Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sadness 101

I had a check-up today that went pretty well, although my hcg levels are still high enough that the doctor has scheduled an ultrasound for tomorrow, thinking that maybe the miscarriage hasn't completed after all. I hope she's wrong. The last thing I want is another round of Cytotec or a d and c after all. Yuck.

I seem to be going back and forth a lot, physically and emotionally. There have been hours- even days- when I felt relatively fine and normal and have been up doing dishes and picking up toys and giving baths. Business as usual. And there have been times when I was suddenly in a lot of pain again, of one kind or another, and it seems for awhile that nothing will feel normal again. I am trying to accept all this, as I have learned from experience that these cycles are normal and nothing you can really alter or skip past. The only way out is through, as they say.

I think grief is like labor, a little bit: you can tense up and fight it, or try to distract yourself with other things, or panic and scream. You can beg someone to help you or tell them how unfair and unbearable it is. But the only way to effectively help yourself is to relax your body, unclench your fists and breathe into it, even welcome it. There are some things in life you just have to feel.

Which is why I am trying, right now, not to turn away from the pregnant woman in the waiting room or from the stack of tiny newborn clothes I am sorting through for a garage sale. I don't fight the sadness that fills me when I realize I can button my jeans again, or that my chest no longer aches in preparation to feed my baby. It is what it is, and there's no amount of comfort or hope that can erase or really even ease those pains. Of course, there are moments when I have to put sadness aside and function, and it is less a choice than a necessity. What was it Scarlett O'Hara always said? "I'll think about it tomorrow."

But mostly, when possible, I am trying to loosen my shoulders, unclench my fists, and take in whatever emotion happens to be churning. If I start to feel angry about the injustice of this happening three times to us, when I have done all I knew to keep these babies alive and inside me, then I just feel angry for awhile. Often that anger turns inward, at my own body for betraying me, and even this I allow for. If I need to cry- and understand that I am not a person who enjoys crying, and definitely not in front of others- then I try to allow for that instead of swallowing it back. If I hear a sad song and find myself conjuring up images of the baby I had begun to dream of, I don't push them away.

Whether you experience a miscarriage as losing a literal, tiny child, or you prefer to view it as the loss of the hope of a child, it's still goodbye. It's still a wound, a wound that will scab up for a little while and then suddenly be ripped open again by a random image or comment or song lyric. I guess all I can hope is that spirits are like bodies. That often, in the end, the places that have had to heal themselves are the strongest.

23 comments:

Mommy Daisy said...

Sarah, I'm so impressed at how you're handling this. I know that you are devastated, and that is perfectly understandable. I was a mess when my sister lost her baby, and I mostly felt bad for her because I knew it would tear her up. Just like you, she was a trooper. But it's something you never forget.

Were you at church a few weeks ago to hear the sermon on grief? It was great. Maybe it would be helpful to listen to the message again (it should be on the website). And don't feel bad that you need to take all the time you have to. Take it easy!

Scottish Twins said...

I love the image of handling pain like birth. This post was very well written.

(((((HUGS)))))

Swistle said...

I am so sad and angry and hopeful for you.

Erica said...

This a beautifully written, poignant post.

d e v a n said...

That is beautifully written. I'm glad you're allowing yourself to feel, even though I know it's painful. Thinking of you.

Mimi said...

Sounds like you are doing everything you can. Thinking of you!

Erin said...

Elegant and true.

After my first miscarriage, my doctor said to me that we needed to take time to grieve. It surprised me to hear that word, "grieve." I was relieved, somewhat, to have it validated.

I've been thinking of you.

Tess said...

I too love the labor metaphor. Hang in there. xo

CAQuincy said...

Beautiful.

Shelly said...

Beautiful. And so so accurate. I've been through all those stages myself.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Beautifully written and so, so sad.

I love the labor analogy. I do find myself wishing there was an epidural for this kind of pain. I know you are so right, you must go THROUGH it. I just wish I could take the edge off of it for you.

Katy said...

I know this is a really sad entry, but the way you wrote it was just beautiful. And I completely agree--whatever you're grieving--sometimes you just have to feel it so you can move on.

Jess said...

I am so sorry you're having to feel all these things, and move through them in this way. But I do agree that this is the best way to deal with this pain. And I hope that soon you will get through it and feel that you're in a better place.

Saly said...

Very well said. I am thinking of you...

Shelly Overlook said...

I think you are amazing.

Sagebrushy said...

Oh, honey. I just got caught up on your blog.

I am so, so, sorry.

This is so well written. I am thinking of you, and in admiration of your strength to let yourself experience this for what it is.

- Artemisia (am signed in w/ a diff account and can't fix it. Bah.)

LoriD said...

You are a wonderful writer, but I'm just really sorry you have this pain and sorrow to express.

parkingathome said...

God, I am so so sorry. I am also a bit in awe at how you choose to grieve and how it doesn't feel uncomfortable and pressured and gross and shameful like grief often can be.

You're a strong woman, and I am proud of you

Nowheymama said...

I am so glad you are sharing this with us. Too often people carry the pain of miscarriage by themselves.

Hillary said...

This post is just perfect, and yet, just not fair.

Hua said...

Hello Desperate Housewife,

I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. This is a beautiful post and you are such a strong person. I just wanted to let you know that Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network has many people who are in a similar situation as you are. If you would like to share your experience and help others cope, I would encourage you to take a look at http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger, and to consider applying to join the HealthBlogger Network.

If you need any assistance, please feel free to email me at hua [at] wellsphere [dot] com.

Best regards,
Hua
Director of Blogger Networks

kaitlynsage said...

I just found your blog through playgroups are no place for children and read your most recent posts. I am so horribly sorry for your loss.

One of my dear friends went through the same thing quite recently and I don't think that I'd realized what she had gone though until I read this.

I respect so much your openness and honesty about what you are experiencing and my thoughts are with you and your family. I wish the best for you.

Mrs. Haid said...

I just came across your post through Erin's blog.

What you wrote speaks to me, and it also makes me wonder if I am strong enough for a nnother pregnancy. I've only had one successful thus far. The unsuccessful ones are scary and sad and too much to think about all at once.

Thanks for writing this, it smeaks to me. I hope you do get what you want and wish for.

I know for me, I love my newborn so, but I also long for more children. If I have more miscarriages, I will adopt children.