Thursday, July 8, 2010

2 Steps Forward and 1 Step Back

I have been thinking about this post for days.  The reason is, I thought I was doing better.
Oh yes, there were the pangs.  A newborn sighting.  A firm pregnant belly.  But it wasn't occupying all my thoughts anymore.
But right now, the pangs have intensified.
One reason: Lilly turned 2.

Birthdays are emotional for me.  Not my own, (yet)  but my kids' birthdays.  If you've read my Birth Day posts, you know I can work up some tears for that special day.
This time however, it was more than just her birthday.  When James turned 2, I had another baby waiting to pop out.  When William turned 2, I had another baby waiting to pop out.  And when Lilly turned 2, I was supposed to have another baby waiting to pop out.
It was an ugly reminder of what should have been.

I spent much of her birthday in tears.  I felt out of control and irrational.
I felt like she is my last baby and 2 is nearly grown up.
I told you, irrational.
And in the days after, all day long I walked around with tears just behind my eyes.  You know, when they are waiting to spill over for any, and every, and no reason at all?  I have mentioned before that I like to feel in control.  So this feeling, this emotional instability, is rather a nightmare.

There is more to the story, though.  And this is the part that is hard for me to write about. Because sharing  the deep parts of our hearts is scary.  But my friend, Tammy, recently reminded me that our pain can be an encouragement to others.  It is helpful and healing to know someone else has walked the path we are walking.
And I think about all the blog posts that I found right after I miscarried and how much they helped me.  So I'll write this in the hopes that there is someone who needs to hear it.

2 weeks ago or so, I was late.  Only a day.  But I know.  Each time I have known.  Sometimes I don't even wait until I am late to take a test.  Aaron says I am crazy, but I know my body.  Whatever.
So this time I was right again.  I was joyful.
But then, I was sad.  Because I knew I couldn't call Aaron with the news and expect him to jump up and down.
Aaron and I are in 2 very different places right now.
He is not ready to go through this again.
He can still hardly talk about what happened.
He was the one holding me while I wept in the shower.  He was sitting next to me in the hospital.  An awful reminder of that first time he sat next to me in the hospital, holding a newborn  James in his arms.
He is scared.  And he can't bear to see me hurt.
And he can't really understand why I want to go through all this again.
Because there is always the "what if?"

And you can say what you will about faith and trusting God, and letting go and all of those things, but a husband's job is to take care of his wife.  He wants to protect her, to shield her from pain and suffering.  I imagine it is horribly hard to watch your wife cry and know there is really nothing you can do about it.

I read a blog post shortly after I miscarried that was like a lightening bolt from God.  It was written by a husband whose wife had lost their baby at 7 months.  He wrote about how men and women grieve differently.  He wrote of when he was ready to go back to work, had to go back to work, because he had to do something, his wife felt like he was a traitor.  But that was how he dealt with it.  He needed to take care  of his family.
Reading that piece gave me the grace I needed not to push Aaron to talk when he wasn't ready.  To say, "when?" and "let's have a plan," and "what's the outcome going to be?"
I was able to just let him be.  It was, and still is, hard.

But that day, when I felt like I couldn't call with my news because he would be stressed and worried and anxious, I felt alone.
The next day a very painful and intense period began and I knew it was over.  Before it really even began, I was done with another pregnancy.
My doctor told me it probably happens far more than we realize, and that I would more than likely be experiencing intense hormonal shifts.
She was right.

Those darn tears.  It was the hormones.  But also the questions it brought up.  Maybe this isn't meant to be?  Maybe we are done?  Maybe my body doesn't do babies anymore.
It made the pain of my miscarriage feel fresh again.
It made me tired.
It made me wonder if there was something wrong with me.

And I still wonder, am I crazy?  Should anyone feel this upset over a miscarriage that happened 5 months ago?  I don't know because no one really talks about it.
No one talks about how the husband deals with a miscarriage his wife has.
Or how they deal with it together.

So I am.
In the only way I know how, by putting it out here and baring it all.  I feel vulnerable,  I feel weak.  I have spent a lot of time in prayer but I don't have any magic answers.  I just have to walk through this valley and know that the Lord is my Shepherd.

Of course, coupled with the fresh pain is the guilt.  I have gotten pregnant and stayed pregnant 3 times.  I have 3 healthy children.  People are suffering with far greater losses than this one.  Shouldn't I be moving on?
Yeah, probably.  And I think I was.
But things happen that take you back and you have to start all over again.
So I am.  With you.  Hope that is all right.

