• Helen Hawersaat

It's Not Like a Heavy Period

It isn't.

A heavy period doesn't have a due date.

A heavy period doesn't have an anniversary.

A heavy period doesn't make you jealous at a funeral because you wish, desperately, that you had something to bury.

A heavy period doesn't have regular contractions.

A heavy period doesn't make you cry when you see a pregnant lady on a tough day.

A heavy period doesn't make you need, sometimes, to leave the room when someone sings "You Are My Sunshine."

Your next door neighbors, with the balcony next to yours, don't have a baby who should be exactly the age of the heavy period you had a year and a half ago.

A heavy period does not make you deeply ache to know it.

Call it what it is.

Your early miscarriage is a birth, and a death. Even if it was a birth of blood and pain and anonymity, that sweet baby was born into this world and the next. You will watch them grow up, that little boy or girl with your husband's hair and your nose. You will see them as they should be, going off to kindergarten with their too-big backpack, spelling "z-o-o!" with flushed cheeks and braided hair. You will wish more than anything for their meltdowns when you need to leave the house and the ridiculous things they do in silent churches.

Your early miscarriage makes newborns seem colossal, miracles of hair, and fat, and teeth under ruby gums. You will marvel at the incredible particulars of human beings: this one's freckles, that one's pug nose. You will need a new word for the kind of longing you have, to know if your little one had curly hair, or if she liked peanut butter with her jelly.

Your early miscarriage will make you friends and enemies with death. Suddenly, leaves are emeralds and clouds really are silver and the beauty of the life around you is blinding. You are tethered to this world, you want to keep each moment. You think, more than anything, you might just like to look at it. But sunsets would not be so precious if every second of them didn't pass away into the next, and newborns wouldn't be such bittersweet miracles if they didn't grow up, and die at mischievous six or proud twenty four or wrinkled ninety. And so, part of you lives looking through the veil.

Call it a birth, friends. Call it a death. Call it a life well lived.

But call it what it is.

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