As I begin this post I’m not sure if it will be the last in this little series or not…we’ll see how much Gwen lets me write this morning 🙂 To catch up, you should first read Part 1 and Part 2 of my story of pregnancy loss.
We left off with the start of “life after miscarriage”, right after my D&C procedure.
I’d like to address the roller coaster of emotions and crazy thoughts that I had. Both during that initial week of “shock” and the weeks/months that followed. Right or wrong, this is how I felt.
First, disbelief. “You’ve got to be kidding me”. I knew that miscarriage was more common than most people realize, but still…it’s the minority. The majority of pregnancies go well. Why did I have to be in the minority? Figures.
Second, anger. Mostly at God. Yes, I said it. I’m a Christian and I love Jesus very much. But I don’t always like what He allows to happen in my life. There are so many “bad” parents out there who neglect their kids, don’t even want them in the first place, etc….yet they get pregnant and pop out babies left and right. They don’t deserve the blessing of a baby. I do. (As if I have the right to determine who should have babies and who shouldn’t. I am not the author and giver of life.)
Third, shame/blame. It’s my fault. I must’ve done something wrong to cause this. Maybe it was the trip to Napa we took before I found out I was pregnant. Maybe I had one too many glasses of wine and that caused the miscarriage. Despite what my doctor said and what all the online articles said, I wanted to believe that there was a specific reason so that I could prevent it from happening again in the future. Except in reality, there’s nothing I could’ve done to prevent it from happening. And there’s nothing I can do to prevent it from happening again in the future. I don’t have control.
Fourth, jealousy. All of sudden everyone and their sister was pregnant. Waddling mamas-to-be all around me. Cute babies being pushed in a stroller or carried in the grocery store. They followed me everywhere. They all had what I didn’t. And quite frankly, it sucked. What’s worse though than strangers having babies all around you? Your best friend getting pregnant a few weeks after you lose yours. Yep. Let me be clear though…I was legitimately and sincerely happy for her, but it made me even more sad for me. It was really a shame …when I first announced to her that I was pregnant, she wasn’t yet and it was hard for her to fully rejoice with me because she had been struggling to get pregnant at the time. Then I lost mine, and she got pregnant and I couldn’t fully rejoice with her. That’s not the way it was supposed to happen. It’s very hard to “rejoice with those who rejoice” when you’re mourning over the very thing they’re rejoicing over.
Fifth, guilt over my grief. Why would I feel guilty? Because there are so many other people who have it worse than me. Some women lose their babies farther along in pregnancy, or even during birth, so I shouldn’t feel so bad losing mine at 6 weeks, right? Hogwash. Yes it’s true that there will always be someone “worse off” than you. But why do we feel the need to compare? I mean, really. Did that thought make me feel any better about my own loss? Not at all. My feelings of grief were just as valid as anyone else’s. The only time my feelings or attitude wouldn’t be valid, would be if I was complaining about not being able to afford $300 Frye boots, when there are people in Chile and Guatemala who I’ve met and spent time with who have so much less than I do, but are way more content and satisfied than I am. In that case, by all means, tell me “there are people who have it worse off than you, so suck it up”. But when it comes to legitimate pain and suffering, stop comparing. (For the record, no one actually said that to me, I said it to myself…and had this argument with myself.)
And finally, overwhelming sadness. There were many tears. I spent a lot of time listening to sad worship songs. I had a playlist on Spotify. Why would I do that? Because that’s how I was feeling. When you’re in the pit of despair you don’t feel like singing “Oh happy day” or “Sing Sing Sing”. And that’s okay. Listening to the hard songs helped me put words to my feelings, as I sat before God in prayer. Instead of rushing through my grief to get to the other side and be full of joy and hope again, I sat in my grief for awhile and let God do the comforting and the healing. Reading Psalms of lament also helped tremendously. To see what other Christians went through. To hear how they responded to God. I knew I wasn’t alone. Definitely not the first to question God and let him know how I felt about my circumstances, that’s for sure. I could write a whole series on the importance of lament, but I’ll save that for another time.
But thanks be to God, I did eventually “get to the other side” of grief and had my hope restored again. But it’s not what you might think. Gwen is not the happy ending to this story. Getting pregnant again and having a baby was not the solution to my suffering. Because where would I be if she wasn’t here? What if I didn’t get pregnant again?
Aaaaaaand to be continued….next one will be the last, I promise!