By Manon Desforges
In life, we travel many roads. Sometimes it is a straight path with a grand view of mountains in the distance. Sometimes the road is twisty, bumpy and full of potholes. And sometimes there are detours, or the road is simply closed.
The day when you find out you are carrying a new life it is like starting on a journey down a new road. Suddenly there is a plan, and a date – nine months from now – from which point on your life will change drastically.
Thirteen years ago I had a journey where my road closed unexpectedly; I got pregnant and then miscarried.
I already had a beautiful, healthy 4 year old boy, and we were surprised but excited to know that there would be an addition to our family. I was 33 years old, heathy and fit and the baby was due on August 22. I started planning my life – the next journey – around this date. It was a busy time with working, being a mom, volunteering, and moving houses, but life was good.
I told a few of my closest friends, but as per the social norm, I waited until 12 weeks before telling others. But at 14 weeks I woke up one morning, bleeding. Days went by and I kept hoping that all would be fine. Then I miscarried. He was not very big, insignificant really, but I could see the small, small body.
How could this be, I wondered? I was healthy, and I had had a healthy baby before. Some people enter their child-bearing years knowing that miscarriage is common, but I wasn’t prepared for it. Suddenly my due date had no meaning. The road with its promise of the mountain and the beautiful view at the end had closed.
I was no longer part of the group of anticipating moms. It was like getting off the bus while my friends were moving on, looking through the window at me on the side of the road while the bus drove away.
So, how to continue? There were tears of course. Tears when I explained it to my four year old son who, now an adult, still remembers that day so clearly. There were tears when people congratulated me on the pregnancy and then I had to tell them that I miscarried. And there were tears at night in bed, beside my sleeping husband. How could he sleep? I have forgiven him now, but he just didn’t get it. It is not the same when you are carrying that life. Those tears were healing.
But sometimes closure comes when you least expect it. One healing moment for me was at a workshop 6 months after the miscarriage. During the workshop I spoke about my miscarriage and an unexpected flood-gate of tears opened. The sadness I thought I had passed was still there. I received a powerful group healing and felt a release and a new breath, like a force that helped me let go of that baby’s soul that was still hanging on.
Another step in my healing was to bury the fetus. I did a little ceremony and had a private funeral, just my little unborn soul and me. I named him Milan and finally said goodbye.
Healing happens when the time is right. It isn’t always planned, and it might not even be clear what will help and what won’t, but it will happen eventually.
After this miscarriage I got pregnant and miscarried a second time. Starting over yet again was difficult – I felt the loss of time and fear that I might not have a second child. I finally got pregnant a third time and this time she stayed with us; Marina was born.
In the end, I needed to accept that it was nothing that I did right or wrong. It was not the right time, or was not meant to be. It was a detour in my journey and although it was not always clear in the moment, there was learning, growth and strength to be gained, as there is in all hardships, big or small. They shape the beautiful people we become.