Grieving What Could Have Been

Whenever we lose someone we love, especially at a young age, we grieve the future, what could have been. I often wonder what John would be doing now. Would he be married and have kids? Would he have joined the military like he wanted to? What kind of a job would he have? What kind of an uncle would he be? What’s really been on my heart lately though, is to talk about grieving the “what ifs” about someone you never got to meet.

I had no problem getting pregnant with our first child. She was born healthy and strong and my husband and I were instantly in love. Only about ten months later I found out I was pregnant again! I was so excited and not too nervous about the two kids being only nineteen months apart. We told our families that we were expecting again! I bought my daughter a “big sister” onsie and we broke the news. However, I didn’t feel the same physical symptoms as with my first pregnancy. For one thing, the pregnancy test was a very faint positive every time I took it. Also, I didn’t really have morning sickness, which I had really badly with my first. Everyone says every pregnancy is different though, so I tried not to think too much of it.

Two weeks after breaking the news to our families, making me about six weeks pregnant, I started bleeding…a lot. I knew this wasn’t just spotting. I went to the after hours care on a Sunday morning. They did an ultrasound, and I could see a tiny spot in there that they were measuring. I started crying a little bit, because I knew then I had miscarried. The ultrasound tech asked me if we had been trying for a long time, I said no.

The doctor never came out and said yes you miscarried. All the doctor said was, whatever was there stopped growing about two weeks ago. Whatever was there? It was a baby was it not? It was hard having my expectations and dreams about the future, just dissolve in one afternoon. The hardest part for me was probably having to go back into the doctor every week to check my Hcg levels to make sure they were coming down, and every week they got lower and lower reminding me of what was no longer growing inside of me.

Since that day I’ve wondered, will I have a child in heaven waiting for me that I never got to meet? This is the question that brings me to tears. Not too long after everything happened, a movie came out called Heaven is For Real. It prompted me to read the book. In the true story, a young child becomes deathly ill and claims he saw heaven. He told his mom he missed his sister. She said what do you mean, she’s right here. He said no, the one in heaven. His parents never told him that his mom miscarried a child at just six weeks. They never even knew if the baby was a boy or a girl.

I really hope that someday I’ll get to hold the little boy or girl that grew for such a short time inside me. The one I never got to kiss or take to soccer practice or drop off at college. I wonder what he/she would have looked like or played like. Miscarriages are common, which I think makes some women think they don’t have a right to grieve what could have been. Didn’t Dr. Suess say, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

I’ve had a son since the miscarriage, one I had the privilege of naming after my brother John. I am also now 13 weeks pregnant and I can’t wait to meet him. But I will never forget my little one and to all the mommas out there who have miscarried, it’s a shame the world never got to meet our children, but one thing is for sure. They will never be forgotten by the women who carried their life inside of them, for no matter how long.

2 thoughts on “Grieving What Could Have Been

  1. Congratulations on your new little one to come. I wonder many of the same things that you have. I miscarried a little girl 40yrs ago and I have wondered what it would have been like to have a daughter. My daughter in law miscarried at 7 weeks and of course she was devastated. They have 2 daughters already when she miscarried and is now pregnant again and due in March. Is there a special place in heaven where the tiniest babies are? I think that you will see your baby again, maybe John is looking after him/her for you.

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