As I continue on this new journey with blogging, it’s still hard for me to think people actually are interested in what I have to say. But, I realize more each day from messages I get from people that they can relate to certain topics and it’s helpful for them, so I feel honored to share and will continue to do it. Today I’ve decided to dive into a topic that very few people know about me, but I felt compelled to write about. I hope it helps someone out there feel like they are not alone.
Miscarriage. It is an undesirable club to be in and no one wants to join. I talk about it for the first time throughout my book as I chronicle the lives of my mother and me over the last 20 years. I have not spoken about it much outside of my immediate family and definitely not as I was going through it. I never thought for one moment that it would happen to me, so I had no playbook on how to handle it.
It just seems to be one of those things you don’t consider when it’s not directly affecting you. It’s not that you don’t feel awful for people who’ve had such an unthinkable loss. But honestly, before it happened to us for the first time, I had never spoken to anyone that experienced it. You don’t really ask and people don’t offer up that information. I know I didn’t. It’s like a silent pain we feel must be deal with alone, and since no one can help us with the process of grieving the loss, why say anything.
For me, though, at times I felt like I had to have a reason why I only had one child. Because as we all know, once you have one, people can’t resist asking you when you plan to have another. And as my son turned 4, 5, 6 and 7, people became even more curious. Is he your only child? Do you plan to have more? They mean no harm, but slipping the phrase, “I’ve had 4 miscarriages” into the conversation makes for an inevitable and very awkward impending silence. Where do you go after that whopper? And that’s without me even mentioning that one of my miscarriages threatened my life, and my son had to watch it unfold, being in the car as we raced to the Emergency Room.
In my experience, people feel awful for asking and can’t say “I’m sorry” enough, and I feel like I have to make them feel better by saying, “It’s okay” over and over. But is it ok? Not really. The whole thing is a no win situation. Losing a child is heartbreak too painful to convey. The future that you plan is swept away in an instant, and I couldn’t help but wonder, what did I do? Did I exercise too much? Drink one too many sodas? Keep my laptop too close to the my stomach? Allow myself to get too stressed out? I beat myself up about it.
So after my first miscarriage, I vowed to do everything right the next time I got pregnant and felt I did what was in my control to have a healthy, full-term baby. But then I lost a second, third and a fourth child. After praying for 5 years and hoping every month to be pregnant, it was at this time I changed my prayer, “God, PLEASE, never let me be pregnant again. We are done!”
When I got pregnant one last time, although we were trying to prevent it, I felt as if God had abandoned me, putting me through another round of pain for no reason when I clearly said it wasn’t what I wanted. When I saw the positive test, I cried, and not happy tears. I did not want to go through it all again, but God knew better.
As I write this blog, I have a healthy, amazing 2-year old miracle sleeping upstairs. He is one of the reasons everything about the course of my family’s life changed. God’s path included waiting for this child, wading through the sorrow until he arrived. His entrance to our world was worth every ounce of sadness endured because it changed not only our lives but the life of my mom. The plan was bigger than just me.
We never get over a miscarriage, but I believe we will see those babies again in perfect health. We can’t always understand our pain, but we have to let ourselves off the hook for the guilt we allow to creep in for things we cannot control. Miscarriage is no one’s fault. It is loss without words, part of a difficult road and one I would have never chosen. Yet God made beauty from the ashes, and I will always be grateful. I know He will do the same for you, just wait for it.
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