The thing about losing a child – at any age – is that you will always wonder. At every stage, at every age, you will wonder.
How tall would he be?
What color hair would she have?
What sports would he play?
Who would her friends be?
Would he have my eyes?
Would she have my flaws?
What would his interests be?
What would her personality be like?
How would his laugh sound?
Would her smile light up a room?
And a million other questions to which the answers are just taken for granted on a routine day.
But losing a child is not routine.
And neither is miscarriage.
But we’ve started to talk about it like it is. A topic once avoided and whispered about in hushed tones is discussed in casual conversation. Women once made to feel like they were broken and abnormal are now uniting in solidarity with sisters who’ve had similar experiences.
The talking is good. The solidarity is helpful.
The dismissal as routine is not.
There is nothing routine about always wondering what if?
What if I would have had that first baby? The one that was due the week before I became pregnant with the twins. Would she have been my girl? I feel like she would have. My entire life would be so different. I wouldn’t be simply a “boy mom,” but a girl mom as well.
While I would know the struggles and joys of raising a girl, I would never know what it’s like to be a twin mom. My house might be filled with Barbies and bows and pink soccer cleats. My heart quite possibly would be filled with the pressure to not transfer my body issues onto my daughter and a fear for her dignity and safety. I would know what it would be like to have a mini-me, a spa-day buddy, and a best friend for life.
I will always wonder if all those things could have been true.
I will always wonder if my heart could have been spared the grief that came with my twins – the birth defect, the premature birth, the cancer, the autism. I will always wonder if that first baby hadn’t been lost, would my life have been happier? Different somehow?
Wondering is a necessary, agonizing part of loss. Wondering who that baby would have been – should have been – is a part of miscarriage that doesn’t have to be ignored. Just because we now know that 25% of women miscarry, just because we’ve heard people say, “Most women have one,” just because sometimes we act like it’s not a big deal because she went on to have healthy babies after the fact, doesn’t mean we can ignore the way it made us feel.
It is a big deal. It’s your big deal. And hers and hers and theirs.
It’s your deal to always wonder about. To feel the feels whenever you need to.
So go ahead and do that.
Wonder what it would have been like to hold that baby in your arms.
Wonder if it would have been a boy or girl.
Wonder if she would have had your brown hair or his blue eyes.
Wonder how he would have walked and talked and laughed.
Wonder if she would have loved sports or dance. Or both.
Wonder how having that baby would have affected the rest of your life.
It’s okay to wonder. It will help you heal and grieve and deal with your loss.
A loss that’s not routine and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s your right to grieve and wonder and heal.
For as long as you need to, you can keep wondering.