Miscarriage – The Silent Empty Box


To be filled with life is something.  To be pregnant with a growing little miracle of science and nature in your belly is beautiful.  To lose a pregnancy is sad.  The feeling is surrounded with so many emotions.  Guilt, loss, nothing, emptiness, aching, breaking, bending into shadows dark.  I had to take a break today and submerge myself in some creative work.  I wanted to shake this feeling of empty.  Shake it loose from the empty box it resides in now.  Like a box with nothing inside.  Just invisible strings connecting back to my heart.  I don’t know how to put it in words so I am not going to worry about using dazzling adverbs or catchy phrases, but they may just happen to come out that way.  I just want to write a post about it. 

There are so many women out there feeling this same feeling today, yesterday, tomorrow.  It covers me like a vine nobody can see.  Much like a bean pole vine grasping to anything its tendril can reach. 

Photo by memomuse - "Bean Pole Vines in My Garden"

Something sturdy, mounted in dirt, standing upright.  This vine of sadness can’t grasp onto nothing.  So I grasp and curl around words.  Around people I trust.  Around acknowledgement that it happened. That’s its over. That I need to grieve. 

As my mind curls and bends in thoughts of what may have been, what was just yesterday, before the bleeding started, before the sadness erupted.  Before yesterday, I was cocooning into a ball of beauty, growing inside, feelings of joy and elation surrounded me.  Flowers and fruits of joy rippled in the sun.

"Layers of Life and Light" - Photo by memomuse

Layers of light echoed over me.  Now there is nothing.  Just this box of invisible sadness nobody can see with the naked eye.

Long story short – I went to visit my dying mother in Colorado three weeks ago.  The night before I left, my husband and I made love.  I went home to Wyoming and Colorado where I feel the most alive and vibrant, for it is home and my place on this earth.  I have been transplanted to North Carolina and I am trying to make the most of it.  But back home, where I come from, just as the Kenny Chesney songs sings, I love it there.  On this journey where I thought I was going to say goodbye to my mother, I was surrounded by a land that knows me.  That I know.  That I love.  This journey home, this journey to say goodbye, something magical happened.  We conceived a baby.  A miracle.  A seed that sprouted into life.  I found out last week I was pregnant.  I took three home pregnancy tests and was more surprised with each positive test, as I have struggled with infertility in the past.  My son is just thirteen months old.  We were not actively trying to get pregnant.  So it was a surprise to find out we were pregnant without even a blink of the eye, without a blink of the heart.   

I took a home pregnancy test on Monday, then Wednesday, and then Saturday.  All positive.  The faint blue line got thicker with each test.  I took a urine test at the doctor on Monday and they told me to come back in a week because it was, not without a doubt, positive, but there was a shadow line.  So I took two more home tests that week, Wednesday and Saturday.  And sure enough, positive.  I started to feel the pregnancy symptoms, fatigue and drop to the floor tired.

I went in to take another urine test at the doctor yesterday,  feeling it wasn’t needed, feeling pregnant, feeling sure a life was growing and thriving inside me.  I didn’t need a doctor or lab technician to tell me I was pregnant.  Something bigger happened – a life bloomed from my journey to say goodbye to my mother.  How serendipitous.  How miraculous.  How joyous. It made the fact that my mother is dying a soft sleeve to rest on.  To rejoice on.  I was sure this baby was a girl and I was going to name her Eleanor Elizabeth and call her Ellie Elizabeth. 

My mom, Elizabeth, and me as a baby

Elizabeth, named after my mother. I had visions of her soft curls, her big blue eyes, her big heart.

When I took the test at the doctor just yesterday, I noticed some blood.  Frightened, I told the nurse.  Then the results from the lab technician came in.  The test was negative.   I fumbled with my paperwork to hand to the check out clerk at the doctors.  She gave me a silent nod and a sweet abbreviation of sugar, “You’re all set, Sug.”   I wanted so badly to walk out the back door, nobody to see my sadness or my tears, as they began to gush. I walked past all the ripe bellies, round and plump with life.

