Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Life After Miscarriage: Houston, We Have a Problem – Again

My ovaries are holding my eggs hostage.  That’s what the doctor called to tell me last week. She didn’t say those exact words – that’s just my spin. What she actually said was, “Based on your blood work, it doesn’t look as if you are ovulating. I’d like for you to come in to talk about taking Clomid.”

I said, “Yeah. I figured as much. Twenty dollars, twenty ovulation predictors sticks, and lots of squatting over a cup with no positive result led me to the same conclusion.” OK, OK, I didn’t say those exact words, but that’s what I was thinking.

I have a routine down for dealing with bad news. It’s just happened so often during the past few months that I realized it’s an established protocol.

First, I call my mom. This is usually because I want to be dramatic and download. I spill a crescendo of conclusions, she (as a nurse) points out all the flaws in my logic and my misinterpretations of clinical possibilities (or impossibilities). I cry and ask her why she can’t just listen and validate my feelings. And then I hang up and call a girlfriend.

The girlfriend is great for validating the emotion.  She will eventually get to logic and talk me off the ledge, but first, she wholeheartedly encourages the drama because she knows that to try to talk logic to a woman who is hormonal and unpredictable will do no good. She offers to come over and break dishes with me and knows that when I say, “No, don’t worry about it,” she can tread lightly on to the terrain of sense and sensibility.  By the time I hang up, I’m ready to call my husband.

These are usually very short conversations because to try to explain how my ovaries and other girly bits are not functioning without a diagram and hand motions is pointless. We agree to talk at home later and hang up to return to our normally scheduled work programming as if nothing has happened.

All up, this takes about 26 minutes of phone time and is entirely necessary for me to go on functioning. From connecting with people who have experienced what I have, I can confidently say that behind every woman coping with and healing from a pregnancy loss is a strong cast of characters. They are the people who answer the phone, endure verbal abuse, sympathize and empathize, and simply show up when it matters.

I am so grateful to my supporting cast because they have carried me.  To them, I say: Thank You for dancing in my ballet of grief and hope. You are the best in my worst of times.

Life After Miscarriage: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

For as many steps as I’ve taken toward moving on, there are still days where I feel like I’m caught in quicksand.

No matter how much I work, or how many weekend trips I plan, or how many runs I do in the morning, no matter how much I fill my day planner, I cannot escape the miscarriage. I’ve tried my best to fill my life with work, and friends, and church, and books, and magazines, and exercise. I’ve tried not to leave any room for grief. But somehow, it keeps finding its way in.

If I’m quiet for one moment, I slip into a daydream where I imagine myself six months pregnant or decorating a nursery.  I catch myself imagining my husband rolling over in the morning and kissing my big belly, whispering to our son or daughter.

I fall into pockets of sadness in the mundane moments of my life – just today, in the simplest act of wiping down the sink after rinsing dishes.  I had to turn away from my husband because I didn’t want him to see the tears in my eyes.  I know he could sense something was wrong but there’s nothing I can say that will help him, or anyone understand.

Life After Miscarriage: Lessons Learned

I’ve been feeling much better lately. Really, I have.

I’ve been thinking about what I learned from this whole experience and I’ve come up with a few things:

Grief is like a tsunami. It comes suddenly and in huge waves. It completely drowns the heart and mind and then it recedes, slowly.  Eventually, things get back to normal but it takes time and you can’t rush it. And that takes me to my next learn.

Time really does heal. Yeah. It’s cliché and I wouldn’t have believed you two months ago if you would have said I would feel like myself in just eight short weeks.  But I do. I think the catch here is that you have to be willing to heal and, for me that meant finding out that you have to…

Trust the process. I’m still working on this one. Pregnancy is a forty-week process. Miscarriage is a process. The monthly menstrual cycle is a process. Grief is a process. Healing is a process. I’ve learned I can’t rush any of it. I’ve tried and it just leads to more anxiety.  Anxiety leads to suffering and here’s what I’ve learned about suffering…

Suffering is a choice. After this experience, I can distinguish between grief and suffering. Grief is what you feel when you lose something that meant a lot. Suffering is becoming a prisoner to grief. I can grieve my loss but I will not suffer from it or because of it because I deserve more.

If a woman in my life ever experiences a miscarriage, these are the things I would tell her. She wouldn’t believe me, of course, because it’s not something you can believe until you go through the process yourself. But I would tell her anyway because when you go through a miscarriage, you want to know that it will get better even when you simply can’t imagine anything but the pain of the loss.

While I’m sad I had to learn these lessons in this way, I’m grateful that I’ve been able to come away with something and I’m proud to say that I survived.