By Mindy Rubenstein
I’ve gone through multiple miscarriages in my lifetime. The first one was around age 26, a couple months before I got pregnant with my oldest child who is now 16. If you do the math you know I’m in my 40s.
The most recent pregnancy loss was last month. I was 11 weeks along technically, but I was told weeks before that it likely wasn’t a viable pregnancy. Yet my stomach and my uncertainty seemed to still grow.
The waiting, called “expectant management,” was hard, and I kept thinking that maybe the doctors were wrong, that G-d performs miracles all the time, that maybe…
There were options to speed things along, but I chose to let my body do what it needed to, and it did.
That Sunday was long and awful. But I now had the clarity of not being pregnant, and I’m grateful in hindsight that there were no real issues.
Physically and mentally, however, this process took its toll on me, even as I try to be compassionate with myself. To let myself heal.
I sometimes lose patience with the slow healing process, pushing myself back into high gear, mothering, doing laundry, working and doing what I feel needs to be done…
But my body reminds me when perhaps I am doing too much. So I try to honor it and rest.
I told my immediate family what was happening, including my children, because they have to live with me and needed to know that my disconnecting wasn’t because of something they had done. And I told my mom who worried about me with love from afar.
Then last weekend I saw a friend while taking a Shabbat afternoon walk. I don’t really have many local friends in my new town, and she was one of the first people to try to connect with me here. But I had sort of vanished and she didn’t know why. So I told her.
As we stood there under a beautiful blue sky, she poured love and compassion on me, explaining mystical ideas of carrying holy souls into this world for a purpose. That I had perhaps been chosen to be a holy vessel. That I should try to be grateful to G-d for what happened.
We spoke for more than an hour, then parted ways to return to our families.
I don’t know if she’s right about my holy mission of pregnancy and miscarriage, but either way, just sharing and connecting with another woman really strengthened me.
Then this morning my former college roommate reached out. After 25 years of friendship, we seem to just pick up where we left off like no time has passed. And I told her, too.
So I want to say that in a society where we may want to keep things like this to ourselves, and I believe that many things are meant to be kept private, it can help to share our pain and struggles with others. In many cases, they want to hear from us in times of darkness.
So if you are struggling, please try to remember that you are not alone, even if it sometimes feels that way.
With love and gratitude,