life after miscarriage: four months later

Three and a half really. I’m rounding up.

BenjiThis one has had a rough week, my poor old boy.

RobinThis one has an innovative flair for decor styling. She’s an out of the box thinker.

BenjiFrog-doggin’

I’ve heard said a few times in the context of a yoga studio that the highest form of human intelligence and spirituality is to observe yourself without judgment. I spend an awful lot of my life observing myself with the intent of fixing it up. I am in constant acknowledgement of my faults but only with the purpose of progression. It’s become easier for me to observe myself physically (especially in that same context of a yoga studio) without judgment. Not so much with my thoughts, however. It is often a good decision both for myself and for others to correct angry & hurt thoughts and redirect them into something positive. But for today — for right now, I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to let them be.

I hate that it’s seemingly unacceptable for women to talk openly about the frustrations of trying to conceive. Save for online forums filled to the brim with neurotic acronyms (TTC, TWW, CM, BD, HPT, FX) and sickeningly cute phrases (~*~baby dust!~*~) there aren’t very many “safe places” to spill your ugly guts. I hate that when someone asks me about our decisions to try conceive I am both elated to have someone acknowledge what fills my mind every damn day and also terrified to speak because I don’t know how much I can say. “Why yes, we’re having sex all the time! Check out this app on my phone – see all those hearts during my ovulation week? We should have a pretty good shot this cycle, right??” Or how about, “I’m feeling pretty shitty right now; my period showed up two days late yesterday and another pregnancy announcement is on my Facebook.” And there’s always, “DO NOT DISTURB: CURRENTLY SURROUNDED BY THREE NEGATIVE TESTS COVERED IN MY URINE” Not exactly the most palatable coffee shop talk. Lord knows my nearest and dearest would give me a shoulder if I asked. I know they would. But I can’t bring myself to do that to them. You see, one of the many side effects of miscarriage is the bubble has been popped. Pregnancy has lost its mysterious innocence and the sparkling magic is gone. My limbs are made of needles and I’m walking through a balloon shop, carefully turning my fingertips in toward myself as to not scratch your rose-tinted glasses.

I hate that I am a mom in almost all that I do and yet my arms are empty. I hate that I see a couple date for three months, playing at “House” and deciding that “OMG babies are sooooo cute, let’s have one!”. Buy a damn goldfish.

I hate that I can’t hate them. Because the second I see another ultrasound or a water-breaking update my first prayer is “Please God let them meet their baby.”

I hate that my loved ones love on me and distract me with lunches & hugs and for just one moment I am filled before emptying out yet again.

I hate how this experience has highlighted what little trust I have in anyone or anything.

I hate that I am left to write these things because words are thickly cemented in my throat.

I hate that I am lonely and want to be left alone.

I hate that even I press down on these keys I am mentally trying to shield you from my sharp edges. My instinct is to reassure you that it’s not always this heavy and please don’t worry about me. I’m looking on the bright side, there’s a silver lining, everything for a reason, can I have a drink or five?

12 thoughts on “life after miscarriage: four months later

  1. Talk about it. There are so many others who have walked similar paths. Feeling equally as lonely. Our society has weird and messed up rules about what is and isn’t okay to talk about. It sounds like you are navigating these waters by being true to yourself. The whole experience of conceiving, carrying, delivering and parenting are terrifying. I have never felt so out of control.

    When we were trying to conceive (over a year long process) my fella would take me out for ‘Menses Margaritas’ to help soften the blow of yet another unfruitful cycle.

    Then when I was pregnant, I had tons of anxiety. I hate not being in control. To help, I would sing, “baby, baby, baby grow” to the tune of Justin Bieber’s song. Silly. However, I think these (and other) rituals helped me a lot.

    I hope you find rituals to soothe your spirit.

    (Hugs) from an IG admirer.

    1. Thank you so much Rochelle! I’m glad you mentioned rituals, they can be so helpful in dealing with stress and anxiety. Finding a certain mantra each time I’m in yoga seems to help quite a bit. I’ll take the mantra with me throughout the day like a prayer.

  2. Hey girl,
    Who cares about what society thinks about? Say the ugly, say the painful, say the feelings that you want. Get it all out, because there’s someone out there who’s going through the same things, but isn’t brave enough to say so. I’m not worried about you, because I’ve read your posts and I know you’re a strong woman and can handle this, even though it’s hard, even though it hurts. You’re gonna be a mom! It’s going to happen because you have faith and it will happen.
    But if those words don’t make you feel a smidge better, I usually think of this: someone, somewhere is having a shittier day than mine and to quote Scarlet O’Hara, “tomorrow is another day.”

    Heather

    1. Thank you Heather! One of my anchors in this storm is knowing that years from now we’ll have our family and will be able to look back to now with at least a bit more clarity. You’re right in that focusing on that doesn’t always help in the bad days. But those bad days eventually come to an end!

  3. This is very timely, i was so thinking about your today! I wanted to text you for an update on the baby-making process, but i thought, that’s way too personal to casually text someone! I’m so glad you’re sharing, going through infertility is very hard on a couple. You shouldn’t have to hold all those feelings to the two of you. Blog away. My friend Molly has an incredible story around her son, she also lost a baby and it took her awhile to conceive, she’s an infertility advocate, if you ever want to chat her up, I’d love to introduce you too!

  4. I love that you shared this. And in response to the end about mentally trying to shield us even through this post: Don’t. You are welcome to hit us in the face with all the negative, ugly feelings! (Just not literally! I really can’t handle a punch to the jaw so close to the wedding ;) )

    You are a strong and determined lady, Rachel! And I love to read the humor in your post, even when it’s woven in with the heartbreak. I hate that your first pregnancy happened the way it did. I hate that you should have someone in your arms right now. It breaks my heart! But I assure you, there is still a plan for you as a mother! And though you might disagree on a hard day, you’ve got to keep trying!

    I’d love to hear about your heart-covered calendar of woo-hoo and your urine sticks!
    Also, “baby dust”? Is that like…a thing?

    1. Ugh, baby dust. It’s meant to be a sort of comfort phrase and people will say “FX & baby dust!” at the end of their posts or in reply to someone else. Meaning “I have my fingers crossed for you and am sending good thoughts/vibes/prayers/wishes your way” And if someone finds comfort or positivity in that then feel free! But I can’t help but recoil a bit at the cuteness haha (I’ve even see small businesses send tiny packets of glitter/”baby dust” as part of their packaging for TTC items…) Just, uh, not my cup of tea ;)

  5. I wish I had something profound or insightful to say, but I don’t actually think that is why you wrote this. I feel like you needed to say it– and I think you’re brave for saying it. I respect you a whole lot.
    And while I know that I don’t/ can’t truly know what you are going through, I can/will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. I don’t have profound words nor do I know your pain specifically… Blog posts like these instill courage.. I know that’s not your intent was writing this… Your vulnerability and the words you choose to write give me a little bit more courage to maybe share my story one day. Allow yourself to feel those deep hurts and don’t be concerned about sharing – you’re not going to scare anyone away. I have no doubt that I was meant to find your blog and read the words you write and I believe for you that there are many others who do and will feel the same.
    Praying for you!
    ❤️

    1. Thank you Amanda! I worry sometimes that people will tire of the subject matter or maybe think that I’m attention-seeking when I write about things like this. But then I have to remember that they are not who I’m writing it for. I’m writing it for me and for others that can relate or find solidarity in the sharing of a story. I’m so glad you found yourself here too!

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