first, take a moment to be happy for seth and me. we were pregnant! it’s true. i even devoted a whole secret blog to the occasion.
for ten weeks, we experienced the initial joys and terror of parenthood. we had just started sharing the news with family and friends. we were just starting to believe that our lives were going to change forever.
but the last 72 hours have just been a train wreck. after lots of prayer and plain, simple brokenness, and with the permission of my better half, i have decided to publish some of the things i banged out on the keyboard while all this was happening.
i am doing this so that you will know exactly what i’m going through without me having to tell you. i’m doing this to mourn the loss of our baby. i’m doing this so that this kid, which it was, will be acknowledged.
plus, i’ve found that people like to watch as i go completely insane.
i have not blogged about the pregnancy here until now in an effort not to jinx it.
i guess the idea is that initially, you don’t tell very many people. that way, should the worst happen, you can lose the baby and no one ever even know you were pregnant! voila! never happened!
but after internalizing all this, we’ve decided that is not going to work for our family. or rather, i’ve decided and seth is basically letting me do whatever i want whenever i want with nothing but full, if not helpless, support. he is the best husband ever. seriously. you have no idea.
in my experience, personal tragedy=blogging. shut up. it’s how i process. public narcissism is my potion. and i know of at least three other women in the world who had miscarriages this weekend. maybe someone will Google this and feel strength in numbers?
more than likely, it’s just for me. and i am going to swear. i’m allowed a swear.
there is no clarity in this moment. there is no peace. everything is muddied. no woman should have to see an ultrasound with no heartbeat. no woman should have to suffer 7 hours of excruciating pain only to flush her baby down the toilet like a dead goldfish. that is simply one of the most fucked up things i have ever experienced. and that is a miscarriage.
no wonder people are afraid to talk to me.
miscarriage has the same icy quality of illness or a funeral or something. people hear about it and it makes them uncomfortable. they want so very badly to be supportive, but they’re afraid to bring it up. or they’re afraid they’ll open their mouth and cause some sort of emotional train wreck.
but i need you to acknowledge this baby with me.
if a preggers in your life goes through this (and chances are, some of them will. 15 percent of positive pregnancy tests end this way) don’t ignore it. just send a note or leave a message. actually, this is the best thing i’ve read on the internet. many of you have already done this for us, and i can’t tell you how much it means to us. i’ve been reading the notes we already have over and over again. i am comforted to be reminded of the support we have.
coming to terms with this loss, i am angry. and i want to challenge god to a knife fight. (let’s pray he doesn’t accept.) sometimes i love god. sometimes i am mad at him. here is what i wrote on Sunday, back when i was trying to cut back on swearing, when i was waiting to go to the ER:
there is something inherently effed up about live-blogging a miscarriage. but i think that is what i am doing.
saturday night, after an encouraging day spent working (but not too hard) building a nursery, i sat on the couch and was welcomed with a warm rush of liquid.
i shouted “no Whammies! no Whammies” the whole way to the toilet, but alas. i was bleeding.
don’t panic. this has happened before. my body is producing a lot more blood now. (like, 4 pounds more! gross!) so maybe i strained something. i made a mental note that no matter how excited i was about a new wall, i would NEVER hang from a new door frame again. no biggie.
but in my head, i began this miscarriage blog post.
this morning, the nightmare continued, this time with more blood and more cramping. there was even a bit of tissue on the TP. all signs point to No Good, people. we prepared ourselves for the worst, but we held out hope for the best. i called my doctor.
the physician-on-call phoned back within 30 minutes, god bless him, and he said the only way we could know for sure was a trip to the ER.
i had a flashback of my HR/health insurance rep, who told me NEVER to go the ER unless i was riding in an ambulance that was taking me there. our ER coverage is so bad that i basically would be paying 80 percent for whatever fancy equipment they used to get in there and see if my baby was still alive.
the other option? i asked.
i could “tough it out” and call the doctor on monday, he said.
i liked that idea. toughing it out.
but first i should mention that he said it was fine to wait and see, because frankly, if the m-word was the diagnosis, they couldn’t stop the worst from happening. and it might be better to ride it out at home. if it wasn’t the worst, and the baby had a strong heartbeat, the ‘wait and see’ method would be the most logical diagnosis. as long as the bleeding wasn’t “profuse,” i could stick it out at home.
you just won’t have an answer today, he said.
now, i’m no where near “profuse” in my mind, so i went with the latter. after all, pregnancy is just one terrifying wait cycle after another. if i got good news, i would worry. if i got bad news, i would freak out. and chances are, unless my baby was gone, there would be no end in sight to the worrying. i’d probably spot for three weeks or something and THEN miscarry. or i’d have a healthy, happy pregnancy after 1 million heart-stopping trips to the bathroom. there really is no end to the anxiety.
so either way, i could wait until it was cheaper.
so here we are.
waiting. worrying. again.
in a panic, i asked some of the ladies on the message boards about my symptoms. i stopped reading after a handful of “my miscarriage started the same way,” kind of messages. they are all sweet, well-meaning ladies. it just wasn’t what i would have paid them to say.
so seth and i went to Bob Evans, where we ordered some breakfast and hashed through an existential crisis.
this is the kind of shit that makes it hard to believe in god. if he is the creator of life, then why make a life that’s only 10 weeks long? does he count 10 weeks as a life? should i? does this baby have a soul? can it feel? can it hurt? is it my first child? is it my mother’s grandchild?