One of my favorite quotes by C S Lewis says this, "we read to know we are not alone."
I guess that is why I write too.
Love from,

PS, I had Aaron preview this before I published it because that is only fair.  He is a pretty private person, so letting me share this is generous of him and I am grateful.


Betsi* said...

Dearest, sweetest Darling,
I get it. I really do. I had one of those, Oh my goodness, moments just a month ago. Where the pregnancy test said ever so faintly positive and yet it was all over the next day.
It may not help, but some how it helps me, to acknowledge that this "positive" did mean another baby. You did concieve, but for whatever reasons, it didn't "stick".
We, like you guys, are not trying. But we "fertile myrtles" become more aware of our conceptions after we have lost our "viable pregnancies".
All these terms. But let me share with you something God showed me while I was miscarrying months ago:
The joy we will feel when we get to heaven and see our babies, known and unknown, will be unsurpassed by the pain we feel here.
When we get to hold these little souls to our hearts and say, Yes, I am your mama, will be the ultimate in maternal existance.
Because, whether or not we could deliver them into this world, we helped create them and have brought them to our Father.
I love you, Sweet. Take care and know that you are precious to Him and to us here.

katie said...

Thanks for your honesty, Greta. It bring healing even to this mama 6 years later.
Much love,

Kylie said...

Thank you for your honesty it inspires me and compelled me to comment. I think it is so important for women to share this common occurrence with each other so we are not alone. So many people you see everyday have been down this road too and as you open up you'll find others do too. Sharing is healing for you and for them. I miscarried my first 4 years ago and now have 2 beautiful daughters here with me. My first pregnancy after the miscarriage was scary for us with the what ifs but the cliche better to have loved and lost than never to have loved felt true to me. I do look forward to the day I get to meet that soul (and possibly others I don't) in heaven. You'll always remember, but the pain will dull.

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful for you to talk about something that most people don't, especially in the blogosphere. I am currently suffering from some post-partum, and I look around at all these blogs where everyone jumps right back into regular life (and regular jeans) right after pregnancy and I feel alone, so it is important to remember that there are others out there who are suffering, and nice to be reminded that the Lord is our shepherd.

Life with Littles said...

I'm so sorry dear friend. I can't wait to see you in August and give you a big hug. I know how you are feeling although mine were before the other kids it is tough and I am still sad about them.
Remember that the Lord is with you in your suffering. He understands even when you don't and Jesus is praying for you right now. You are so loved more than you could ever imagine.

Kristine said...

Greta, I keep deleting my words because they sound so dumb, but I am deeply sorry, dear friend. It brings back memories of my own loss and brings tears. Your transparency and vulnerable words are healing to you, to others. I wish I could give you a hug and have the perfect Scripture to bring you comfort. You do have my prayers for you and your family and my tender affection.

Heather at Blessed Little Nest said...

i think it's wonderful that you are writing about your feelings. it does help with healing others and yourself. you should never feel like you need to "get over it". ever.

it's a part of your story and that is ok. the time will come when it will be less painful, but it will always be part of your story.

i'm not sure why, in a society that finds it ok to talk about just about every.little.thing that it is taboo to talk about death and miscarriage. it's as though people freeze because they are so freaked out they don't know what to do. can you tell i think that's crap. death is part of our life and if we could all just get over our bad selves then maybe we could sit and talk and help each other and this broken world would be a little bit better.

ok. i'm off my soap box now. :)

Erin McDonald said...

My Dear friend, I am so sorry we had to go through this together but we are sisters and we go through the tuffest of time together and I am so glad that we are in this together! You are so much better at putting your feelings down in words and well you hit it on the button! I know just what you mean!! Only I don't have those three little angels to remind me every day! I want you to know your writing although it brings me to tears, no weeping it's in these times I feel healing! It hurts to feel this way but like after a good up chuck you some how feel better. and that is how I feel after a good cry over our lost little ones. I am so sad that we won't ever get to know them or hear their laugh or get to hug them. It makes me feel giped cheeted and although it's not true forgotten. I feel good and then it hits me like a punch to the gut and I want to scream then vomit and then that same guilt hits me too, what the heck is my problem? there are so many who have it so much worse and here I am in a puddle of tears. Then I remember that God loves me and He loves that baby so much more than I ever could. That he has a plan for my life and that I need to Praise Him even in this hard time for I KNOW SHOM I HAVE BELIEVED AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO KEEP THAT WHICH I HAVE COMMITED UNTO HIM AGAINST THAT DAY! I can trust Him. and I know He will keep me until that day when I meet Him in the air.
I love you Greta! Thanks for sharing and for listening!