This summer I experienced a range of emotions. On a scale of 1 to 10 I think I hit every single number. Before I get into the nitty gritty I'm going to just give it to you - This is a post about miscarriage and hope. There will be plenty of side notes to explain my feelings and emotions, so be prepared. I will start from the beginning:
A little while ago David and I found out we were going to have a baby. MAN! Another baby! You bet I was excited. I immediately started "fake online shopping" (that's what I call it when I get online and put every single item that I want into the cart then delete it before I spend our life savings). Also, I looked at baby names, got out some old gift cards from my last pregnancy that still had money on them, and started thinking about how I was going to handle two little munchkins. I did all of this stuff the first time around but I wasn't any less excited. We decided to keep this one a secret a little longer than last time so it was on the hush hush and we went about our days. Not too long after we found out, I had a very personal and spiritual experience that led me to believe I was not going to be allowed to continue that pregnancy. I told David and he just said to have hope.
*-Cut out really emotional details-* After some blood tests (Thank you visiting teacher for watching Grace while I went alone!) we found out my pregnancy was going to end. Bam! Pow! Crush! It was over. Then I did something dumb. I got online and started reading. When does that ever end well? (Side Note: Why do we feel like we have to share our stories online? Is it the anonymity? I decided I prefer to tell the people I know and love so they can help me.) The posts were all full of happy endings, sad endings, and instructions on how to deal with it. I just wanted to tell everyone and tell nobody at the same time. We decided only to tell our parents, two close friends, and my Relief Society President (so she could help me with some of my responsibilities in RS). Why? Because that is protocol. You don't tell people. (Side Note: Who wrote that rule? I can understand that some people like to grieve differently. Some prefer silence, some don't want to burden others, some yell it from the roof tops.) Well, I will tell you somethings: I did NOT want to be alone. Being alone with my thoughts is one of my biggest fears when I'm not in a positive mood. David came home from work really early to bring me ice cream and take care of me. (Side Note: He is amazing. He did 1,000 favors for me and didn't ask for a single thing in return even though he was feeling the same crushed feelings as me.)
Nobody informed me what I was going to go through so here is what I learned while on the journey:
- It wasn't going to be quick.
- You are reminded about it every moment of the day because of the physical maintenance and pain that occurs.
- Crying may happen at any time. In church? Doesn't matter. Trying to have a normal conversation? Doesn't matter. In public? Doesn't matter.
You bet I was emotional! I felt like I was sinking. Have you ever seen one of those huge freight-liners carrying cargo containers? Well, each time I cried, one of my shipping containers fell into the water and I couldn't pull it back up. Eventually all my sanity, happy, and positive containers were gone and I was left with a growing number of pessimistic and unhappy feelings. Sink, sink, sink. There is no other word for how I felt. Also, I was tired. Really tired. Tired of trying to keep up with my daily life, tired of getting up in the morning, tired of being a happy mom. Grace and I watched movies all day and ate really unhealthy foods and I kind of lost it for a while. Then the questions came. A few other people had found out what was going on they wanted to know. The most common question I got was, "How far along were you?" OUCH. Unless the person was a super close friend or family, I didn't think it was relevant. This question made me feel guilty that I was so sad because I wasn't that far along. All of a sudden I couldn't validate my feelings because I hadn't suffered as much as someone else who had lost their child later. I felt guilty for be sad. So now I was depressed for being depressed. I thought, "I shouldn't be sad. This is easy compared to other people. Buck up." (Side Note: This is not to say that it isn't harder if the pregnancy was more progressed, because I can't imagine that kind of pain!) But I tell you what, everything was real. Real to me and real to David. I told a few people how far along I was just to quench their curiosity and I felt even worse when I just got an "Oh" in response. In my opinion, don't ask that question unless you are there to comfort them. "Oh" is not a comforting response. I felt like I had to tell people that I was over it and it didn't matter anymore so I wouldn't be perceived as weak or wallowing in self pity. Well it did matter.
A week after I found out the bad news, I passed my second kidney stone this year. I was an emotional wreck and the pits to be around. I'm lucky we were visiting family so they could take care of Grace and I could do what I wanted, which was nothing. If you have ever gone through pain, I'm sure you have felt the "nothing" stage. Even though things sucked, I decided to move on.
After a while I started becoming more optimistic (but still sad, the sadness lasted a while). I have a child that I love so much and I needed to be there for her. I have a husband who needs me to be here. I decided that everyone is allowed to be tired sometimes without feeling guilty. Everyone is allowed to be sad without feeling guilty. There should be no comparisons when someone is in pain. So I let myself be sad and tired.
Well, I sank for a while. Then just a short while later I found out I was pregnant again. I didn't let myself get excited for 4 days because the last one didn't last long. After the fourth day hit I decided that it was awesome and I was going to be happy, no matter what happened. I started getting excited again and became a happier person. Turns out this one wasn't going to last either. I didn't tell a single soul besides my mom and dad and obviously David. It hurt and I wasn't happy about it.
What happened next? General Conference. I don't know if it was just me needing to hear what I prayed for or if this really happened, but I felt like Hope was a big theme. David had been telling me to be hopeful for a very long time and now the Lord was telling me that I needed it. You know what? Living with hope is a lot better than living without it. What are some things I hoped for? Happiness, peace, and love. Well guess what. I already have it. Through the whole process David had given me blessings, my parents called me to tell me they love me, my sister-in-law called me just so I could talk, someone brought me a dinner, and I have an amazing little family.
Conference weekend was full of heartbreaking news and some of the best talks I have ever heard. I am grateful for the peace the Lord has brought me through my never-ending prayer. One day I just sat down and started crying, praying, and telling my Heavenly Father what I was going through. It is great to get those feelings out and tell the person who knows. During the prayer I had one of those "Someone has already gone through this. He knows how bad it hurts and He wants you to be hopeful." kind of feelings. It is so true, ladies and gentlemen. So true.
After the second time around a woman I hardly know and who has only met me once asked me if we were thinking of having more kids any time soon. (Side Note: I don't think this is ever a good question). But instead of feeling hurt and unhappy, which is what I imagined I would feel, I surprisingly felt just fine. Thanks General Conference and David for the hope. Without hope for better days, what would I have to live for?
I know this story is kind of choppy and sad, sorry. But I assure you I am not looking for pity or attention or looking to make you sad. I think it is important for people to do what makes them feel happier after something bad happens. Telling my story is what is making me happy because I want to spread hope.
I want all of you to know that you are allowed to feel tired. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to cry. Don't compare your situation to other people or let guilt get in the way of your grieving. At the same time, don't think you have it worse or nobody knows what you are going through. There are two people who know and they want you to be happy and have hope. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have created an eternal plan. If you don't know what it is, visit lds.org and read up. I can guarantee it will make you feel better.