If I squint, if I turn a corner a little too swiftly, I can almost see it. Just a glimpse of what almost was, what might have been. I can imagine the family portrait, how different we would all be. How changed. It all was going to be so different. In another version of my life, the one where the miscarriages and ectopic didn’t happen, I have a bigger family. But there is so much loss and sadness in June.
In another version of my life my family is louder, fuller, crazier, and what, I wonder, would I have been? Would I have been able to handle it? Would it have grounded me? What waves of sadness and depression would have faded if the babies had lived? What stressors would have increased? I will never know.
June is a hard month for me because it is a bucket of what ifs. I carry the grief from an ectopic cycle that happened in June. But most of all I carry the grief of a missed due date for Tartan. June 26. Tartan would be turning three.
I can remember every single moment of the pregnancy – from the thrill of seeing the 2nd line on a pregnancy test. To the elation of hearing the heartbeat. Then the shock when the heartbeat was gone. It truly was such a shock – still is. It’s hard to even write about all of this now, but NOT writing about it feels like I am ignoring a giant elephant of sorrow that has been sitting on my chest for a few days. I don’t like to think about all of the horrible aftermath from that time, but suddenly the month of June reminds me of the wish that wasn’t fulfilled.
Tartan lives in my heart like a fantasy, a maybe, a whisper. It was an almost that never happened.
It’s hard to explain why this sadness and remembrance is so big when there was no THERE to hold. Grief is not rational. I know it is a basket that holds and carries more than just the idea of what Tartan could have been. It’s also thinking how differently my family would have been, and how the dynamics would be altered. It’s a puff of air, an idea, and I feel the absence of it so deeply in my bones.
I know how to push through this. I have become a weird little expert on how to endure June – especially when it comes to this sadness. I will completely spoil W. I will be vocal with my needs for isolation. I will speak openly about what is going with me.
I also know that I am not alone – that other women and families know this longing and missing when they are faced with due dates for their miscarriages. It is such an abstract thing to talk about – but talking about it DOES help. (so do chocolate ice cream sandwiches)
I wrote about the 5 stages of a missed due date a few years ago – and that post is still a playbook I follow. I’m riding the waves of sometimes reflective, sometimes sad, and always overwhelmed with gratitude for the healthy family I DO have.