Sometimes I wish there was sign women going through the grief of miscarriage could wear on their back.  “Please treat with kindness – grieving heart – may slumber slowly today and tomorrow and certainly the day after next.”  But it is invisible.  Our eyes are swollen, sad, and watered with tears only time can heal.  There is no clock for this time passage.  It is not an hour, a week, a month, or a year.  It is a hole in our heart.  We go on.  And on. And hopefully you can give a hug to someone in need.  Perhaps, you just don’t know.  And what do you say? There are no words.  Just invisible tendrils trying to clutch at something strong, sturdy.  For it may be the hope of another chance at conceiving. 

Toddler in my arms

Perhaps it is the smile from a toddler in your arms.  Perhaps it is the earthy soil in your hands as you plant a memorial garden.  Perhaps, the box is still empty when you shake it, although you are sure something is inside.  Something thick. Something heavy.  Because something like a life just doesn’t vanish when you bleed.

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26 thoughts on “Miscarriage – The Silent Empty Box

    • Sanja,
      Bringing you to tears — ah, that is quite a compliment. As a writer, I am happy to move my readers to tears as it means the words were raw and honest. As a friend, sorry to have you cry. I hope they were tears of sympathy and not empathy. Your daughter is just lovely. We have to plan a get together soon.

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  1. I am so sorry for your loss and that its olay to grieve and be gentle with yourself. I pray you will find peace in time, when its your time. Only you know when you’ll be ready. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. — Kat

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    • Kathleen, thank you for your kind words of encouragement and hope. “Hope is the thing with feathers” as Emily said. I tried to go to your blog but there are no posts. I would love to read some of your work. Thank you for coming by memomuse. Hope to meet up with you again in cyberworld.

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    • Hi Farah,

      Thank you for your support. You are such a kind spirit. I need to get on down to Cutie sometime next week and visit for a chat and browse. Hope you are well.

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    • @Georgia Girl,
      Thanks GG (Georgia Girl). A beautiful story, yes, in fact it is. Sadness and love and joy. All mixed in one big bowl.

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  2. Beautifully written from the heart…the beginning of your grieving. It does not take away the pain…it is the process. It is a sad journey that will always carry memories. Then I see the photo of you and your beautiful son…and see the beauty of life still being lived. I wish you strength as you walk through the journey of loss…

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    • Ravenmyth,
      Thank you for your kind words. Prcoess…I am somewhere lost in the middle of it all. I feel like I need to be done with it. It zigzags back and forth, criss-crossing and stitching strange little paths that go in circles and do not have a straight little path to follow. And yes, still lving life very much. We celebrated my husband’s birthday today. My son was filled with giggles and energy. Doing alright at this moment.

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  3. Megan, your words are lovely and touching. The last line was like a punch in the gut and brought me to tears. I am so sorry for the passing of such promise and possibilities. May your grieving grow gentler in time.

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    • Jayne,
      A punch in the gut. So sorry to have knocked the wind out of you, but what a compliment. I do like the last line myself. Miscarriages are interesting. I had one before I had my son Benjamin. My husband and I planted a memoiral garden. The flowers now thrive and bloom and dance with color. But everytime I look at the garden bed, nestled against the brick steps of our front walk, I get sad. But the sadness is covered with a buttercream frosting of happiness I can’t help but lick. So strange to have a sad cake and happy frosting in my heart. But that is how I feel. But just as you said, it does heal in time. I think I need to tend to the garden bed on the other side of the steps and create another memorial garden. Thanks for stopping by and chatting Jayne. So glad to have made your aquaintence. Do you blog yourself? I don’t see an address.

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    • @Jim,
      I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s loss. It must have been very difficult for her so far along and her sights set on a girl. She is lucky to have such a compassionate son. My mother wanted six boys. She got two girls, but she went through 12 miscarriages to get her two miracles. Life is interesting like that. Such a wonderfully twisted road with curves and dips and peaks and deep valleys. My favorite quote is from Kahlil Gibran, “The deeper the heart is filled with sorrow, the more joy it can contain.” I am not sure if that is the direct quote. Thank you for stopping along on my blog. Please come back.

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  4. “Because something like a life just doesn’t vanish when you bleed.”

    This is beautiful, eloquent, awesome. It speaks so clearly what so few people understand.

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  5. Pingback: How do you answer “the” question? | Priscilla Halterman

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