March 23

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For 10 years now, March 23 has been the due date of my first baby. I had only gotten the date put in my head a couple weeks before I miscarried at 6 weeks, in August of 2002. But not a March 23 has gone by since that I haven’t thought about it.

Now, can we all just agree that saying things like “God has a plan” or “Everything happens for a reason” might break the uncomfortable silence as we talk to the bereaved, but it has not once in the history of the world made someone actually feel better in that moment? I fully believe in the wisdom of God. Now, 10 years later, I can see that there might have been a reason. But in that moment, there is nothing you can say to make it ok. Just say you are so very sorry. Don’t reduce my suffering and loss to a cross stitch sampler. Let’s just take “everything happens for a reason” off the table, ok? Even if there’s truth in it, it doesn’t make it helpful.

In the interest of transparency, I don’t think a lot about seeing my baby in heaven. I’m sure if I’d known him or her longer, I might. And I suppose I believe I will. It’s just not something on my mind. I am so very lucky and blessed to have a consolation now. I was pregnant with Ella just a couple months after my miscarriage.

If everything had gone as I thought it would, I wouldn’t have Ella. Maybe I’d have my other girls, but I couldn’t have Ella. And that? Well, that’s even worse to think about. I think that’s why I remember Ella’s due date better than her birthday. For 9 months I was completely focused on making it closer and closer to that date. My experience is part of what has made me who I am. It gives me compassion and understanding for other women that I wouldn’t fully get otherwise. I wouldn’t say I’m “glad” for the experience, but I would say I accept it.

How much I think about that baby varies with time and circumstances. Sometimes it’s more raw than others. But I’m sure there will never be a March 23 that I don’t remember.

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2 responses »

  1. Oh Sarah, this is beautiful and heart-breaking! I’m sure this resonates with so many women. I feel the same way about the child I lost just two months before I got pregnant with Jude. Such sadness and heartbreak, but if I’d have that child, I wouldn’t have Jude. This is wonderfully written!

  2. I do love you so Sarah. Even more for posting this truthful, helpful, heartfelt piece. Having gone through 2 miscarriages of my own I both understand and agree with all of it–including the strange emotions involved in knowing I couldn’t have some of my other kids if my miscarried babies went full term. Thanks.

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