January 20, 2016 2 minute read
I didn’t know how much grief had seeped into the hidden parts of me until I lost my second pregnancy in three months. Our first loss – which was supposed to be our second baby – came almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It hurt, emotionally, and wounded my resolve to keep going, but I steeled myself by reasoning that the bad thing that could have happened, happened, and wouldn’t happen again.
The two cycles it took to become pregnant again felt torturous, but when that second line came up on a pregnancy test I felt confident that we would be bringing a baby home. I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and delivery with my firstborn, and had no reason to think lighting would ever strike twice.
The second time I woke up bleeding, all of the walls I had constructed around that first loss came crashing down under the weight of so much emotion. I grieved, hard, not for the loss of my second pregnancy, but for the loss of two babies that would never be born. Two lives never fulfilled. Two holes existing in our family.
Just days before we lost our second pregnancy I shared the story of our first loss. I wrote about how I, personally, felt like the world would keep turning:
I am also thinking of all the babies who came next. Some of my most favourite people in the world would not exist if their parents’ trajectories hadn’t altered. I wouldn’t exist. This doesn’t bring back the babies who were not born, of course, but it shows me that life keeps moving.
In truth, I wrote that because I was already pregnant, keeping a happy secret, feeling like our dark time had been lit up by the prospect of new life. Now I feel much differently – I cannot think of the babies who come next, because I don’t know if or when they will ever come. I don’t claim to know how or why life keeps moving, anymore, just that it does, all too fast and all too slowly at the same time.
I have struggled with the right words to end this; to wrap things up neatly and sign off with some words of hope or wisdom or even a lesson learned. I make my living through writing, through carefully constructing stories that have a point to be made, crafted with a clear beginning and end. I don’t know how this story ends. I don’t even know how close I am to the end, or if there will ever be an end.
Somewhere in a far flung future I have a tiny bit of hope reserved for that baby who will come next, but in the meantime, I am left dealing with that altered trajectory that does not feel so poetic anymore. Life has kept moving, but it feels like it has left me behind.
-you can follow more of Shayla’s journey on her private Instagram account here.