It's October 2nd. My brother's birthday. I do have some fond memories of celebrating his other birthdays. But today is not one of those days.
Sameer was out of town and was slated to land early in the afternoon. His meeting had gone very well and the clients had reached an in-principle agreement on key terms of the deal. He had cut short his trip and was on his way to my mom’s place. He was coming just for me and was reluctant to take part in any birthday celebrations.
"I am in no mood to celebrate when we have lost our unborn child just yesterday. How can I?" he said over the phone. It was the first time since yesterday that Sameer expressed his views on the matter. It's a myth that miscarriages do not impact husbands. The sonography report and the whole incident of Miscarriage had deeply impacted Sameer too. Was his pain more than mine? No one’s to say. "Come over and we won't wait long" I replied.
Other friends and family members had no idea of what I had been through just a day ago. My miscarriage was a non-existent event for them, but it was a deep loss that left me feeling emply, vulnerable and depressed. My pregnancy was a closely guarded family secret. In our society, losing a baby is linked to silence, stigma, and shame. We are prohibited even from discussing our pregnancy until the second trimester. Post which the chances of miscarriage are at their lowest.
This secrecy also meant that I would not get the support I wanted. For the first time, I felt isolated from my own social network (which otherwise is very strong). Somewhere I also had a feeling that even if I express it, my grief may be less acceptable than the grief of a mother facing miscarriage later in the pregnancy. I waited in the room that was once mine at my parent’s house, wanting Sameer to come over flying and to hold me in his arms.
When Sameer reached, the first thing I did was to give him a warm hug. It was a moment we both knew we would never forget. He took me out to the lawns for a walk. Holding each other's hands, we continued our walk for the next half an hour. Not a single word was exchanged between us, but everything was conveyed through touch and silence. We sat by the poolside and ordered some filter coffee.
“Probably the growing baby was not strong enough to live a healthy life. Or the environment around the baby was not optimum to give it good health. Either way, once your body realized this, mother nature came in to take over, rejecting it and following it’s due course. There was a larger good hidden behind what happened” said Sameer, as if shining some deep spiritual knowledge upon the subject. With that simple explanation, I burst into tears. I know he was being the strong one amongst us, yet I was left with a feeling that he can never completely understand how I felt. For the first time in life, I felt what a ‘life-scathing event’ really means.
We wished my brother and left quietly before anyone else could notice my warm tears rolling down my cheeks.