This is the first time that I’m really putting this into words instead of a stream of consciousness, abstract depictions, or endless tears – although I am sure there will be tears shed throughout this. The mommy guilt is mired deep in my thought process of this experience. So, here we go. For better or worse, let’s go on this journey together.

Little known fact, my daughter is actually my third child. I admit this among friends and family in a very matter-of-fact way, but that’s where the conversation ends. Every. Single. Time. The statistics say 1 in 4 women have experienced a miscarriage, so where are the others who have been here? My mother shares her story of loss in a very direct way, so I guess that’s where I get my sense of detachment. But let’s take a second to rewind and unpack what really happened.

July 2015

I have the Mirena IUD. We aren’t trying, but I am desperately impatient for the days that we are able to grow our family.

My period is late, but I don’t think much of it. “Surely it will come in a day or two,” I think to myself. Then I start throwing up… Everything hurts. My back hurts SO bad that I can’t stand up straight. That’s when I notice the bleeding…

It is so much heavier than a normal period. There are large clots. My baby…

I can’t believe this is happening. I’m on birth control. I can’t be pregnant. It’s not possible. And yet my body is tearing itself apart before my very eyes…

I try to console myself with thoughts of “it’s for the bestthe Mirena wouldn’t have made for a very safe pregnancy.” And for awhile, it’s enough… I go on…

August 2015

I feel an overwhelming emptiness. My depression is taking over. I am spending more nights in our guest room instead. I feel completely detached from my own life. Something is missing. Not something, but someONE. I’m supposed to have another life with me right now…

Why is this happening?

Your birth month would have been the same as mine. 

Instead, you came and left in your dad’s birth month.

I can’t continue on like this… I have to, no need to do something. So, I buy a balloon, and they fill it with helium for me for free at the store. I write a letter to you and tie it to the string. I have found a song for you:  “I Was Here” by Beyoncé. Your dad and I play the song as we release the balloon, thereby releasing you… I cry endlessly as he is unaffected. He says that he can’t accept that you were here because it would hurt too much. He doesn’t think you were here…

February 2016

My period is late. There’s no way this can be happening again. It can’t be. This birth control is supposed to be 99% effective. How can I have gotten pregnant not once, but twice? I hope, beyond hope, that my period is coming in just a few hours. Until I start throwing up. My back lets me know that my worst fear has come to life yet again. Everything hurts. The bleeding has me feeling weak and shaky. My baby leaves my body…

I see you…

Why is this happening to me? ME!? The girl who has wanted to be a mom more than anything else since she was 15. Why do I have to have them taken from me? Why me?

I get the Mirena removed the next week. Never again will I lose my children to a device in my uterus taking up their space.

I don’t have a ceremony for this one.

I feel too cursed. Unworthy.

I only got to know you both as you were leaving me

Here just long enough to imprint a memory…

Only one memory…

Am I allowed to be sad when I wasn’t wishing for you every night? 

Maybe I’m not supposed to have children. Maybe that’s why I lose mine when others have healthy babies despite being on birth control.

Present Day

Your dad still doesn’t think you were here. He doesn’t talk about you, while I can’t stop thinking about you both.

We start marriage counseling and of course the counselor is pregnant.

Time goes on. The memories of you both come in flashes. Little thoughts of what could have been.

We have our daughter in June of 2017. It was a beautiful birth. It was so healing; so restorative. It was such a beautiful experience that I can’t wait to do it again.

Even thought I am now able to look to the future with joy, I still think of you both in pieces and wonder if I have any right to miss you. I wonder if your lives still count when OB’s don’t include you in my pregnancy history because, “4 weeks along isn’t enough“. THAT is the most painful part: having my experiences invalidated by “professionals” who make me second guess myself. But deep in my soul, I know. You WERE Here.

I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, something that
I left behind
When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember
So they won’t forget
I was here…

— I Was Here by Beyoncé

Forever Mothers story submitted by Elizabeth Hughes.

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Ariel King is a Stay-At-Home mom to her three children, Lana, Ace, and Norah. Writing and researching are two of her biggest passions. People say that she is full of all kinds of useless knowledge, and it is even rumored she has a Google PhD. She is not a typical mainstream mom, imperfect in every way, but is on a mission to encourage and inspire other moms. Her belief is that no one should feel alone in the day to day of motherhood.

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