I left Facebook last week. I was in the middle of a compulsive news feed perusal when I suddenly realized that I needed to pull the plug. My husband was out of town for the week and I didn’t much feel like entertaining, so I was sitting at home dealing with the aftermath of a miscarriage alone and looking to Facebook for some level of social interaction. It turns out that Facebook does not provide the level of social interaction required for dealing with a miscarriage alone.
I felt like anything I posted would be used against me in the court of public opinion. If it were light and fluffy, it would give those who know what’s going on permission to assume I’m fine and over it. If it were in any way remotely indicative of what’s really going on in my life, it would be merely succeed in making people feel awkward – or be a “pearls before swine” scenario, giving casual acquaintances far more insight into the depths of my pain than they ought to have. So essentially, not wanting to be fake there, and not wanting to be real there, the only logical choice was not to be there.
But I still feel a compulsion to communicate my life in status updates. So what do I do? I come here, to you, dear stranger. Comfortably cloaked in anonymity, I say to you the things I will not tell acquaintances and struggle to share with dear friends. So here are the past couple of weeks in status updates you likely wouldn’t have heard if we’d ever met:
“My husband leaves town next week for work, and I don’t want to miscarry alone. Long story short, this makes my decision about how to end this pregnancy for me. Trying not to resent my husband for leaving.”
“Waiting at the abortion clinic to have my dead baby scraped out of my uterus. On either side of me wait women whose babies’ hearts are presumably still beating. This guts me in a way I can’t begin to describe.”
“Home from procedure. My husband just told me he feels like this is all we ever talk about. I can’t remember a time when I felt this alone.”
“It is a bittersweet blessing to have four women I dearly love have gone through this in the past year. One twice. One after carrying her baby to term. One after six years of trying to get pregnant. These women have suffered deep, and they are not afraid to dive into my abyss. They are absolutely carrying me.”
“What could I have done/eaten/said/thought differently? I feel like I’ve done you such a disservice…and I don’t even know quite what it was.”
“Telling me you’re sure I’ll get pregnant again doesn’t really address what’s going on. This is not a mere setback to me; it is a bereavement.”
“I’m hollow with missing you.”
“Two friends stopped by (independently of each other) with flowers and cookies this morning. Changed my whole day. Why did I not think to do that when my friends were going through this?”
“Finally gathered the courage to see the friend I was pregnant with, the one I was so excited to be a mother with, the one who went to the hospital to find out her baby’s gender the day before I went to have my baby removed. She is fighting hard for our friendship in this, bravely wading into tricky waters.”
“This is a loss to isolate…unlike losing someone who was loved and known by many, no one experiences this loss at the level that you do – not physically, not psychologically, not spiritually…and even with people who love you deeply, you both sense that there is a chasm they’re not able to cross.”
“Two weeks post-D&C. I know, this miscarriage is old news. But I’m still bleeding. Yes, the world marches on, but this is still happening.”