So last night hubby and I did something we’ve been talking about since March. Look:
Yep, we got matching tattoos. As you can tell, I already have ink. This marks number 6 for me, but for Music Man it’s his first.
We didn’t plan to get this tattoo…but did decide to get something that involved the number. You see, we don’t just have three children we are currently raising…we also lost three babies, all within an eight-month period.
Three pregnancies, three miscarriages, two surgeries, and one very invasive genetic testing that told us nothing productive-except more than likely all three babies were girls.
We don’t know why we lost our babies but we do know that the pain we experienced, the mourning for our children that we only ever saw on a grainy black and white ultrasound photo, that never goes away. Some days it hurts less, but it never stops hurting entirely.
When it first happened we mourned but held on hope it was a fluke. The second time cut so deeply we spent two days locked in our house, in a fog, barely eating, never sleeping for long and randomly bursting into tears as we struggled with the idea that this had happened again.
The third time we were floored. I mean surely, this time it would stick. We had an exam and even saw a heartbeat-a strong heartbeat. My doctors were pleased by the bloodwork and several tests they insisted on running and when two weeks later I felt the now-familiar cramping and confirmed what I already knew-this baby was also gone…even our amazing medical team mourned with us. My sweet OB even offered to do one final ultrasound before surgery-just to be really sure. And she insisted on the genetic testing. Not once did anyone say it was our fault. Sure I’m almost 40 and overweight. But it wasn’t our fault. It was just something that happened and when we announced we were done trying, I saw the sadness in their eyes and they mourned for us.
What they also told us is how common miscarriages are. One in six women have experienced pregnancy loss and somehow we know less about it than breast cancer or plane crashes…even though those happen less often.
We don’t talk about it. We don’t openly discuss this painful thing or the lifelong effect it has on both women and men. Together Music Man and I have started our healing journey and these tattoos are a part of it.
And we should. We should normalize this common thing. We talk about death in other ways-family members, friends, old co-workers, family pets, heck roadkill gets more conversation. We need to talk about those babies who we love and lose and yet never forget. In the last six months Music Man and I have been open about talking about what happened to us, and have been surprised at those around us we never knew also experienced something similar. So many lost lives, so many hearts that need healing.
Three music notes, for three songs that will never be sung. Three babies that we never will hold, three hearts that once were inside me and now are gone forever. But not forgotten.