January 13, 2014

Let's be Honest - My Truths about Recovering from Multiple Miscarriages


People always remark on how a new year denotes a fresh start; honestly, I think it is a lie that we try to tell ourselves to convince ourselves that this year, THIS YEAR will be better. But the truth is, we don't know if it will be. We can try to make it better by doing the things that we know we should, but we ultimately have very little control over how "good" our year is going to turn out. We do, however, have every bit of control on how we react to the circumstances put before us; that is what makes the difference.

In a matter of days, the first due date will pass us by. The first due date of our first baby will come and go with nothing to show for it. If the second pregnancy had lasted, I would be nearly 18 weeks when our original due date comes along - again, with nothing to show for it.

Most days, I don't feel much of anything. The pain floats beneath the surface - it is always there, but never quite tangible, never truly visible.

Other days, extremely rare days, I just want to cry and cry and cry. It feels as though my soul is crying out, a parched desert begging for even a drop of refreshment, a dry and empty cup longing to be filled. It is as though my heart physically hurts, as though it is aching to be heard, aching to be understood, aching for overwhelming peace and joy and satisfaction and love.

You see, there's not a moment of my life that is not touched by what has happened. However, life continues to trudge along day after day, and so must I.

~

People have asked me how I have been doing... you know.

The truth?
The truth is, I don't really have an answer to that question - for you, or for myself.
The truth is, while I sound a tad bitter in conversation, it's really more like cynicism. Most of the time, anyway.
The truth is that I'm honestly doing pretty darn well, considering. You don't have to believe me, either, but it's the truth.
... I don't go along every second of every day moping, or even thinking, about the fact that I have lost two babies.
... just because I'm posting on my "Miscarriage and Healing" board on Pinterest, that doesn't mean that I'm crying my eyes out, or that I'm even truly upset that day. I promise.
... I don't dwell on the fact that my husband has experienced just as much loss as I have and is hardly ever "checked on" by others.
... I am not an emotional wreck 24/7. I don't cry myself to sleep every night (not that there is anything wrong with that in the least).
... I might get choked up or shed a tear every few weeks. Yes, weeks, if that.
... while it might seem unfathomable, I'm able to function without breaking down. I promise. I'm even able to hold a conversation about it without crying. It's painful and pretty dang awkward, but it's 100% possible. It's even good for me, I suppose.
... I'm the type to keep myself busy instead of dwelling on the things that I cannot change.
... I try not to think about the fact that we won't be "trying" for a while. No, I don't want to talk to you about it, because it's not your business unless I say it is, but I don't want you to come to your own conclusions about why we're not pregnant yet, for a third time.
... every once in a great while, it all hits me at once. It slams into me like a ton of bricks after a long time of not feeling much at all.
... when that happens, I will cry out. This is a cry for help. I promise. Even if I don't want to talk about it, there's a reason that I'm emotionally withdrawn, oversensitive, or some weird combination of the two.
... I don't want you to stop asking me how I am doing.
... miscarriage is not my identity.
... I don't want you to feel sorry for me.
... I don't want you to tell me that you're praying for me every time that you think about my situation. Your time, your kind words, and your prayers without glorifying yourself mean a whole heck of a lot more to me than empty sentiments. I am not an item to be checked off of your list of good deeds.
... I have been extremely blessed by those I hold close to my heart. THIS is what compassion and understanding and love looks like:
... this is all new to me.
... I'm learning how to grieve.
... grief looks different for every single person, for every single situation. There is no one way to grieve.
... I could have written this entire post ("15 Lessons Learned from Miscarriage"), because it is my heart. I have read it several times, and I will continue to read it as I walk along this road.
... I want to move on. I am in the midst of moving on.
... I also want to be bettered by these experiences.
... I want to be there for people who have been affected by tragedy and suffering surrounding the desire to have a family, just like I want people to be there for me.
... I want to continue to speak out, even if it is just to let you know that you are not alone. No one should have to feel as though they are in this kind of suffering on their own.

The truth is, if you have never been through something like miscarriage or infertility, you know nothing about how it actually feels. You don't understand, and that's just the way that it is. Knowing someone that has been through it is nothing like understanding how it feels - I can say that with every bit of confidence, because I have been on both sides. My heart aches thinking back to the time when my precious sister- and brother-in-law experienced their loss, and I knew absolutely nothing of what it was truly like to live through that kind of hell. I knew nothing, but I also did nothing. Oh, what I wouldn't give to go back to those days knowing the things that I know now. I'm blessed beyond measure because she is there for me in a way that very, very few people can ever be. I don't deserve a bit of it, but I am so very grateful.

I know that such bold statements could seem calloused and simply unfathomable by those who have not experienced this type of loss, but you simply have to put it out there and move on. I cannot sit in sorrow every day of my life - that is a death sentence. I must grieve, though, in order to heal. You can judge me in how I go about this process, in the things that I think and say, but it won't change a thing. Thankfully, those that surround me every day of my life will understand and love me regardless.

Let's be honest. The truth? It sucks sometimes. But I don't hold onto the truths of this world, the truths of this lifetime. I hold onto the truth of the gospel, the truth that the best is yet to come - not in this life, but in the next. I hold onto the truth that JESUS is better.