The Office Manager at my midwives' office sounded genuinely cheerful on the phone yesterday, like she'd just received some good news. She was calling to confirm my appointment for next Tuesday, and she was so happy and energetic, I forgot for a moment why I was even going in.
A two-week follow-up for my miscarriage.
Beth will do a blood draw to check my HCG levels. She'll check my uterus to make sure it's returned to its normal size. We'll spend the rest of the hour talking about cats and vegan food and politics and what happens if I get pregnant again. But first, she'll hug me and say she's sorry.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
It's all anyone can say. Which is not a complaint at all. Each "I'm so sorry" massages the still-heavy place in my heart. Sorry fits that place well. Its antonym is "happy." It's a relative of "sore."
Still, we hear "I'm sorry" most often as an apology for a mistake, or some wrongdoing. In this sense, I feel like I'm the one who should be uttering the phrase.
In the days after I started bleeding, I dreaded making the necessary phone calls. I had - and still have - a list of people in my head who needed to be told. I felt deeply sorry just thinking about picking up the phone. It was relatively easy to share the news with my parents and friends. But I waited to tell my naturopath until I could leave a message on her voicemail without bursting into tears. I told my physical therapist, Pam, at our regular appointment this past Wednesday, and promptly burst into tears after not having cried for nearly a week.
"I'm sorry," I said, wiping my eyes with the proffered tissue. "I really thought I was done crying about it."
Pam shook her head. "Oh, no," she said with a wise-woman smile. "It's hard. You'll need to cry about it for a while. And then you'll just cry about it less."
There are still a few people to tell, and I'm sure I'll cry then, too. And apologize for doing so - and for having news that could elicit tears in the first place. I still haven't told my dentist, with whom I had to reschedule several treatments to occur during (what would have been) my second trimester. I'm sorry. And I'm dreading the call to the midwives' billing specialist to request an updated invoice. I'm so sorry.
Every time I tell someone I had a miscarriage, I feel a deep sense of regret at having to be the bearer of bad news. I want to follow up with "I'm sorry." To apologize. Which is not to say that I believe I did anything wrong. (If I've internalized anything in the past two weeks, it's thatthis just happens. All the time.) I'm sorry for sharing a sad part of myself instead of something joyful. For inflicting that sudden sense of loss on someone else.
I'm so, so sorry.