Monday, December 29, 2014


The overwhelming feeling I have in the wake of a miscarriage is uselessness. Biologically, I'm useless, unable to do the one thing I'm specially created as a woman to do - sustain a new life in my womb. This is no small matter, it's a matter of life and death. A child is conceived and it's my sole responsibility to care for that child for the next nine months. And I can't. Obviously, it's not my "fault" in the sense that it is purposeful or avoidable. But still, deliberate or not, I'm not fulfilling my biological purpose. I'm useless.

While I'm recovering, I lay in bed, of no use to my husband and daughter. David has to take care of me, take care of the house, take care of our daughter. This miscarriage has physically been very mild but I'm still feeling unwell, weak, in pain, exhausted. I am useless. A burden.

When I start feeling better, I overcompensate. I obsess about having a clean house, making dinner, doing everything I can possibly do so that I am useful. So that I have some meaning. I also force myself to make things - to knit or craft or whatever, so that I can prove I'm capable of making something, if not a baby, at least something that is useful or beautiful or thoughtful.

I feel like I have to prove that I'm useful, that I somehow add value to my family because deep inside I feel like perhaps they are better off without me.  I know, logically, that this isn't true. I know that every person, every family member, has dignity. That our worth is not measured by how well our body functions. After all, I truly, deeply believe that people with physical (and mental) disabilities are valuable members of our society. But when it comes to myself, I have little mercy. I may know that Lucia needs her mother and David needs his wife and that the love I give them is enough to make me useful. And yet, knowing that doesn't make it feel real. 

I feel like I'm defined solely by my inability to bear more children. By my failures to protect my unborn children. I feel incredibly broken and unworthly. I feel very alone. Everywhere I look there are babies and pregnant bellies and joy. Babies bring so much joy to the world and because I cannot carry my children to term, I deny my family this joy.

All I want is to feel useful again. Like I have something to give that is at least of equal value to what I take. I am in need of so much right now. Physical assistance, emotional support, a shoulder to cry on, someone to make me breakfast. I know I should just ask for the help I need, but I won't. I won't even accept it when it's offered because it makes me feel selfish. Because I have nothing to give in return.

1 comment:

  1. This describes my feelings as well. My husband is an only child and from day one said he never wanted to have an 'only' child yet I've only been able to give him one. Multiple miscarriages and unexplained secondary infertility suck.