Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm Sorry

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.




I totally understand what you are saying, but please don't be sorry for anyone else's feelings about it! I am very grateful to you for sharing this personal heartbreak with us. Like you said, it is so common, but in my experience not very talked about. I think that is a shame. The silence around the subject leaves me in the dark... I love that you can share your experience, it is enlightening. It is also nice to hear that the sorries that your family, friends, acquaintances and bloggers have for you go somewhere and mean something...

I'm glad you have the support of a good midwife. Take care!! xo

mona said...

I understand what you mean. It's an awkward state to be in, wanting to share such an intimate, emotional matter. It's not for you to apologize, though. It's for others to give you a hug and tell you how brave you are for sharing.

Paige said...

I haven't been around blog world much in the last month or two, because I too had a miscarriage this month... at 14 weeks. I have really nothing to offer but to say...

I know exactly what you are going through. I don't actually know you in real life, but in this moment I want to- real bad. So I can hug you and be hugged, and we can quietly sob together while drinking wine/coffee or smoking cigarettes. I don't actually know if you do any of those things, but I have never had a time that it felt more appropriate to do it than now.

It really helps to see that I am normal. That it really does hurt this bad, and I am not crazy. That I am part of a community of women who are lifting the silence of this pain.

You are a beautiful woman, mom, and wife. You are doing everything right.

(I have done some blogging too... I'd love to share... I hope it helps)

Baby in Broad said...

Paige, I would like nothing better right now than to drink, smoke, and sob with you.