Ouiam Charkani El Hassani opens up on the heartbreak of miscarriage.
ave you ever cried from happiness? Have you ever witnessed tears of joy? I have – twice in my life, and those moments will be forever cherished in my heart and soul. Both are related to life and bringing new tiny humans to this big, wide world. Yes, you guessed right, it was when I first saw a ‘Big Fat Positive’ on that home pregnancy test. The first time was in 2013 and the result was an incredible little miracle that embellished and enriched my life in so many ways: my son Adam.
The second time was just few months ago. Every mother reading this, knows exactly what I am talking about. The butterflies in the stomach, the fear of this great responsibility on your shoulders that will never fade with time or age, the endless love that your heart will double in size to harbour for that unborn child. The excitement that follows is enormous, because you know your life has changed forever. All these feelings, and more, erupt suddenly yet expectedly in your daily life and you embrace each and every one, no matter whether it is your first, second or 10th child.
Yet not all stories have happy endings, and they shouldn’t, because hardships are what we need to grow stronger and wiser. Mine wasn’t destined to be completed with the cooing and giggles of a newborn; it met its end at a doctor’s office, a couple of months after that glorious day when I found out I was pregnant. It was my third appointment and even though life has never been kinder, I had a little pinch in my heart, the kind that hurts yet you have no idea why. I had worn the talismans of hope and armed my lips with my new mantra: “I choose to be optimistic.” I had a feeling that something was wrong and I secretly prayed to hear that most beautiful sound of life – a tiny human’s heartbeat.
Once in the examination room, it was hard to keep up those tricks of faith or even remember the mantra I had been reciting for the last hour. I scrutinised my doctor’s face looking for clues and, before he even spoke, I knew that inside my shaking body there was only ONE beating heart. You see I am good at keeping calm and at smiling when things go wrong. I was raised like every Arab woman; we must hide our feelings because God forbid who talks about those damn feelings!
So I rose like a big girl, calm and poised, listened to the doctor trying to give me the tiniest ray of hope, yet assuring me that miscarriages happen all the time. I thanked him and walked to the door.
In every myth, religion, ancient story the woman’s body is described to be for one purpose: carrying the offspring. This notion has been, and still is, instilled in every female’s brain. Society looks at us as a means of reproduction. Once a couple is married everyone asks them the ultimate question: “When are you getting pregnant?” as if there was a button to press and, boom, a baby on the way!
So, when things go wrong, every woman, including myself, feels like a failure, chooses to suffer in silence and keep her story to herself, chooses to behave like a big girl and keep a smile on her face, and walk to the door, like I did at that doctor’s office.
So now I choose to do just the opposite; I choose to tell the world my story so that every single woman knows that it is OK, that life doesn’t stop and that the universe must have another plan for you. The woman’s amazing body is a work of art, all these impressive things it does, makes it God’s gift to every woman, and it should be cherished and loved beyond measure. I am a proud woman who is grieving the loss of her unborn child, yet I am strong enough to love and respect my body and tell the whole world my story.
Ouiam blogs as Chanelmama.