10 August 2020: Lessons from a Miscarriage

5:02 AM

It has been 1,000 years since I’ve sat down to pound out my thoughts and feelings. But today seems like a good day to start up again.

How can it be possible to feel so very alone yet encircled in God’s love all at the same time?  That you can feel the deepest, achiest, most sorrowful grief AND peace and gratitude in the same moment?  That you can weep tears of anguish and rejoicing in the same blink of an eye?  How is it possible to understand and be deeply grateful for the Atonement, and yet feel empty, hollow, and uncertain?  

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This is the hardest part of this entire journey.  When people ask me “how are you doing?” I can’t find the words to explain that all of these things are happening simultaneously.  That I’m fine and full of gratitude and am buoyed up by the Savior’s love…and yet my heart is breaking into a million pieces and there is a growing ache in the pit of my stomach that holds all the hurt and sorrow.  

A miscarriage is certainly the strangest journey I’ve been on, not just emotionally, but physically.  Waking up and never knowing if I’ll experience contraction-like cramping, heavy bleeding, no symptoms whatsoever, headaches, backaches, discharging multiple clots over the course of hours…every day is a surprise, which amps up any anxiety I may have.  Meticulously planning ahead by making sure I have pads in my work bag, my car, my gym bag…changes of clothes…OTC pain meds…never too far from home and/or the hospital.  

Some moments things feel fine, almost like nothing has changed…nothing has happened.  Because the reality is, nothing has changed.  We hadn’t started making plans for this little babe, no schedules have changed, nothing financially was different.  Aside from the fear, excitement, anxiety and dreams…nothing in our lives had changed a bit.  

And then there are other moments when it feels like my whole world is different.  The course of my journey has altered and what I had grown to expect (and even look forward to) is no longer the path I’m on.  No weird food cravings…no growing baby in my belly…no birth plan…no sleepless nights with a newborn…no figuring out work and daycare for 3.  It feels like everything I’d expected has changed.  

I’m a different person today than I was a week ago.  And it’s not all bad.  Even with all of the grief and sorrow and sometimes anger…I have grown in a lot of remarkable and really pretty awesome ways.  My capacity for empathy and understanding has increased significantly and I am so grateful that I have more of an ability to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.  That I understand and connect with the Savior’s Atonement on a much deeper and more intimate level now than I have in the past.  All of these changes could not have come about in any other way…and I’m understanding why that is.  Every day my understanding of opposition in all things grows and I am excited for the day when the intensity and amount of joy I feel matches, if not eclipses the sorrow and heartache I’ve felt in the past week.  

With all of these changes…the good ones, the hard ones, the moments where I feel ashamed for the relief…all of these things have forced me to grow and evolve and to ultimately be a better person.  So for that I’m grateful.  I’ll be even more grateful when things settle down and I feel like I’m able to get back into the routine of things.  

7:02 PM

Right about now, it has been exactly one week from the time that I woke up from surgery.  7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes since that tiny little babe was cut out of my body.  It feels strange to think that one week ago we sat in the OB’s office as she searched for a heartbeat, for growth, for any flicker of movement on the ultrasound much longer than she really needed to.  Clearly it was for our sake rather than her own.  

This has been the longest week ever, and just when I think it’ll get better…when I start to feel like I’m gaining closure and understanding and moving forward, a moment happens when someone asks me how I’m doing, or a meme pops up in my Facebook feed, or I get a look from someone and my heart breaks all over again.  

Admitting that it’s hard…that it’s not just fine…that it is, but it’s not…the tears just come and I don’t know how to turn them off.  It’s not a bad thing…but it feels foreign and strange to me.  As hard as I try to just be strong…to acknowledge that it’s hard, but there is purpose and a silver lining and many lessons being learned…it feels like I can’t have it both ways.  I can’t be accepting of this and growing from it and drawing closer to the Savior while crying and mourning and being heartbroken.  It feels like it has to be one or the other.  And I know that’s not how it has to be…but it feels that way a lot of the time.  That if I cry and just let it be hard that I am lacking faith.  

But right now, one week after going from being pregnant to not pregnant (although I suppose I was mostly just a tomb or coffin carrying a dead baby for 2 ½ weeks)…it feels really heavy and difficult.  It feels like the ache might never go away and the sadness will be something that always lingers around.  

Looking forward to bedtime.  Hoping that sleep comes easily tonight so I can rest and so that I can get an escape from the relentless and overwhelming heartache and sorrow.

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