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Coping with miscarriage - Emotional Survival

There is always something to be thankful for

How hard is it to cope with miscarriage? I have a lot of friends who have been through the same. You'll never really understand until it happens to you. I know I didn't. 

| RELATED ARTICLE: To the baby whose heart stopped beating... mommy loves you

This is the kind of news you don't want to hear when you're pregnant. This is the kind of topic you avoid with a pregnant friend.  I even ignored all the information about it in my pregnancy brochures, insurance policy, etc. Why would I need to know about stillbirth and cremation of a baby?

For my own memory and for the people who care.  Personally, I get affected by sad news like this too. So I would like to comfort you through this information since I cannot talk to each of you as much as I would like to.

I safely delivered the baby on May 13. I opted for the epidural. The practical mom in me wanted to spare the expense as I don't know exactly how much a painless delivery is going to cost here in Japan. It will be covered by insurance, of course. But the last time I was hospitalized here in Japan for 8 days, we paid around ¥180,000. That's just 30% of our total bill. Insurance automatically covers 70%.

I realized I lack the motivation to endure any physical pain knowing that there will be no newborn baby crying to ease the pain away. I was all alone because of the virus and my husband, of course, didn't want me to suffer more physical pain. I will spare you the gory details of stillbirth labor, delivery, dilation and curretage (D&C or more commonly referred to as "raspa").

At 12:15 the baby's head came out. I then started crying. Not from the physical pain (the epidural worked just fine), but from the pain of letting him go. I spent the previous night knowing he was still inside my tummy. As if fate was mocking me, I heard a newborn baby cry. Not from my baby nor my imagination (or was it?). Someone gave birth in an adjacent delivery room. Instead of feeling bitter, it surprised me that it made me happy and thankful. A baby was alive!  I actually thought I won't be able to look at other babies the same way. I thought it will make me sad. Now, I think every baby or child should be celebrated.

When I finally saw my baby. I thought he was so cute. Kawaii! All external parts complete, the small nails already visible. We took a photo together. The midwife let me hold and even touch him. I took a bunch of photos and videos. I'm sorry I won't be able to share.

He was also allowed to stay in my room but I said no. Would you? Stay with him longer and pretend that the cries you hear from the newborn baby next room were his? I can't torture myself with a memory like that.

I slept through the night. In the morning I woke up and cried again. There was no more baby to wake me up so mommy could pee every hour.

The next day, I was cleared for discharge and with the help of my Japanese cousin, we were able to arrange for cremation. I selected the one without the funeral rites. How much? For the sake of, I don't know, maybe someone else would search about these kinds of things here in Japan, we paid 45,100 yen for all services, cremation, urn, and 5-year rental in the ossuary. Another 3,000 yen goes to the ward to get the permit for cremation.  Our net hospital bill was surprisingly only around 70,000 yen (30% of total cost).

I spent my remaining hours in the hospital with my baby. I played him some lullaby and talked to him. The final goodbye was a little bit formal and dramatic. We used a private elevator down to the basement, walked about 2km of an empty hallway that leads to the parking space where the funeral company's van was waiting. A nurse was leading the way, my husband walked after her carrying the nice little box where my angel was deeply asleep.  I walked after him, tearing up because the whole thing was obviously a set-up to make a grieving mother cry. Behind me are all the nurses and four other OB-GYN who was on duty at the time (three of them delivered the baby). My husband handed the baby and the van left. Together with all the nurses and doctors, we bowed low until the vehicle where the baby was riding can no longer be viewed (part of Japanese culture).

Meanwhile, in Rome, our good friend Father Joven, the same priest who officiated our wedding and baptized Lucas, celebrated a Mass to pray for my little angel.

I wrote a heartfelt letter to all the nurses and doctors in English. Never mind if they will understand it or not. I cannot express my gratitude enough. They saved my life twice within a year.

We went home and life quickly went on as usual. My husband cooked our dinner, while I helped Lucas with his schoolwork.

How hard is it to cope with a miscarriage? I still wouldn't know. I guess as time past you get better. I still cry a little...

Last night when Lucas and I were praying, we thank the Lord for letting us experience the joy of having a baby.

I cried a little.

This morning, I remembered he is going to be cremated.

I cried a little.

While I was hanging our clothes, though it's not connected, I remembered our list of travel destinations limited to convenient locations because we have a baby.

I cried a little.

Am I depressed? No. I am still mourning but life goes on. I don't question God "why me?". It's sad but it happens to a lot of people. I don't look for answers as to why it happened. There's really no need for reasons.  My baby died in my womb and it is what it is. Like I said, I have a lot of friends with similar experiences. They survived and so will I.

I find that I admire Lucas now more than before. Everything he does, no matter how annoying or naughty he can be, makes me happy. I admire every little detail about him more than ever. I am still sooooo grateful!

No matter what you are going through.

There is 
something to be thankful for.

I believe that wholeheartedly.

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