Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pagan Ritual for Miscarriage

My miscarriage story...

To my little girl... who never lived.

I stared at the ultrasounds screen, studying every grainy curve of my still, silent child. She (though I never found out the sex) measured at 6 and a half weeks, and should have been 10. I had taken to calling her Herman (I picked the most random, antiquated name I could think of as a private joke) in the days I thought things were okay and Lil A. K. (Little A$$ Kicker) at the end when things were not. She was to be our first child. Her due date was October 7th. I’d already started working on putting together a nursery in the spare bedroom. 

We had known for about a week and a half that something was wrong. Our 8-week appointment had revealed a fetus that was too small, but we hoped that I just had ovulated late that month. When the blood work came back with dropping hormones levels instead of doubling, we hoped that my long-standing history of wonky medical test results and PCOS were to blame. 

Even though the doctor’s office was talking about medical intervention via drugs or a D&C (both of which I associated strongly with abortion), I stubbornly told myself I wouldn’t take a chance at aborting a baby that just needed a little extra time to catch up or get going unless they could prove to me without a doubt that she had passed away. And even then, I would let her go on her own because she deserved to be born, even if it was after she was dead.

Looking at my silent child on the monitor, all my hope and dreams for her drained away. When the doctor asked how I wanted to proceed, I broke and asked for the medication that would start the bleeding, planning to take it over the weekend to minimize how long I would be out of work and avoid having any complications with a snow storm on the way.

But my little girl spared me even that. She came that night. In the dark and in the vice grip of my contractions, I couldn’t bring myself to look for her tiny blueberry-sized body among the rest that left me. Whether I lost her that night or in the pain of the dark nights after, I don’t know. 

Paganism and Miscarriage

In my ancestor worship, I had never had a place for those who lived but never entered the world. I am currently trying to find a way to resolve that and a way to honor her so very short life and have a representation her among my past family.

I think I will keep it simple. I'll put a little piece of paper on my altar with the name "Herman" on it.  I will of course decorate it with symbols for all my dreams of who I thought she would become and light a little candle for her. Her name, joke though it was, will be added to the recitation of my prayers to my ancestors. 

She was my child for so short a time, and yet I loved so strongly that she will always be remembered.

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