment special. I wanted to take him out on a quiet dinner and surprise him. He’d been waiting for the good news for over a year, even more anxious than I was.
I went to see a doctor the next day with my best friend. After he confirmed the news I decided to tell my husband. That night, we went to our favorite Indian restaurant and I waited for the perfect moment to tell him.
“I’m pregnant,” I said as he took a sip of buttermilk. He literally spat out his drink and looked at me awestruck. “I’m pregnant,” I repeated, smiling. He immediately stood up and embraced me tight, whispering in my ear, “I can’t wait for my little girl.”
Soon, my entire family, friend circle and acquaintances knew about my pregnancy. My mother was most thrilled about the news, already enthused about knitting sweaters for her first grandchild. Everywhere I went people only spoke about the baby and my pregnancy. “What are you going to name the baby?” “You should move into a bigger place now.” “Oh yes, morning sickness sucks.” I loved each moment of it and truly never felt any happier or content. I guess that’s how most pregnant women get their celebrated glow.
Have you heard people say that being too happy can backfire? That’s exactly how I felt that night. I remember it very well. That dreadful midnight when I woke up with a stinging pain in my stomach. I shook my husband and told him it was bad. He turned on the lights and we saw the sheets stained with blood. My heart sank. I knew this was an awful sign.
My husband kept reassuring me that all was okay, but I knew. I knew how I felt. I knew the pain and the hollow feeling. My husband immediately rushed me to the hospital where my doctor confirmed my gravest fear.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
The next morning was my worst morning ever. Every detail from that day is clearly etched in my mind. Even though it was a sunny morning, all I could see was darkness. I didn’t cry. I just couldn’t. All I had was a solid lump in my throat, a crushing pain in my chest and a splitting migraine.
I locked myself in a room for two days. No food. Not a single soul to speak to. I only continued to play the doctor’s words in my head, over and over. “I’m sorry….” he said.
On the third day, I finally cried. I cried till I couldn’t breathe. I gulped down a bottle of water and called my mother. She came immediately and I hugged her and cried some more. I had never felt so broken.
A month after it happened, I still didn’t feel better. That hollow feeling still remained. I felt my stomach twist each time I saw a little child. I still broke down at the mention of my baby who didn’t even get a chance to see the light of the day. I avoided social gatherings because I didn’t know what to say anymore. The only thing I had been thinking and talking about all these months was my baby, and I didn’t have her anymore.
I blamed my fate, I blamed God, I blamed the circumstances and I blamed myself. What I hated the most was the look of pity people had on their faces when they looked at me. I didn’t need pity, I just needed closure. I needed this pain to go away.
One afternoon when my husband was at work, I got a call from my best friend asking if I wanted to go shopping. Under the circumstances, my usual reaction to that would have been, “No, I’m fagged out,” but I said yes and regretted it almost immediately. Going out would mean having to dress up and face the world. That’s the last thing I wanted. But since I’d already said yes, I figured I’d just go and try to squeeze out of it as quickly as possible.
Surprisingly, I felt better that day. Not normal, but surely better. I smiled for the first time in almost two months and finally didn’t get the look of pity from anyone. I came back home that evening and told my husband I wanted to join a yoga class. He looked at me surprised and told me to do whatever made me feel better.
From that day on, I decided that the only way I could stop making people pity me is when I stopped pitying myself. I joined that yoga class and I met my mother and my friends often. I cried when I felt like it and didn’t hold back my emotions. I spent a lot of time reading inspirational stories of women who overcame the grief of a miscarriage and I joined a support group with other women who’d lost babies and been situations even graver than mine.
I’d be lying if I said that thoughts of what I lost don’t bother me anymore. I sometimes think of how life would have been if things didn’t turn out this way. But the truth is that through this phase, I have emerged much stronger mentally and emotionally, with the help of my support system. I am happy to share that my husband and I are blessed with a beautiful little son now; our second child. My first baby is still a part of my heart and will always remain.
“I carry your heart with me, (I carry it in my heart).”
– EE. Cummings
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Natural News, Elephant Journal, The Health Site, Naturally Savvy, and Mom Junction, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook!