Something really crazy, unexpected, and exciting happened 4 months ago. I got pregnant. I thought last Thursday I would be making a really happy announcement to all of you. Instead, I left my doctors office with the sad news that the 16 week old little baby growing inside of me had died in the previous weeks; just about the time of my last doctor's visit. It was horribly unexpected, as everything had been going well and I was continuing to experience all of the symptoms of pregnancy. It is just one of those things, those crazy twists and turns that life brings.
I know this is an extremely personal topic, one that people don't often discuss. But, life isn't always pretty. I am hurting. I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't focus, I can't sew. It's 5:30am when I am starting this. All I can do right now is sit, and think, and write.
Finding out I was pregnant was extremely scary, but very quickly that fear turned to excitement. I don't know if it was the hormones, the realization that I'd have a little person around to care for and love, or what it was... but my perspective on having my own kids and my life changed. I had this wonderful little treasure to look forward to. And so quickly, and with no say in the matter, it was all over. We waited the typical 12 weeks to tell our loved ones, and then started making some tentative plans... Finding out the baby had died but I hadn't actually miscarried was news I could have never prepared myself for. I've spent the last two days going through the very painful process of taking misoprostol. My body just wanted to hang onto that little one so bad... I was not prepared for the amount of physical pain it brought on, but in a way it was cathartic, it felt like a physical manifestation of the pain that was happening in my heart.
Everyone keeps telling me that I did nothing wrong - and I know that's the truth. But, it's impossible not to categorically analyze everything you ate, that drink you had before you knew you were pregnant, those cramps you thought were growing pains... and feel that in some way you failed. You failed the new life inside you, yourself, your partner, your parents and loved ones. I know it's not true. But, it's how I feel right now.
The last two days have been something I could have never prepared for. When I got pregnant, I knew the statistics about miscarriage, and thought it would be something I could handle, but I didn't know I'd feel like this. I definitely was not expecting the news this far along.
I didn't get a chance to know the little person inside me, but I had all of these ideas of how my life would change, a new sense of purpose, wondering who this little person would be, what they might be like. And now it's all gone. I think that is the worst part: crushing disappointment. The names we thought of, the plans we made, it's all gone, just like that. Four months, gone.
Life is like that. You can do everything right, and things can still go terribly wrong. It's unpredictable, chaotic. I don't believe that some higher power is controlling the twists and turns of my life. I believe that sometimes horrible things just happen. It's not fate, it's not always a case of cause and effect, shitty things just happen, and there is no reason, and there is nothing you can do about it. Those are the hardest tragedies to understand and cope with. You just feel powerless.
I am trying not to be angry. It seems so cruel and unfair, and I sometimes question "why me?" But that is just life. I am lucky to have an amazing husband who is strong when I can't be. He is supportive and understanding, and every time we encounter hardship, we just grow closer. I'm lucky to have a mom who understands me and brings me homemade Sheppard Pie... My friends are amazing, and know just what to say and when to just be silent. My dog offers comic relief and snuggles and kisses, and never leaves my side. I'm a lucky person. But I still hurt a lot right now.
I knew the minute I looked at the ultrasound screen what had happened; it's an image I can't help but replay in my head. The first thing I thought was, "I am not going to be able to make it through this day." But I did. I made it through a horrible, painful, awful day. And I made it through the next one, and I'll get through today too. And each day will bring new challenges, but it will also get a little easier.
Pain has it's place. It has a value in life. It hurts so bad right now, but it will get better. I feel like I've gained a lot of life experience through pain over the last decade. In my early twenties, I lived with a man in the beginning grips of schizophrenia. I never thought that he and I would ever get past that fear and pain, but that experience made us both wiser and stronger, and though we spent years apart, we have always remained close. My brother struggled with a very serious addiction for years. The pain and horror of addiction tore us all to pieces, but we all made it out and are so much wiser and stronger and closer now. I have had my own personal tragedies, loss of friends & loved ones, struggle & strife, and each experience gave me new perspective and a new sense of strength. And now, I am experiencing the loss of a baby that never had a chance to be. It will get better, and in the end, I will feel stronger.
Pain does some amazing things. Pain bonds people, pain gives you the ability to really empathize, and it shows you just how strong you can be. My experiences, both good and bad, make me who I am, and I really like the person I have grown into. These things have hurt, but they have also given me perspective over life and the things that are truly important. I wouldn't trade these experiences for the world.
I am taking some time. I hope to get back to work on Monday, but I am trying to give myself whatever I need. This process is as hard on your emotional-self as it is on your physical-self. I have asked my friends and family to not send their sympathies, I just can't handle talking about it to them right now and I don't want to feel pity. But this, somehow, just feels right. No need to smile and say "I'll be ok." I can just say all of the things that need to be said right here.
Thanks to everyone for your support.