Love's on the path of grief
"I'm sorry. There's no heartbeat", my doctor said as if to resonate my scare of the unmoving image of Moon on the screen. My husband leaned over to hold my hand tightly. We were both on the edge of hope and loss. Another scan confirmed that our baby had stopped developing at 14th week. She was supposed to be a healthy 16th-week fetus last week.
I didn't know how to react because I was in denial. I was in my second trimester. I didn't prepare myself for this. I didn't have any other plan besides the future plan for Moon at that moment, how she would look like, how we would raise her to be a happy girl, how we would love her for who she is, unconditionally.
The doctor sympathetically gave us the consultancy for the next steps and a private room to process what just happened. In that room, we hold each other and we cried the tears of agony, of the sudden stolen happiness. Just within a few minutes, I went from being expecting to being baby-less.
We texted our family, closed friends and colleagues for long work absence. Every time, we re-lived through the terrifying moment in that room again and again. When we came home, I couldn't help it but holding all Moon's ultrasound images on my chest, feeling like there were a thousand of sharp thorns stabbing directly to my existence. She was healthy, kicking and waving at us. She had been our source of joy every single day from the day we knew we received a very precious gift from Fate. And now Fate took her away from us. I scanned through my memory to examine what I had done wrong in the past 3 weeks that harmed our baby girl. Who else could I blame if not myself? I had only one job, to bring her safely and healthily to this world and I failed her trust.
I came to learnt that I had a missed miscarriage. The silent one that came without any signs. At that moment, my body was still thinking that it's pregnant. I felt no physical pain, no bleeding. I still could see the small baby bump. Only my brain consciously knew that I was not pregnant anymore. Moon was there but she was gone. Until the hospitalization day, we cleaned up our apartment, putting all earthly memory of Moon into a bag, preparing for my "mini-labour" day which I would come back without Moon.
Until this Monday's morning, we still insisted for another scan because we had that faint of hope that Moon was destined to be our daughter. And our hope died one more time. They said the process will be very painful for the mom. The doctor and nurses got the pain killer ready for me. But Moon was such a blessing till the end. All my physical pain was bearable. After 3 doses of medication, 4 hours between each, she was “born” as a little tiny fetus. We asked for a private moment with her before they sent her to KK hospital for an autopsy. We said goodbye to her, told her how much we loved her, thanked her for the blissful 4 months. I thought I was dead at that moment and I just wanted to follow her to wherever she will be if it hadn't been for my husband’s loving embrace.
The next thing, they sent me to the operation room for clean up. When the sedative went off, in the post-operating room I was half asleep, half awake but the pain in my heart was vivid and acute. I was broken into pieces and was all alone. I was stripped off the moral support I depended on in the past few days. It was only me and the void that stared right back at me. My pain was raw and exposed. I didn’t burst into tears but my tears were falling down from the inconsolable grief, thick and prickly, piercing through my every single existence cells. I wept in deep mourning.
We know from now on, everything in our life will be classified into “Moon and after Moon”. That snack that I craved for when we still had Moon. That trip we went on when we still had Moon. That TV show we watched when we still had Moon. Those books I bought when we still had Moon. And now, after Moon, I don’t know how to deal with my life. It is a stark blank emptiness in every single thing around us. Our life is shattered like nothing before and there is no expiration date.
But we believe that Moon came to our life for a reason. We had the privilege of loving her. The love that supersedes the pain of losing her. The bittersweet flashback of her both hurts us and heals us. She gave me a chance to be a mom. And I was, am and will forever be a mother because of her. She taught us how we were so lucky to have a support group of family, friends, colleagues, colleagues who turn friends around us. They are the reminder in the middle of grief and tears that we are not alone. They allow us to grieve as long as we need. We deeply appreciate all the phone calls, private texts and the effort to cover works for us from family, friends and colleagues. Most of all, I feel grateful to have my dear husband. He picked me up every time I collapsed from this sad story. He loves and takes care of me when I barely survive and when he himself suffers from this loss not less than I do.
I still can’t sleep through the night. I still have to keep myself busy to hold back the uncontrollable tears. I am still overwhelmingly disoriented. I am still on the way to find my heart and soul again. But I know Moon is always my fuel of love wherever she is. I hope Facebook will remind me every year that on 7 Oct 2019, Moon was born at 6:10pm.
Last but not least, I wrote this long and sorrowful post because I don’t want miscarriage to be stigmatized. They said 1 in every 4 women suffer from miscarriage. Of course, I truly hope that you, expecting mamas, will be the other 3. But if you went through the unfortunate event like myself, I’m sorry, so so sorry, but please rest assured that you are not alone. You are loved. And for the love that your child has taught you, you will thrive from the heartbreak.