Another April, another Angelversary for Casey Shay

Sometimes when women arrive at my Facebook group for those currently going through a loss, they ask, “How long until I get over this?”

All I can say is, “Fourteen years and counting.”

One of the hard things about losing a baby that no one else felt, or saw, or touched is that everyone wants you to get over it quickly. They don’t have the same emotional investment. Pregnancy, with its sleepiness and dream-like quality, encourages the visions of the baby to come, the moments ahead. It’s how you get through the hard stuff—throwing up, bone-tiredness, caution and fear. So we’re wired to already see and experience this baby well beyond the sensations in our belly.

In her book Virgin Blue (which has lots of miscarriage and pregnancy trauma within it), author Tracy Chavalier’s characters, both midwives, talk about how the pregnant mother is always “listening” inside her. She’s distracted, taken out of the outside world, and focused on what is happening within.

It really doesn’t matter when the conversation stops, the day after the positive pregnancy test or during the birth, when some tragedy takes the baby during its final journey to the outside. It’s still a cutting off, a silencing of a relationship that had become the focus of your life.

Fourteen years ago today, I didn’t realize my connection had been cut. I suspected—but then every pregnant mother seems to always have some fear—but until the Doppler was silent, until the doctor was rushed in and the sonogram machine powered up, until he moved and moved and moved the paddle, trying to find an elusive heartbeat for a 20-week baby who should have filled the screen with movement and sound, but didn’t. Until I had proof; I hadn’t known.

April 28 taught me how to listen, how to hear, how to know when the conversation ceased. My next two losses were no surprise. I had learned the difference between the hum that reverberates between a mother and an unborn child and the silence that means the child is gone.

And this year, at 42, I am getting married again and, next month, taking that journey one more time. I don’t even know if the conversation will start. I may not be able to get pregnant at all. The chromosomes in my eggs may be too sticky to divide properly and get the baby on its journey. But I will listen, and I will hear. And whatever conversation I might get, however many days or weeks or months I may get to feel that hum, I will take them.

One thing I’ve learned in 14 years—I am not afraid. I hope, for all of you, who may be finding this page for the first time or the fourth, that you find that courage too.


4 thoughts on “Another April, another Angelversary for Casey Shay

  1. Thank you so much for providing this information so publicly for all to learn from. I lost my baby boy April 17, 2012 at 15 weeks. Having had 2 “easy” pregnancies resulting in 2 healthy children (who are now teens), I was shocked and clueless as to why this happened to me. I thought I had caused it. This was the first baby with my new husband (he already had 1 child) and so naturally we were both devastated. The hardest thing for me has been the emptiness I feel as I lie awake at night or just out of habit, touch my empty uterus reminding me of the perfect looking, yet lifeless baby I saw face down on the ultrasound. I will never escape that image.

    As a studious analyst, I have thrown myself into everything I can, learning every possible detail. This site, written very poignantly, has helped me along my journey to recovery and to finding peace. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for providing all this information. It has been invaluable to me. I am just now going through what was a “missed miscarriage” I guess. The baby stopped developing after 8 wks (and just after we’d heard the heart beat) but I didn’t find out until 11 wks. I just m/c naturally a few days ago. It was my first pregnancy.
    I just wanted to thank you for helping me through this – and to tell you that I conceived naturally a month before turning 43, so it is possible to get pregnant at our age! Best of luck on your journey.

  3. March 04, 2012 is forever etched in my memory. I discovered this site only last night. I have probably researched more facts on miscarriage in the last 9 weeks than I may ever need. But the most useful fact is that only other women who have experienced a miscarriage may understand how you are feeling and that you need your time to grieve!! I have been told probably all the things that NOBODY wants to hear at that time. Thanks to the creator of this site cause at 10 weeks pregnant I was all excited to be a mother for a second time. My miscarriage was probably more graphic that what some women experience and all I will say at this point in time is every time I close my eyes all I see is my 10 week old baby’s eyes! 🙁 Wishing you all the best in your marriage and may you be blessed with a baby 🙂

  4. Dear Deanna, I’ve been a “lurker” on your website since my loss in June 2009, but after reading this posting, I feel compelled to share a story with you. Not my story…another one that I think is more inspiring.

    My mother-in-law married at 14. She lived in pre-partition Pakistan, and this was in the ’40s. Marriage as a teen was not uncommon at that place and time. Her first three pregnancies all ended in children who were either born still or died in infancy (I’m not sure).

    Her 4th child–her first who survived infancy–was born when she was 21. He is now my eldest brother-in-law. Between the age of 25 and 32, she had six more kids, all of whom are still alive.

    Then, at age 41 and 48, she had her 10th and 11th children. Her 10th child is now my husband. Her 11th is my youngest sister-in-law. Both of them are completely normal and healthy.

    I think that your chances of having another child are good. Have faith in God and know that you’re in my prayers. Thank you for your site and sharing your story.

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