This morning in Florence, Italy the sun blazed ever so bright, weather warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt with church bells ringing loudly in the distance. This Monday morning was the first one in some time where I have heard the awakenings of a city in a slumber for these past two months. More cars, bike and people are moving below our tiny alleyway of a street as the country begins “phase two” – a topic that has been discussed to smithereens as the world continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
May 4th has been in the minds of many, knowing that a slow sort of normality was coming their way today and a sign of hope that maybe, just maybe, we are on the right track in Italy to overcoming life in lockdown.
For us, it was the weirdest of coincidences and a somber reminder of a year before. Before reading any further – for anyone who is triggered by loss, miscarriage, grief or just plain does feel up to reading about that right now, this may not the post for you and I certainly won’t be offended if you choose to click away from here.
For those that are ok with vulnerable and painful conversations on the internet or perhaps this is something you’ve gone through yourself recently, well here goes.
Today is the day when we lost our son, a late-term miscarriage right as I reached the 20-week mark. Like many who have gone through similar losses, I bristle at that phrase “late-term miscarriage”. We had the chance to hold our son as he took his first and last breaths and that’s a moment we will never forget.
Statistics show that most miscarriages occur in the first trimester when the fetus is less than a couple of inches big and many times before you can hear the heartbeat. Frankly the words “late-term miscarriage” don’t quite capture the gravity of heartbroken people left in pieces like my husband and I.
I’ve written about the experience (that I have yet to reread since) here on the blog and I felt like this day was important for me to address, more so for myself than anyone else. We have since compiled a memory box for our son in our bedroom, filled with photos, a diary and keepsakes from friends and family.
There have been many awkward moments like this the past year, and even recently. Times when people didn’t get the message and ask about your baby in front of a group of friends, on the phone during a work call, in passing on the street. It’s cringe worthy as the air gets sucked out of the room, you desperately rack your head for ways to explain things without making the other person more uncomfortable than they already are. You still get adverts for baby clothes, toys and strollers and apps on your phone that you forgot to delete/mute ping with reminders of every period, ovulation date.
The truth is, the existential questions will always be there.
What would he have been like? How would we be dealing with this lockdown together as a family? I have since realized that I simply do-not-need-the-answers to every single question.
365 days later and I now have so many thoughts and a healthier sanity to ponder it all. How did we deal with grief so sharp you could cut it with a knife? It almost seems impossible. A lot was due to a tremendous amount of support and the brave sharing of stories from friends and people in our community.
When I underwent a myomectomy for fibroid removal last September, this marked yet another scary life moment that I never thought I would have to do. I was so surprised with how well everything went and finally, in a good way. The surgeon and nurses at Santa Maria Nuova kept me in the loop every step of the surgery as well as the recover. This was almost completely the exact opposite of my experience at Careggi. Here, we were treated with care, compassion and empathy.
December, we travelled to America to visit my family and I am so grateful we did because 2020 barely started before disaster struck. Who would have know there would be an ongoing pandemic and subsequent shut down of nearly every single country around the globe?
2019 was undoubtedly the worst year of my life but 2020 was proving to be the worst year for many families grieving over covid19 losses around the world and businesses in dire straights with no end in sight. These past few months have been difficult, yes, but in a strange way last year prepared us for yet another test of how we as humans can adapt to any circumstance.
With many tragedies, light also has come out of the tunnel for us both.
I still have sad or angry days about what happened.
And I occasionally find the need to hide newsfeed/WhatsApp baby photos posted by friends who had similar due dates. or who want to share someone else’s news.
Are we changed as people? Sure.
It’s safe to say that took our time to grieve. But for me I see that change as a good thing. A chance to embrace a more empathetic approach when dealing with difficult circumstances and people in the future.
I know we will have the family we desire one day and when that happens and the time is right I will tell he/she that they had a little brother. Even more so because if he/she decides they want to have a baby someday, I think it would be important to remember that miscarriages happen, and that they happen to people they know. Talking about fear and emotions is something we need to do as humans. This will also be a chance to say that sadness in our family was there during one period of our lives but it didn’t last forever.
The new Georgette is a different Georgette, but at the same time I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I’m fine, he’s fine, and we finally feel like hope and joy is something ok and normal to enjoy again.
Thanks for listening xoxo