“I’m so sorry, honey. There’s no more heartbeat. I wish I could hug you.”
With a strict no guests policy at the doctor’s office, I needed a shoulder to cry on. I craved a physical hold.
The sweet technician wasn’t yet numb to her secondary role as being the bearer of bad news. One out of four pregnancies results in a miscarriage, many times for no apparent reason; I can’t imagine the emotional toll it takes on her every single time she has to inform a patient of her new sad reality.
The realities of the pandemic brought me so much loneliness. Who knew how important physical comfort could be—even from a stranger?
An hour later after scans and speaking with my OB, I left the office and phoned my husband.
I had to tell my high school sweetheart that, for the second time, our baby was gone.
I sobbed and apologized over the phone to the father of our child who was on a stroll with our 20 month old daughter. It was unfair for both of us. For all three of us. Once again, COVID brought me only loneliness.
I never knew my younger sister and I share the same heartbroken cry until I sat by myself in the car and called her with the news. It was painfully too familiar.
The ugly truth of the pandemic grew stronger for my parents when they received my call while waiting to submit a COVID-19 test out of precaution; the rawness of this new world shook us all.
In a pre-COVID era, a grieving person could seek comfort in friends and family and easily keep busy.
My heart yearns to heal, for a simple few hours of happiness and normalcy with friends at brunch or to spend a day screaming on rollercoasters until I lose all energy to walk.
Miscarrying during a pandemic when positive test rates are at an all time high for COVID-19 during the holiday season leaves me more alone than I can handle.
I’m lucky enough to have family who supports me. But after living in an unfamiliar world the past 10 months, it’s hard to find positive things to lift each other up with. There has been so much loss this year and my miscarriage is just another tragic event for me and my family.
I would like to find happy times throughout the day by spending it with my college best friend and our kids at the park, chasing them around with the sound of laughter ringing in our ears.
Instead, I shared my misfortune with her over text.
I would like to enjoy coffee with my childhood best friend and seek comfort from her always sincere and wise advice, but there are no cafes open for us to confide in one another.
Instead, I disclosed my new sadness to her over the phone.
I would like to enjoy quality romantic time with my husband at a nice restaurant while temporarily escaping our new reality, but all eateries are closed.
Instead, all our nights blend with each other.
Every morning when I greet my toddler at her crib, I instantly tear up at the thought of what our second child would have been like. How similar would my two babies be? Would they share the same curly hair? The same tiny gorgeous nose? The same curiosity and eagerness? The same bigger than life laugh?
When my daughter begs to play with her neighborhood friends but can’t because of the spike of positive COVID cases, my heart pains at the thought that she, too, lost a companion that she never had the privilege of meeting. A friend, to laugh with in these hard times.
My daughter has lost so much this year without even ever having it. Without knowing it.
She’ll be two soon but has never played in the sand. She’s played at the playground only a handful of times because parents stand close-by lacking masks and creating hesitation in us as parents to allow her to socialize freely.
She learned to walk during the first lockdown but was limited to our home. Her grandparents and aunts and uncles celebrated her first birthday with her over a video chat.
Our entire home is her play area, filled with books, dolls, toy cars, trampolines, slides, and coloring books. She loves to play pretend with her toy baby, ready to take care of a sibling.
I wish I could have had this baby for her—so she could be a big sister already, something that seems so natural to her when she plays.
This baby would have brought an earlier end to loneliness for her, and me, in a world that now discourages human to human interaction, that limits new friendships from forming.
There’s no preferable time to grieve. No right time to lose a baby. But my heart yearns for the regularity of normalcy, of friendship, and of laughter.