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Thursday, October 15, 2015

a miscarriage story: we had plans

The hard part about a miscarriage is that from the second you're trying to get pregnant or the moment you see the positive test results, you picture a baby.

You may not see the hair color or blue or brown eyes; you may not know the weight or gender in your image in your mind, but you know inside there is a heartbeat and ears developing. You know there is someone who will kick you in there soon. You picture being a mother to another one. You are happy and excited, ready and relieved that it worked, that you created life. From that second, you stop drinking alcohol and you eat more vegetables and fruits in your day. You start making plans.

We had plans. That's the hardest part about this miscarriage: we had plans. We planned on a third child. We were ready. We were happy… and then it was gone. And that seems so unfair.

We joked about knowing what gender it was (my husband swore a girl, I swore a boy). We brought up the names we had leftover from our other two children, deciding which ones we'd possibly use this time.

In my mind I was writing a mental list of things we'd need to buy this time around. I was eating healthy, avoiding food dyes and feta cheese. My husband didn't know that I could not have feta cheese when he bought me my favorite Greek salad on the way to a date night concert… so I picked out every single piece, not wanting to cause anything to go wrong by eating a piece of cheese…. how simple it seemed then, before the terrible happened.

I was getting more rest, going to bed earlier, peeing more and drinking tons of water to stay hydrated. I was scanning Google every night in bed, telling my husband that the baby was a size of a bean this week and next week the size of a blueberry, could he believe that? I was telling him in a joking way, "I can't fold laundry tonight, I'm busy building a baby…"

We planned when and how we'd announce to our family and friends that we were expecting. I researched it on Pinterest and Google Images… I was going to be a bumblebee Mama To Bee on Halloween, when we would be 10 weeks pregnant. Now I'm dreading that holiday. It'll be a reminder.

I'm realizing there will be these reminders for a while. The due date. The announcement date. The date we found out. Etc. They will keep happening, without me even realizing it.

We were excited, happy, overjoyed. We were planning and talking and referencing things. My husband texted me the day after we found out with the home pregnancy. He was at work and texted me saying he saw our family picture on his desk and thought it was so cool and weird that that is not his whole family, since there was one growing in me.

This baby was not even here, and won't be…. yet we have memories of it. It's hard to let those go just because the screen says it isn't so, it's not meant to be.

We took the pictures. We took the one of the positive pregnancy test. The test that I couldn't throw away, that is still in the bathroom drawer, where I kept it and kept looking at it every other day for those few weeks, just making sure it was real, that it was happening. We have the picture of the two of us, huge grins on our face, three fingers held up proudly, so happy to add a third child to our mix. There's the one of me standing tall and proud, teeny tiny belly protruding out, with three fingers held out front of it. My smile is priceless in this picture. I was elated to be a momma again. The picture of our wedding champagne toast glasses, filled with orange juice, our tradition with each of our pregnancies in the past.

Now I wonder, what do I do with these pictures? They are sad to me now. Those happy feelings are gone. It's like we aren't even those people who we were a few short weeks ago. I wonder sometimes if that part even happened. It's like it happened in a bubble, or in a snowplow… all the glitter was there at one point, but when it's shaken up everything falls to the ground and goes back to some form of normal.

The physical pain was very difficult. Physically feeling and seeing the insides leaving my body was excruciating. On day one it was cramping. Day two it was severe cramping and contraction-like pain, horrible. Day three I felt a ton better, then at night I had more severe cramping and clotting.  And so on for a week… It's a slow, painful process where you wonder if you'll get through it or if you've ever felt pain so bad as this.

But the emotional part of this… the part where I imagine a baby, a real baby, one that would make me a parent again, a being that we created out of love, that's the worst part. That's the hardest stuff. That's the part you don't let go of easily.

In my heart, we were having a baby. Yes, we were scared, I was nervous about the "what ifs?" But deep down I believed it would be OK. And then it's not OK, in an instant. And that is sad and scary and terrible to go through. It's unfair.

I'm already seeing that nothing makes it better but love and support from others, and time. Time heals everything, I am a believer in time making things better. Someday I'm going to understand this. Or maybe I won't. Who knows. Right now, it makes no sense to me… but someday I hope to be at peace with this. Someday I'll find a reason in my own heart and be OK with that reason somehow.

For now, I grieve the loss of a dream, the sadness of losing something I wonder if I ever really had to begin with.

I put one foot in front of the other and I stay strong. Like all the other women out there who have gone through this difficult thing, this that makes no sense to us when we are desperately trying to figure it out. I stand tall and face the world, because I know that the sun will be there shining upon us. I trust that God has a plan, that He will take care of things. Because that's life, that's the world we live in. Unfair things happen. It's just part of this life. I do believe that this will make me stronger, our relationship stronger. It has to. Otherwise the pain and strife was for nothing, and I refuse to allow this experience to be swiftly forgotten.

I will learn something for this. I'll use this experience to help other moms somehow. Even if we just start talking about it… that's a step. I wonder sometimes if I had to go through this in order to help other moms, like I try doing. I will never know, but I'll certainly try to help.

We had plans. To be parents again. To give our kids a baby sibling. To wear maternity clothing, to buy a maternity winter jacket because I don't have one. To find an extra Christmas stocking. To tell our family and friends in some creative way. To have another child to love, to hug, to brag about, to post pictures of. We had plans to build our family. We wanted to be a party of five instead of four. And now that's missing, it's gone, incomplete.

Yet we have to move on and try to find peace with this.
And we will. Because we're parents. We have to keep on keeping on.
We will stay strong because that's our only choice.
And because we're Mom and Dad to two beautiful children already.
Because we know life is grand, despite its ups and downs.

We're moms, strong is in our nature. It's who we are. We get through stuff. It's what we do.

We focus on what we have, what we're grateful for in having two beautiful children.

We remember that all great things that are solid and strong start with a little love. And we have a lot of love here… so someday we'll grow something big, someday we'll see how strong we really are.

"Now I've waited and I'll wait some more

Won't see me knocking on another door

But all this is crazy and amazing

There's only one half of us that I'm saving
So I'm praying just to let it go

Watch from a distance just to see you glow

With seven hundred places seven hundred faces more

And all of your ways and all your thunder

Got me in a haze running for cover

Where we gonna go from here

Where we gonna go from here?"
-Mat Kearney

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