How The Office got us through our miscarriage
Today, October 15th, is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. And October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.
It’s also a significant month for our family. Our little girl is due this month (on the 23rd, barring any significant delays). It also happens to be the month where we found out we were pregnant for the first time.
No, not with this baby (luckily for Aminah, a 12 month pregnancy sounds awful). We found out exactly one year ago that we were pregnant with a little angel we only got to hang onto for 13 weeks.
Miscarriage isn’t talk about enough. We learned that when we went through it the first time last December. It was the hardest thing both Aminah and I ever went through, but when we realized how much nobody spoke on it we made it a point to be extra-loud. If you’ve been following us at all or listen to our podcast, we’re not shy about it. We love that baby to death and they will always be a part of our family.
Some parts of the silence don’t really make sense to me. I don’t understand the stigma. Miscarriage is nobody’s fault. Nobody should feel ashamed because of it. It happens all the time. It is, unfortunately, normal. But I do understand that it’s hard to talk about stuff that sucks. And make no mistake: miscarriage fucking sucks.
“But every chance we could, during the most dreadful period of our life, we’d fire up one of our laptops, look at each other and say: let’s go visit our friends in Scranton.”
It really sucks. Super sucks.
Before we lost our little one, I would daydream all the time about playing with our little baby. About rolling on the ground, hearing them laugh, throwing them in the air, reading to them, making them food that they’d throw on the floor. All of those things made me feel a type of giddy I’ve never experienced in my life. I love my partner to death, but there was something about parenthood that activated a joy inside of me I didn’t know was there. I could not wait.
And then, gone. As if my dream bubble was popped all at once. All of the giddiness completely shattered.
It really fucking sucks.
So, in a state of complete sucky-ness, you turn to anything that makes it suck a little less. We binged on junk food. We drank alcohol. We made an impromptu trip to Costa Rica. We played little improv comedy games. But the only thing that really distracted us from the sucking was watching The Office.
Quick confession: this is all happening during December 2017 and I had not seen one full episode of The Office at that point. The series finale had aired four years prior and it had an eight year run. For 12 years I had somehow avoided Michael Scott’s ability to bring joy into my life.
So I figured what better time than now?
The days after the miscarriage were awful. That’s the other part about miscarriage, it’s not just done. It’s not like you lose the baby, it slips out and you can move on with life. Speaking completely as a second hand witness watching my partner go through what she went through, I can say that it’s painful, messy and stubborn. You are slowly living out your hell as your body releases the baby, piece by piece, over a period of days, even weeks. Every day was a struggle. It took everything I had to be a strong support person for my partner as I watched her go through the hardest time of her life, releasing product of our little angel, bit by bit throughout the day. She was going through hell and I was barely hanging on.
But every chance we could, during the most dreadful period of our life, we’d fire up one of our laptops, look at each other and say: let’s go visit our friends in Scranton.
And for 22 minutes we’d be gone. Completely distracted in a colourful world much different from our own. We’d get to watch Pam and Jim fall in love, Michael be wonderfully offensive and Kevin spill his chilli all over the floor. It gave us something to talk about other than our own pain. It gave us quotes to recite, jokes to tell and characters to act out. It gave us rabbit holes to go down (did you know Michael Scott was almost played by Paul Giamatti?). At the very least, it gave us something that didn’t suck.
And, as we did our best to hang on to simply make it through the day, that is exactly what we needed.
Have your own miscarriage story? Share with us below.