I didn’t know until I knew, thank god for that. It’s impossible to miss something if you didn’t know it was yours until it wasn’t any more. And it’s easier to feel sorry for yourself than it is to mourn another.
And it’s easier to lose a game you weren’t trying to win. To fail an exam you weren’t allowed to prepare for. To receive empirical proof that you are only half a woman when all you aspired to be was half in the first place.
Having a miscarriage makes a liar out of you. To those who can see the external symptoms, who are affected by your physical and mental absence, you can explain it as bad PMS, bad cramps, bad luck. The experience is draining enough to want to avoid the added shame and bias of those who can’t understand why you’re so upset by something that was an accident in the first place. Fate spared you the consequences of your mistake. Aren’t you happy?
And then even still, most of the symptoms are on the inside, are private. And disgusting, frankly; a poetic foil to how beautiful it ought to be if only your body didn’t fuck it all up. A fitful night of sleep spent feeling like you’re soon to wake up to the worst case of diarrhea you’ve ever had, because your dumb brain doesn’t know any better how to interpret what’s taken over your body. A morning that’s normal for the ninety seconds you’re on your feet before you realize what’s happening, before you even have time to find your glasses, before you look at your phone, before you turn on the radio.
It falls out of you without warning, for lack of a better way to describe it. Like the woosh! when you drop from the height of a rollercoaster before your brain is ready to admit you aren’t about to die the most exhilarating death imaginable. And just like that it’s gone, it’s out. It’s all done before you knew it. You’re numb and scrubbing the tile in fix-it mode without respect for or acknowledgment of the weight of your actions, because you just need it to go away.
Having a miscarriage makes you sick as shit because you will throw up and lose a lot of blood and it will take a laughably long time to get it over with, after all. But nobody wants to hear about that, do they? And you’ll keep describing it euphemistically, just like I have, because nobody wants to hear the ugly side of it.
Which you understand, actually. You hardly use the word yourself.
People always talk about how their friends’ reactions to crises indicate the value of said friendship. I would argue that the opposite is truer still; who you tell is who you trust. You might be surprised.
Me? It’s been five months. Don’t worry; I’m empty now in every sense of the word.