Grief

1 in 4: A Miscarriage Is Always More Than A Statistic

We’ve all heard the statistic: 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.

The ultrasound machine that once pulsed with the echoes of life is still. There’s no heartbeat. No baby. This good-bye was too soon and the empty womb is matched only by the hollowness you feel within. 1 in 4.

A few months after my first miscarriage, I entered into a new statistic: “1 in 50.” This is otherwise known as the approximate 2% of women who experience two miscarriages in a row.

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Dear Kindergarten Teacher, You’re Missing One

To This Year’s Kindergarten Teacher,

Your classroom is full. It bustles with kids in squeaky, new shoes and oversized backpacks. Some of their smiles are shy, their eyes wide and nerves evident. Others squirm and hop their way around the room, their energy radiating out through a little body that struggles to hold still.

“Welcome to Kindergarten!”

You’ve written each of their names on little placards dotted with star stickers. Over the coming year, these names will grow from mere faces into personalities and stories that you know and love.

But what you don’t know is that there’s a name missing from your class list this year.

You’re one spiderman backpack short.
One tousled-haired child with a mischevious grin is missing.

You don’t see him. But I do.

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First There Were Two

We took this photo when there were two.

On a warm, July night, five years ago – when the sand burned the bottoms of my soles and the air smelled like salt and heat. I held my belly between the palms of my hands and felt the tangle of limbs kicking within. Two boys tumbled and rolled and life collided with possibility and promise.

And then, the waves rose and the sandcastles crumbled and the world which I had so tenderly held disappeared.

We took this photo when there were two.

Before we knew the babies were sick.

Before the rush of blood from one to the other.

Before his heart stopped.

Before the world changed.

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Lightning Babies: Before the Rainbows

A rainbow baby is a term used to describe a child born after miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.

These babies are stunning bits of promise after a storm, a collision of both sun and rain alike. Resounding with hope and promise, they appear after a monsoon of grief. As life breaks forth within, these little ones bring with them shimmering swaths of delight. They live up to their name, these beautiful, rainbow children of ours.

But they weren’t the first ones to light up the sky.

Because if the babies born after loss are rainbows, then the ones we lost must be lightning.

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