by Amy H.
Delicate white blossoms had just erupted from the dogwood branches giving the impression that whole colonies of soft milky butterflies had chosen these trees as their resting spot. The southern sun had yet to reveal its destructive potential so the brave petals trustingly looked it full in the face, unafraid.
It was a spring day, much like today, six years ago when I experienced the loss of my first pregnancy. Nature seemed unspeakably cruel in the days that followed.
On that day and the days soon after the sun seemed impossibly bright and the new life budding all around me seemed a heartless reminder of what could have been. I felt like the world outside should have matched my world inside. It would have felt more just if it had been raining ferociously with cold, biting gusts, an unexpected late winter storm. Fairness was clearly not what nature had in mind for me that day.
My husband and I were recently invited to speak on a panel at an educational lunch series on pregnancy loss for OB/GYN nurses and office staff members. Along with another couple we shared our emotional stories with the hope that we might help future grieving couples to have a more sensitive and supportive experience.
We talked about moments that were handled well and situations that might have been handled better. We hoped that no other couples would have to sit in a waiting room with large-bellied pregnant women after learning the news that their pregnancy was over. We hoped that no other women would subsequently be faced with a hospital admission form that read: Are you pregnant? Yes or No.
Little did I know that a friend would put our audience member’s sensitivity training to the test when she experienced her own pregnancy loss soon after our presentation to the hospital staff. My hope is that sharing our story has benefited her and others in some small way. Sharing our stories, helping one another and hoping for better is what we are all doing here, right?
Looking back over the past six years spring looks different than it did before my miscarriage but not the same as it did immediately following my miscarriage. Dogwood blossoms are now both a sad reminder of what can be lost and a hopeful reminder of unexpected strength.
Amy H. is a thirty-something SAHM and part-time psychology professor living in the deep South with her husband and two children.