Sunday, August 19, 2012

Miscarriage... seven months later

August six came and went a couple weeks ago unnoticed by most, but significant for this mom of a baby in Heaven... who was supposed to be in my arms by this date.  I mourned this day as much as the days before it and hope to mourn it less as the days pass.  I'm doing much better today as it marks a "National Day of Hope"(Remembering the Loss of unborn children), but feeling more... able... to share some of the moments during the past six months when it wasn't... and I wasn't.

I still have a tiny plastic box of ashes in a shoe box on a shelf that I intend to find a special urn or box for later... later when I can have it out in view each day as part of my story of grace rather than a cause for constant tears.  Maybe I'll post a picture when I'm ready to start looking and I find it...

I have a few friends who were pregnant with me at the same time as we were due within days of each other.  I think as those babies are born and that excitement of this round of babies fades into new ones, so will the immediate pain.  I've strived to celebrate those lives instead of focusing on my loss, but honestly it's not been so easy.  I didn't go to the hospital this time to visit, but I've tried to be a friend still and have Andy deliver those meals I managed to make.

I've been thinking back on the past six months and...
 I don't think I allowed myself to grieve...
Why?  I'm not new to pain or sharing it in the open anymore, but this is a different aspect I didn't want to have... let alone expose to others... Why?
Maybe it's because:
  • no one talks about miscarriage and many of the ones who did, acted like it was no big deal... even in the church, so I thought I needed to be okay or at least pretend to be...
  • I had a friend who lost triplets right after my miscarriage.  She birthed each baby and watched them die in her arms.  How could I grieve a baby I never even saw, yet I felt somehow jipped that I didn't at least get to see mine.  One of my best friends in the world had lost seven.  How could I compare my grief to theirs?  
  • I have children who need me to be here rather than spending my time grieving the one who wasn't
  • I was angry at God for giving me this too!  I had enough on my plate... couldn't He see that?  This was more than I could handle... regardless of what the Bible said.  Sure I could do it, but not really... not in a healthy manner.  
  • After a week or two the newness of my grief wore off and most stopped asking and the few who were close would accept when I said "I'm not okay" and leave me alone in my sorrow.
Because I didn't know how to grieve, I stopped knowing how to live the same life in a different way.  My situation changed, but my heart didn't.  I somehow felt like I failed as a mom.  Like I did something wrong to deserve it?  I've spent years perfecting "putting on a good face," yet I'd been working on coming out of hiding and being honest about my feelings, 
but this time was different...
I wasn't okay
I wasn't even getting out of bed
I could take care of my kids basic needs, but I didn't aspire to much more
I didn't want to be around people because I couldn't pretend for too long
My favorite time of the day was when I could get back into my room... alone

I've always been supportive of mental illness as a medical issue, but somehow I didn't put myself in a class where that was possible.  I thought that it was for people who had been severely sinned against or had familial history; but not people like me who counselled other people during their hard times.   I was depressed and if I wasn't already down, that diagnosis would've put me over the edge on its own.  I really didn't want meds; although,  I went to see the doc to at least talk to him.  I still had a piece of me that really thought I could pull it together. I mean, come on, I deal with a lot on a regular basis and many would be surprised that I'm not already on meds.  I normally go in and out of stress enough that I can recover before the next wave hits.  I'm usually okay with my crazy.   I explained to him that this was my life and it wasn't changing anytime soon, but I didn't want a pill to make me miss it either.  I wanted to grieve right.  I didn't want to be numb.
Sure, I've been at this for over eleven years now and maybe the adrenaline is slowing down...
or the reality of a lifetime at this pace is taking its toll or...
My support system has changed.
 Other factors in my life may have made me more susceptible to "not getting through" like I'd always done. I have had times where I maybe needed help.  I've thought (maybe dreamed) about paying someone to listen to me... you, know...while I lie down on a couch in a room with just another adult for a whole glorious hour!  (I still plan to try that someday :)
Whatever my reasoning for this state, I  couldn't erase or even decrease the reality of it....
I wasn't recovering this time.

This is what my brilliant doc told me (he's known me since birth)...
"God has decided that you will get up every day and knock your head against the wall (I was frowning at this point, but allowed him to go on).  This is your life.  This is what you do...
 My job is to give you a pillow (I had to grin at this point because it struck a nerve)..."
 I've been grateful for that pillow for the past few months as I've gotten to see through the fog.  I couldn't see how low I'd gotten until I started to climb out of that hole.  I even got a trip to the ER and an extended stay in the hospital with "stress related gut issues as is expected for people with crohns/colitis/ibs."  They (the experts whoever that is)  recommend avoiding stress to avoid flare ups.  that would mean avoiding my life... not a likely possibility.  Kind of foolish recommendation in my mind.
this is the best hospital pic I'd post... the others were a bit scary looking :)

I had to stop my meds after my stint in the hospital as the side effects may have aggravated my "condition" which was a blessing because I didn't want to go off them, but I guess the Lord knew I would be make it at this stage. I can't say I'll never be there again, but it's another place I've been so I'll be able to relate to others who have been there too.
flowers from a friend... to remeber :)

 I haven't handled miscarriage the best in the past when others have gone through it, so I strive to do better in the future.  I have been deeply blessed (and continue to be) by the love of my life who grieved along side me and let me know when my grief became scary and the others who have made the extra effort. Even recently I got a message from a friend who was in the hospital after birthing her twins (who were in the NICU at the time) checking in on me because her girls were born about the time my baby would've been.  I'm a bit teary now thinking of her thoughtfulness :)  There was another message too from our other friend who was about to pop as she waited for her girly to come and a note today from the friend who lost her three as well.  Today we remembered together and hopefully helped make it more okay to talk about our "Heaven dwelling" babies.  She allowed me to remember mine today as she remembered the three she lost at the same time and the other two she lost before.  Once again... we heal together better than alone.  
Andy came home with these one night :)


3 comments:

  1. You are such a strong woman auntie! I love you very much and you are a terrific mom,wife, and best of all a great auntie :)

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  2. Allison,

    Everyone deserves to grieve a miscarriage. Each person is so different in how they do it. Please, grieve for the loss of your baby. I had a miscarriage a few years ago and went on to have 2 beautiful children since. I thought about the what ifs for several months and on August 13th, I wonder how my life would have been different than now. You take all the time you need to grieve sweetie. You are a strong woman and have a great support! Hold your children that are here on Earth with you and stay strong!

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  3. Love you friend. We grieve together. We survive each day because we chose to stand up and take the moments as they come - the good and the bad. I'm glad the note touched your heart. And I'm glad you found the strength to write this so others understand your heart and maybe others find healing in their own loss as well. I have yet to tell my full story. I pray each day it gets easier to tell.

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