Saturday, December 13, 2014
When your body betrays you.
There will never be an appropriate pregnancy book for me to read again. This time, I bought two Catholic pregnancy books. I thought that their focus on the spiritual instead of physical aspects of pregnancy would mean that they would better fit my needs as someone who has had multiple miscarriages. But they included phrases like, "For the next nine months, your baby will grow nourished and protected in your womb," and "Your womb is the safest place your child will ever be, protected and sheltered from the world."
My womb is the most dangerous place for my babies to be. Four out of five of my children have died because my body failed to nurture and protect them. That's only a 20% chance of surviving me. If they made it through birth alive, they'd have a much better chance "unsheltered in the world" than they do "sheltered" within my womb.
Of course, those pregnancy books were written for most women and most women's bodies do provide a safe environment for their unborn children, even the bodies of drug addicts provide better for their children than I do. Of course, it's not my fault. Not any more than you can commend someone who drinks (heavily) and smokes and does drugs through pregnancy for keeping their child safe. Because their body compensates for their conscious choices, and my body betrays me no matter how much I actively do to promote a healthy pregnancy.
I am an anomaly. Miscarriages are common enough. But even two in a row is relatively rare. Four in a row puzzles my doctors and leaves our friends and family speechless. Everyone - including me - had so much faith in the pregnancy because, surely, it would not happen again. How could it? Four times in a row? The statistics were on my side (as they always are). Even women who have had 4+ miscarriages have about a 70% chance of the next baby being a live birth.
If you want to stun and silence anyone, just tell them you're having your fourth consecutive miscarriage. I know what they are thinking during the stunned silence. But I prayed for you! So many people prayed for you! But you've gone through this so many times before! But it's not fair! How could God allow this again? But you did nothing to deserve this! Why am I having a happy, healthy pregnancy when you are not, cannot?
I don't have any of the answers. But truly the answers don't matter. Because it happened. Another of my children is dead. My daughter is still an only child, pining for a sibling. My womb is empty. So's my heart.