Thus far, I’ve only spoken about the physical, without taking a moment’s notice of the emotional, the psychological, the spiritual. To some degree, I feel like I can’t with any authority comment on those because I believe they are too deeply intimate, too specific to each individual survivor, and I can only speak for myself. However, I am a 1-in-4 statistic, and the truth I currently understand is that I have joined too many of my friends in this category. And what I have noticed, heartbreakingly, is that each one of us has felt compelled simply to plow on. To go back to work. To keep on keeping on. To just try and be the person we were before.
Women are quite incredible in that respect. We’re resilient. We’re tough. The hormones that allow us to bypass the trauma of childbirth to be nurturing caregivers also wreak havoc on our bodies. Most often, we suffer it in silence; we know it’ll pass, that the world will return to its axis, that balance will be restored. Because of the incredible power we harness to grow human life, that same power has to be reshaped, to be repurposed and redistributed amongst all of our charges, whether it be our children, our partners, our careers, or simply the strength required to heal entirely. And a large part of me feels right now that one of the reasons, oddly, that women are often deemed “weak” by others is because there’s so little understanding of the enormity of our experience. The vulnerability we need to display in order to heal and regenerate our power is seen as a failing. That’s madness. A world that puts so much trust, so much blind faith, into our bodies to continue the species, offers in return so little trust, respect, and comfort for when, much more commonly than we’d like to admit, it gets complicated and chaotic.
So what we do we do? Sadly, often enough, we play into that narrative and think we just have to keep at it, to be the people we were before when we most certainly are not.
The fact is, though, that most women go through the experience of pregnancy loss on their own. Their partners may be sensitive to their extrinsic needs, but the internal scars take so long to heal. They may be invisible to the naked eye but they are deep, and raw, and need time, space, and care to heal. And what grows from that scar tissue is equally beautiful, and capable, and deserving of love and respect. In many ways, so much more so than before.