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.