I recently miscarried. I was eight weeks pregnant. It has been a life altering experience for us all, one that we’re still finding our way through.
For me personally, it was not how I imagined it would be and I have imagined it, numerous times. I think you sort of have to, to protect yourself. It wasn’t dramatically gory. It was a slow, at times cruelly slow, trickling death and the hardest parts for me were not the physical symptoms themselves but my inability to control them. Even at eight weeks the instinct to protect is overwhelmingly powerful and I couldn’t stop it happening, I couldn’t keep the life inside me. That broke my heart.
I have felt sad, lonely and empty but, and this has been the most surprising thing about it all, it has also been a really positive experience. I know this is not the case for everyone, I am lucky to have had a child already and I know I would not, could not, have been so positive if this had been my first pregnancy.
I have experienced such overwhelming gratitude, I am grateful just to be alive, I am grateful to be loved and to love in return, I am grateful to have had this opportunity to witness the fragility of life because it has made me treasure it so much more and I am, “transfigured by that joy, always and even beyond death.” *
The experience has sparked an intense urge to create, as the very kind and wise Laura Aziz told me it would. I have been painting, drawing and lettering like mad, I fall asleep forming letters in my mind. Creating has been the greatest therapy even if the quality has been dubious at times.
In that wave of creativity, this poem practically wrote itself. It's about some little shells that mysteriously appeared in my bedroom over the course of a few days. I took them to be a message from the Universe.
In the days that followed
the rhythm of the quotidian was slowly restored.
The dryer resumed its distant rumble
and eggs spluttered in a hot pan.
In the soft morning light a duvet fluttered,
scattering tiny pink shells onto the floor.
I knelt to examine them between finger and thumb
and found comfort in their Fibonacci curves;
the perfect spirals whispering a message.
where particles meet
to conjure spirals from dust.
Stars burn in our atoms.
In the darkness, unseen,
cells grow and divide
turning our desires into flesh and blood,
their silver traces transforming thoughts
into utterances of love.
*Human Traces by Sebastien Faulk