Getting pregnant—and having that pregnancy end with a healthy infant—is one of those facts of life you take for granted. After all, this is the age of high-speed internet and brain surgery. Something as natural as having a baby should, scientifically, be a cinch, right? You think: Women have been doing it for years, and I have the power to prevent it until I'm ready, at which point it will happen smoothly.
Until it happens, and it doesn't go smoothly.
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When I lost my second child in a second trimester miscarriage, Angelina Jolie was also pregnant, and was quoted as saying something along the lines of loving how much she felt like a woman, like her body was functioning exactly as it was designed to function.
That quote left me a sobbing mess—although, to be fair, a sobbing mess pretty much describes me in the months following the miscarriage. What was wrong with my body? Why hadn't it functioned as it was supposed to? I already had one beautiful and healthy child. What had I done wrong the second time around?
I wracked my brain constantly, and nothing the doctors or my loving husband said could reassure me that the miscarriage wasn't my fault. I'd continued exercising. Had I overextended myself? I couldn't give up my morning coffee. Had that affected the developing fetus? I drank a fair amount of wine before learning I was carrying. Had I poisoned the baby? I felt like a failure. More than a failure, I felt as though I'd accidentally murdered the child I so desperately wanted.
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In the midst of my mourning, we conceived again, and I now have a healthy and beautiful son whose existence wouldn't have been possible had I carried the other child to term. I'm now at peace with what happened to me, and although at the time I thought I'd never recover from the pain of it, now I rarely think about what happened. How Do You Know Your Family Is Complete?
Until I hear someone else's story, and can't help but share in their pain, or until I hear about something like the recently proposed bill in Georgia, which could make a miscarriage a criminal offense punishable by death.