*This is the third in a series of posts about my experience of having a miscarriage.*
I consider myself a strong person. I like to think I can handle stressful situations with minimal interruption to my peace of mind. When something crappy happens, I might complain for a moment, but I've gotten pretty good at fixing the problem or learning how to ignore it. I don't like letting the bad overshadow the good. With that said, having a miscarriage really tested my abilities. I tried to be strong, but it was tough. I tried not to let the stress get to me, but it won sometimes. I think part of that was due to the hormonal changes I was experiencing, and the other part was due to just the extremely sad nature of the situation. I thought I had created life with my best friend, but I had failed. It was a devastating realization.
My first taste of not having my emotions in check happened one morning when a very sweet coworker asked me how I was feeling. I had spent the previous day at home, sobbing a lot, trying to take in the news my doctor had just told me about my molar pregnancy. It was one week after having the D and C, and I felt like everything was crashing down. I needed the day at home by myself to grieve and let out some frustration. My coworker thought I was just home sick with a cold, so when I got into the office the next day, she stopped by to see if I was feeling better. I was angry and sad, and I snapped at her. Without looking away from my computer screen I said, "I'll be fine." I was uncharacteristically curt, and my tone wasn't friendly. She reiterated that she heard I was sick and just wanted to make sure I was okay, and I repeated, "I'll be fine." As soon as she left my desk, I felt horrible. I had been rude, when all she was trying to do was check on me. No one at my office knew the troubles I was having, and I wasn't about to lay it all out there while I was still so fragile. I wrote her an email later in the day to apologize for being short, but I really didn't give an explanation why. I just couldn't talk about it yet.
Two weeks after the D and C, Meezy and I and a bunch of friends went out to dinner. One of my good friends from high school was there, and after everyone else ordered a cocktail, she ordered water. We gave her a sideways glance, and she confirmed our suspicions: she was pregnant. Of course we were elated for her and her husband. It was no secret that they had been trying for months and had previously been feeling discouraged about their lack of success. Everyone at the table was thrilled to hear their good news, including me. I could feel a little bit of sadness welling up inside me, however, and I tried my best to subdue it. But, when she announced her due date, October 27th, I couldn't hold it in any longer. That was the exact due date I had been given, before we knew my pregnancy had failed. What are the odds? The tears started flowing and I was completely embarrassed. My pregnant friend had no idea what we had been going through, so I had to tell her about everything. I felt horrible about the deep sadness I was experiencing right then, and even more horrible for taking away from her joyous moment. She completely understood why I reacted the way I did, though, but it still didn't make that moment any more bearable.
In the weeks that followed, there were more trying situations. Each time another friend or coworker announced their pregnancy, or talked about their kids, I was reminded of my plight. It's not like I wasn't happy or excited for them; it's just that I was also sad for myself at the same time. I know there are people with much worse situations than mine - years of trying, infertility, multiple miscarriages, stillborn births, etc. I'm not trying to minimize their suffering, or compare my pain to theirs, but this was still a personal tragedy for me. This was still a devastating loss that I had to be reminded of constantly. I needed to grieve.
If there is any redeeming part of this whole situation, it can be found in the realizations I have made. Choosing to have a child is a monumental step in a relationship. The hubby and I decided we were ready, and knew it was what we wanted before we started trying, and having a miscarriage just reinforced this. The emotions we experienced afterwards really showed us how much we truly did want this to happen. Instead of becoming disheartened and withdrawing from the situation, it just made us want it more. If it's possible for love to get stronger, then the love between my husband and I has done just that. I'm so thankful my best friend is the one going through this with me. We've been together through some amazing highs, and now a profound low. The way we've made it through it all, never wavering, has just proven to me that I picked the right one. I can't wait to share this love with our future children.
janet, it's really courageous of you to open up and share your experience like this. while what happened to you (and jeremiah) is intensely personal, you really hit on some universal aspects of our human experience with regards to loss, grief, and resilience. thank you. and i'm so happy to hear the good news about your pregnancy, congratulations to you both!
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