Losing Kalis was a very public experience. She was born at 38 weeks and died shortly after. Along with family and friends, we had the birth and chiropractic communities of San Diego as well as the business community of Rancho Bernardo who all wanted to show us love and support during that time.
One of the things that irritated me the most was when a man would come up to me and, as a way to relate, say “I know it’s not as bad as what you’re going through” and then proceed to tell me about his wife’s miscarriage as if that type of loss was nothing compared to losing Kalis. This happened more times than I can remember.
Perhaps, for some women, a miscarriage isn’t much of a loss. I also understand that, for many men, a baby is not a real and tangible thing until he is able to interact with it. But that kind of statement always made me feel angry at the man and sad for his wife.
I felt the loss of all of my babies very deeply. Just because I got to hold one and not the other two doesn’t mean it was easier or harder. A woman’s body knows when a miscarriage has occurred, so it’s not an abstract thing for her the way it might be for a man. All the hormones in her system tell every cell in her body that her baby is dead. Her grief is very physical. So when a man downplays his wife’s loss, it makes me believe he had no idea what she went through.
My miscarriages were very hard. I didn’t tell people about them. In fact, my family didn’t even find out about them until they read this blog. I felt they were something I had to hide. After all, why would we wait to announce the pregnancy until after the first trimester if we were going to tell people about the loss of a baby they didn’t even know about. It was like a horrible secret I felt I had to guard. It was very isolating. I felt broken - like there was something wrong with me. I felt angry. I grieved. I cried every time I heard “If I Die Young”.
Sure, eventually time and life can ease the pain and allow for healing of the body, heart, mind, and soul. But the loss of a baby is still the loss of a baby. Thank you, man, for loving me enough to try to connect. But check in with your wife to see how she handled it, and how she’s doing now, before you tell me that what she went through was nothing.
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