I felt my water break with a pop at twelve weeks. My heart sank. Blood. Oh God, no, not this. I was determined not to go to the hospital. The blood flowed heavier and I was unsteady. Finally thank God, I gave in to my husband and sister-in-law who convinced me to get medical help. They checked me in to the ER and I was getting weaker by the hour. I began to pass out when I tried to get up and was wheeled in for an emergency D&C. I awoke bleary eyed and fragile. My Dr calmly told me that if I hadn’t come in and had the emergency procedure I probably would’ve bled to death. She checked me into the hospital.
Admitted into the hospital with a female problem like mine unfortunately placed me in obstetrics. I was in a room near the laboring mothers and newly arrived babies. I still could not get up without passing out and became involuntarily familiar with smelling salts. I could hear the activity around me and I was glued to my bed, head swimming, exhausted and emotional. Why was this happening? Why did I have to be here? It was excruciating. I couldn’t leave until my blood count was up and was there for a few days. When I was finally able to get up, I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself, pasty white and swollen.
After I was released it took weeks to gain my strength back. I layed on the couch with my little ones at home barely able to get up. I did a lot of soul searching, a lot of questioning, and I grieved.
I had a difficult time getting pregnant from the beginning. I had my first after five years of marriage and a miracle, wanting to have a baby but struggling through infertility. I attended baby showers and births, happy for my friends, but longing for my own. When I finally had my first, then my second and third I was incredibly satisfied and thought now every pregnancy would be easy (My husband and I wanted a big family and were prepared for a dozen or so…whew… ended up with five–and plenty). One early miscarriage surprised both of us. We had gone through so much already, but this one was more traumatic and physically took its toll on the family. I found it difficult to move forward.
I am not one who struggles with depression, at least not then. I think I had some postpartum issues (writing for another time) but not in general. I had a faith in God and seriously wondered why He would allow this to happen. When tragedy appears, when we suffer, we ask God why. We stumble through our emotions and our faith–whatever it entails.
We want, and expect, life to be free from difficulty, challenges and stress. When it arrives at our door we object and fight its coming. We view adversity as an unwelcome enemy. But we all have it. It’s inescapable. I found that when I surrendered and stopped flailing I found peace and acceptance. Not an easy process. There is work to be done in me through the suffering. I wasn’t somehow being punished for a random past mistake. I am human and involved in this great adventure called life. I gave myself permission to grieve the loss. It should be grieved. I asked that it would work something in me, a new awareness, empathy, kindness. Soften not harden.
Miscarriage can often be an unspoken topic. People are uncomfortable and don’t know what to say, so they usually offer words of consolation like, “Don’t worry, you’ll get pregnant again”, “God just wanted another angel in heaven,” or they tell you you’re still young and to keep trying or they don’t say anything at all. It can be a lonely road.
I’ve had three miscarriages. Each one of these pregnancies held excitement, hopes and dreams for the future, and imaginings of another little one, that little one as a part of our family. I felt the loss of them deeply.
I have a dear friend who lost a baby, just a few weeks after he entered this world. Unimaginable.
We need time to grieve, time to let go and surrender, time to let it shape us and the determination to let it make us better, not bitter. Surrender can bring us peace and hope helps us to rise up again, to fight and believe, to love others deeply and empathize with them in their struggles. Walking forward through and out of pain is hard work, the letting go can be incredibly difficult. Each step forward is healing. Some tragedies or difficulties take only a few steps for healing to overtake us, others take a mile of walking. Don’t give up. Let it do its work as you move. Take the hand of another fellow traveller. We all need kindness and camaraderie in our journey.
Remember that you are amazing. You are worth the work, worth the journey. Hope is a glance upward, always there, waiting for us.