You can’t tell, but in this picture, there are 4 of us. It is the only “photo” I have of us as a family.
My brother took these pictures while we were all home for Thanksgiving. We went out on Friday afternoon and found an open field for some quick family portraits. The next day I found myself in the emergency room. I had an 8 week old embryo inside of me… without a heartbeat.
This year has been challenging. I think it’s hard for us (at least, hard for me) not to think of things in terms of finite time periods. We talk about having a horrible week at work and New Year’s resolutions. Everything has a “restart” point. The first of the year, the first of the month, the first of the week… but does it really matter? Can’t change start today? Or tomorrow. Or next Thursday? Can’t things get better at any point? Do we force ourselves into a routine that says “it’s going to suck until 01.01.13.”? I want to be strong enough to say, “No, that’s not good enough. It’s going to suck until I say STOP.” But I don’t know if I am.
I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself lately.
The last time I posted here was the week of the UNplaza Art Fair. What an INCREDIBLE experience!! I loved it. I loved being brave enough to OWN my work for two full days in front of hundreds of strangers. I loved all of the support I got from all of my friends and family. I loved being there. Since then a lot has changed.
We found out we were pregnant with Baby #2 on October 17th. I was so excited and so skeptical all at the same time. I took 8 pregnancy tests. They were all very positive, yet I couldn’t believe them. When we told our families, I whispered to my mom, “don’t get too attached. Anything could happen. It’s still so early.” I was almost five weeks pregnant and I had a very healthy pregnancy the first time around. I didn’t have reason to worry, but I did. A week before my miscarriage we had lunch with a friend. I told him how I had been feeling very well physically but that I couldn’t get past the haunting thoughts that I’d never hold my baby. I expressed my fears of losing the baby, and he assured me I had nothing to worry about. He said “you should be thankful that you’re feeling well. Enjoy this time!” I still don’t know what made me so uncertain about this baby, but I was. I tried to take my friend’s advice.
I loved her so much already, and I was so afraid of losing her. That dark Saturday night will be one I will never forget. I knew something was wrong, even though my symptoms weren’t anything the doctors were concerned with. I could tell they thought I was overreacting. When the sonogram tech did our ultrasound, in the first 10 seconds she offered me relief, saying “I can see your uterus and your baby inside, and I see the heartbeat.” I was so relieved. But then she was quiet. And then she looked harder. And then she switched equipment and looked again. After what seemed like an hour, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I saw, but it wasn’t a heartbeat. You have an 8 week old embryo with no heartbeat.” I will never forget those words. Ever. They bring me such sorrow every time I recall that night. And the days that followed. The days of knowing I’d never hold my baby, but that I was still carrying her.
It’s been 3 weeks now. I’m posting this because I think I’m finally ready to talk. And I’m hoping that maybe my words might be comfort to someone else. The week that I learned of my miscarriage and had a D&C was a very hard week. I was so sad. My son was so excited to have a baby and he still, even now, will kiss my belly and say “Momma, baby?”. It breaks my heart, but I endure it for him. We decided not to explain to him what happened, because he is too small to understand. He is only two, and he has no idea how long it takes to grow a baby in Momma’s belly. We’ll try again when we’re ready and when he has his baby he’ll breathe a sigh of relief, too. “Finally!” he’ll think!!
I spent the second week after my heartbreak reasoning with myself. Praying to God and asking for answers. I was better. I knew that God had needed to bring my angel home for a reason. She wasn’t supposed to live on earth and He still needed her. I know, without a doubt, that I will hold my baby when I get to Heaven. And that has to be okay.
Last week was hard again. And I expect that this is how it’s going to be for a while. A roller coaster of feelings. But I’m doing my best to let myself feel them. I’m crying now for this, and yet I’m somewhat numb to the other things going on around me. I lost a friend this week–no, not to death, but rather to a disagreement in which we couldn’t reach a compromise–and I couldn’t even feel that. I was angry at some of the hurtful things she said to me, but after a couple hours I realized that it was okay for us to disagree and decide to take separate paths. She’s not the only one I’ve lost this year, though, which has made me callous to the idea of letting others in. The loss has been so great, that I just don’t feel like my heart can handle it.
I’m not sure where this post is going. And maybe that’s okay. I know that I haven’t posted since September and my husband has been nagging me to get back to it. And I’ve wanted to, but I’ve felt so cynical. So jaded. But today I’m telling myself: let it go.
I’m not saying I’m going to just put this up and everything is going to get all better. I’m just saying that I’m taking my first step today. I’m choosing to let it go, and allowing God to heal me.