I have been pregnant thirteen times.
No, I don’t have thirteen children.
Seven of my pregnancies ended way before they were supposed to. Before my belly got large; before I really could feel them moving inside of me; before other people knew.
Nobody else saw my babies, but they saw my tears. They didn’t understand. They told me it was better I wasn’t further along. I was told that my babies weren’t really babies – just a blob of tissue and stuff. They said just get pregnant again. They didn’t see my heart was aching – they held it in their hands and squeezed it tighter – closed their fists around it and squeezed so hard it ran through their fingers and didn’t realize it. They told me at least I already had a child.
When I kept having miscarriages they said why don’t you just stop? Why don’t you just count your blessings? Maybe this is G-d’s way of telling you that you weren’t meant to have more children. Then they said I must be really strong - because this was happening to me, or because they thought I needed to buck it up, I often wondered.
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Julia is the contributing editor for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. She writes daily at Life After Infertility and Loss where she covers all of her children--the ones who are here and the ones who are gone.