I called in sick after my first miscarriage.
I’m not going to list the reasons why. If you’ve ever had a miscarriage, then you know why. If you haven’t, then words can’t quite justify the pain and agony endured.
But, what do you say?
“To whom it may concern–I won’t be coming to work today because I had a miscarriage.”
So, I didn’t say anything. I worried that someone might want to know how far along I was. I worried that when they heard that I was “only” five weeks that they would scoff at my request for time away.
So I just said I was sick.
Did people even call out for miscarriages? I had never had anyone share their miscarriage experience with me, so I didn’t know what you should do.
Was I being overly dramatic? Was this necessary?
All day long, I questioned myself.
The day I called out was also the day of a big meeting I was supposed to attend. I felt bad for missing it, but I couldn’t imagine sitting in a room with others while I soaked a heavy duty maxi pad and tried not to break down.
But when I returned to work, someone called me out for missing the meeting. It was important. They had really needed me to be there.
And I didn’t know what to say.
Was a miscarriage a good enough reason?
I didn’t say anything. I just nodded, mumbled an apology, and blinked back a fresh wave of tears before excusing myself.
And then I went to the bathroom and I wept. Big, ugly sobs. Shoulders heaving and gasping for air. Pausing only when I heard footsteps enter, waiting for the door to swing shut before I exhaled another shaky breath.
I felt shameful.
So, so alone.
Nobody knew that I had miscarried and I didn’t know how to tell them.
All I could do was dry my tears, clean myself up, and go back to work. Where no one even knew that I had been pregnant.
And where no one knew that I was now alone.