and WHY on EARTH would you create this life in the first place if you’re going to end it a few weeks later? WHAT is the POINT?
each life is fearfully and wonderfully made, remember? i read that in psalms. god knits us together in our mother’s womb. each of our days are laid out for us before the first one is lived. can you LIVE a day inside the womb?
are you a bully, god? or just a jerk?
what the heck.
don’t make no sense.
whether it’s 9 weeks or 90 years. life is all haphazard. it’s all chemicals and hormones bouncing off one another. there is no rhyme or reason to it. and there sure as hell ain’t no higher power mapping it all out with your best interest at heart.
or at least, i can see why that’s so easy to believe.
there’s no control.
some women bleed buckets and have healthy babies. some women never loose a drop and their baby’s hearts just stop beating. there’s no rhyme or reason to it. either a baby has 46 chromosomes, or it doesn’t. there’s nothing you can do to prevent these sorts of misfires, if that’s what happening inside my body right now or if it’s not. who knows. and they happen all the time. like, 30 percent of the time or something insane.
and just on Monday they told me everything was normal.
i was bawling earlier this morning, curled in a pile on the floor of the shower when i felt the hand of god. he put it on the back of my head and told me not to worry. i felt him go away and i cried for him to come back. but i couldn’t feel him anymore.
i AM worried.
why would he do this to us?
what lesson do you want me to learn, god?
do you want me to realize that i have no control? do you want me to be patient? do you want to knock me down and pick me up off the floor? again?! aren’t you bored with that?
don’t you know by now that i know it already? i’m powerless and you’re powerful. i get it.
i get it.
i don’t have the answers. i have no control. i’m a useless heap.
and coming off such a great year, and remembering how shitty 2007 was, and considering the timing of all this. did you want me not to call an entire year of life shitty? is that what you’re mad about? because i do. i understand that every day of every life is precious. and that you’d want a day back if it were taken from you. even this day.
but why can’t things just be good for a while? maybe a decade? or five years? is that too much to ask? without sorrow or hurt or medical intervention? please. bad news followed by good news followed by bad new and then good news again.
grandma’s dead grandma’s alive grandpa’s dead grandpa’s alive your sister is dead your sister is alive your baby is alive your baby is dead.
and my parents — my poor parents. who’s parents are dead and then alive and who’s kids have been dead and then alive and then dead and alive again and now who’s grandkid is alive and then dead and then alive or dead again?!
is it ever going to stop? are you going ever to relent?
which sin are you punishing me for? is that what this is?
when are you going to seem NICE for a change? all happiness is temporary. so is grief. everything is meaningless. i’ve read Ecclesiastes.
WHAT do you WANT from me?!
whatever it is, you’ve got my attention.
and so help me, if there isn’t some sort of slideshow in heaven to explain all this, to explain why, in your name, how in the world you are working in my best interest, in our best interest, we are soooo having a knife fight.
i woke up in the middle of the night to the worst pain i’ve ever felt. we went to the ER, where they confirmed the death. they said it was a ‘fluke,’ probably a chromosome problem with the baby, and when it wasn’t developing properly, my body did what it was supposed to do. it wouldn’t hurt our chances to have a baby in the future. they said this just happens sometimes, and they sent me home to finish the job.
it hurt really bad. it was the worst thing that has ever happened to me.
but here’s the problem.
ALL THOSE THINGS THEY SAY ARE TRUE.
all that crap about how everything happens for a reason, and how maybe i can’t see the full plan, about how maybe this was the best outcome, how getting pregnant changed me, and how losing the baby changed me, and it’s all for the better. to make me stronger. refined by fire. to make me more aware of what’s important. for perspective. for maturity. for growth.
ALL THAT CRAP IS TRUE.
i cannot escape it.
i WISH i could believed god was not real. or just a prick. i WISH i could believe that there is no higher power, or that if there was, he’s just a MONSTER. i wish i could run away from that reality, disown god and never try to understand him again.
but i cannot, in my right mind, call god a jerk. i’ve experienced his mercy and his grace firsthand. i KNOW TOO MUCH. i know he loves me. i know he only allows me pain i can handle– although at times i’m convinced he’s overestimated me.
i know that i cannot threaten him. that i cannot test him. that i will NEVER see the punishment i deserve for the wreched human that i am.
i cannot abandon him. and worst of all — i cannot win in a knife fight against him. he wins every time! it drives me crazy!
so i sit, like a child who has been sent to her room, who waits for the timer to beep so i can get up again.
except now i cry at commercials and previews for cheesy horror movies (thanks, Unborn). and i hurt. all the time. it’s so awful.
i can see the finish line.
the part where i’m not mad and bitter. the part where i’m not crying uncontrollably for hours at a time. the part where i can watch the buckeyes lose a national championship and NOT cry in the bathroom at halftime. (SEE, FALLAS! you CAN identify with a woman who has lost a baby!!)
the part where i can talk to a pregnant woman, or see one on TV and not hate her. the part where i try this whole motherhood thing again. the part where i feel normal. the part where i am not consumed. the part where a new morning brings his compassions.
(my god — all this and we haven’t even tried to RAISE a child yet. perhaps it will make us tougher when our time comes?)
but i am not there yet.
we haven’t even had a chance to tell anyone at church yet.
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