I hadn’t planned on writing more on the subject of miscarriage, but I felt that my last post just left you hanging in the accident-on-the-side-of-the-road feeling with no resolution, no sign of improvement, and no hope for those who may be going through the same thing. So this is partly for those who just want to know where we are, but this is mostly for those who have lost or have that fear dug deeply in their heart with no sign of it being released. This isn’t a fix-all post. I won’t cure you of that ache in your heart, or bring back the hours lost playing out the waiting game, or make the M-Word disappear. This is just one mother to another saying this sucks but you’re not alone.
THE POWER OF WORDS
After the loss of Baby H-G3 was confirmed, I sure had some choice words for the universe. And I said them. I needed to say them. Because sometimes there is strength in words, and expelling a well articulated expletive from your mouth can help you say that you’re not happy with the way things turned out, but you’re going to keep standing and keep moving despite a crummy situation. Miscarriage sucks. Losing a child sucks. And it’s okay to say it like it is.
Once I scooped out some curses from my belly, I’ve found it cathartic to write. This blog space has been one of those outlets, but what was another comfort to me were the words of others. If we had known that something was wrong with the pregnancy, I am certain we wouldn’t have shared our news so publicly – posting through social media and then realizing only a few days later that we had to turn around and share the awful news of our loss in the same public manner. I remember the dread welling up when I realized how many people we would have to tell about our loss. But with the sharing came an out-pouring of encouragement, love, and prayers – all of which helped chip away at that burning ache in my chest.
I eventually purchased a small, simple notebook and began copying down each message and name. My hand cramped up from filling up the pages, but having those words tucked away on tiny pages meant they wouldn’t be lost out in e-space somewhere, but instead close at hand when the Okay Days sunk back into Lousy Days.
FIND YOUR MUSIC
Music has always been a part of my life. I still make mixed CD’s (yes, that probably dates me, but I make a mean mixed CD, friends), and I’m always finding new songs with melodies that haunt my soul, or have lyrics that say something to my heart that I’ve never been able to put in my own words. There are particular songs that will bring me back to distinct memories – road trips, our first house together, the loss of a loved one, living abroad… Music has encased adventures throughout my life, and this season of loss has been no exception. I’ve always been a sucker for a good ol’ fashioned melancholy, soul-searching song (bonus points for a good piano ballad or a powerful female lead with a strong baseline). If you have lost something or someone, go find your music – loud songs to let the anger and frustration seep out, soft songs to just have a good cry, or maybe a song that has lyrics that encourage and lift you up. Everyone’s taste is different, and each stage of life we pass through demands a new soundtrack. Here’s what mine has sounded like lately:
Do it. Be sad. Be angry. Be a normal person who had to overcome a tough situation. I cried a lot at first, and then less. But I found after a week that I was tired of putting on a casual yet strong face for everyone. I hadn’t been by myself since the start of the loss – friends stopped over, the kids were there during the day, or it was Brad and I in the evenings. I found I just needed to have time all by myself where I didn’t have to smile, or make sure everyone saw that I was holding it together. My in-laws were gracious enough to take the kids over-night, my step-mom and dad offered their house for the day (go figure that our water was shut off part of the day because of a burst water line so I couldn’t hang at home), and so I had hours of just me. Just me coming to grips with the fact that I was no longer pregnant, that this summer our house wouldn’t be filled with the busy joy of a newborn, and that it was okay to not be okay with that. I spent the day doing things for me, and not thinking of someone else’s needs, or what people perceived of me. One friend recently wrote to me, “take your time grieving and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.” Good, good advice. This should be guilt-free grieving, friends.
I also read this great article from the Art of Manliness website, and I loved that he wrote, “You’re tempted to apologize. But don’t.” I have said sorry to a lot of people lately – sorry for not telling them the right way, sorry for crying too easily, sorry for not picking up the phone, sorry for inconveniencing them with this loss. Silly, right? But no one handles a loss perfectly. No one should handle a loss perfectly. So ditch the apologies and just allow yourself some time to grieve.
AND FOR THE FRIENDS
Maybe you’re scanning through these words because you haven’t lost, but you know of someone who has. You want to find the perfect words, or the perfect gift to let that person know they aren’t forgotten. Everyone grieves and deals with loss in different ways – some need visitors and a swelling of people coming to their door to keep them company and mourn as a group. Others prefer to find solace in solitary. They don’t want the line up of meals, or the attention their loss has brought, or even to talk it out with their closest companions. One friend gave a perfect description of that balance of privacy and shared mourning when she told me, “I didn’t want to see anyone, but I wanted to know people were thinking of me.”
If you are worried about finding the perfect thing to write or say, I tell you this: Some of my favorite messages were ones that they didn’t know what to say, or that words were not enough. I liked the bumbling messages or staggering words. It showed me that they felt that same battle in their chest of the pain of the loss versus the shock of not knowing how to address it.
And to you, we wish to say thank you. This experience has rocked us, but what gave us a firmer ground to stand upon were the love and prayers that were wrapped around our family. Thank you for your words, delicious meals, help with the kids and house, gifts, and to those who had the courage to share their stories with us. Miscarriage sucks, but it’s a little bit less sucky with all of you lifting us up.
~M and The H-G’s