The heartbreak of miscarriage — MommyDaze

It's hard learning to say goodbye when I never really got to say hello to you. And I guess for me, saying “hello” means hearing your heartbeat for the first time. But I never got to hear your heartbeat.

I know that moment well. That glorious moment when I'm sitting in that scratchy gown with the paper on the exam table crinkling, the shockingly cold jelly on my belly, my husband's hand held tight in mine, both of us holding our breath until we hear that amazing sound, the fast “thump thump, thump thump” of a new little life.

Twice I've been blessed to hear that sound. Twice I've let my breath out in a joyful laugh as we realized we were parents, again. But I never heard that with you. I just sat there, holding my breath, waiting. The silence in the room was suffocating. My own heartbeat speeding up, deafening inside my head. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be.

I spent nine weeks pregnant, fatigued, nauseous and overjoyed. I picked out “Big Brother” shirts. I pulled out maternity clothes. I spent hours daydreaming of what you were going to be like. I prayed for you. I loved you. And then you were gone, when I hadn't even gotten to say hello. How do you say goodbye, how do you move on, when you never got to say hello?

This question has haunted me. In the raw, harsh first weeks after miscarriage, I didn't try to say goodbye. I just endured. I buried myself and my feelings in the hectic schedules of raising two young boys. I hugged them, a lot. I tried not to look back. I confided in very few people, and only allowed myself to cry — really ugly cry — once. I thought this was how I moved on. I just wouldn't say goodbye.

But then began the talks of trying again. The gentle, thoughtful, tentative talks my husband would have with me. Was I ready? Was I brave enough? Was my heart healed enough? The answer screaming in my head was always “NO.” I was so scared to go through that again. Would I even be happy, would I feel joy again, if I got pregnant? Or would it just be fear? Month after month I would find an excuse. Yet in my heart I knew this wasn't really what I wanted. I wanted to try again. I desperately wanted to hear that heartbeat.

I have cried, many times, not for my loss but for the loss of other mamas who did get to say their hello's, but then had to say goodbye. I cried for moms who not only heard that heartbeat, but carried their babies much longer than I had the blessing of carrying mine. Mothers and fathers who came so close to holding their precious ones, but never got to. For those parents, I cry and I pray that their hearts will one day heal, as mine is slowly beginning to.

I tell my husband now that I feel like someone is missing from our family. It's weird, sometimes when I'm packing for a trip, or planning an activity, I almost automatically assume there will be another child involved in it. I look in my rearview mirror in the van some days and am almost shocked when I only see my two boys looking back. I see the empty seats and it's almost a surprise that there's no one in them. Is it because I never really said goodbye? Or is it because in my heart I know that we will get to say hello again one day?

Watts FamilyClick here to read more Mommy Daze.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.