loss, musings

Two steps forward, one step back…

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve been making real progress in the emotional healing department. A few days ago, I was able to have a conversation with my coworker (the one whose due date is just a few days after what ours should have been) about baby stuff without feeling the need to burst into tears. And tonight when we had our good friends over for dinner and they announced their pregnancy, my first reaction was genuinely a squeal and a hug. I am so happy for them. And the fact that my gut reaction was to feel happy for them instead of bitter or jealous made me even happier.

After they left, D and I hung out, watched some TV, and overall had a nice night together. It wasn’t until we were in bed about to fall asleep hours later that the grief came creeping back to me. Just when I thought I was finally healing, I’m suddenly aware that I’m still not fully healed. The tears began flowing harder and harder, until I was sobbing so hard that I had to get up out of bed so I wouldn’t wake D, who was sound asleep and has to work in the morning (I have the day off tomorrow for MLK Day).

So here I am, blogging after midnight. It makes me sad to realize that I originally created this blog to document our journey to parenthood, with the intention that I would eventually share the blog with our friends and family. But throughout this loss, I’ve found solace in blogging more for the sake of my own benefit, and a lot of what I’m sharing is so intensely personal that I sometimes question whether I’ll ever be ready to share these feelings with a broader audience. Caveat: I do have this blog linked to a message board I have been frequenting with others who are in the same boat as me. I have found the women on that board to be so incredibly supportive, when not many people in real life know what we’ve been through. It’s somehow much easier to share my feelings with a bunch of random strangers on the Internet, than it is to let my friends, family and coworkers in on this very private side of me and the physical and emotional turmoil I’ve been through. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the topic of miscarriage is taboo in our society. And while I wish that would change, I don’t know that I’m ready to lead the charge in making that change.

I wonder if I’ll ever get to a point where I no longer cry when I think about our loss. The crying episodes are definitely fewer and farther between as time goes on, but sometimes I wonder if 20 or 30 years from now, I’ll still cry from time to time at the memory of the loss of our first baby. I know I’ll never forget what we’ve been through, but I wonder when I’ll reach the point where our loss stops being this all-consuming… thing that defines me. While I’m finding myself less outwardly upset these days, I can honestly say that it’s always on my mind. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say I think about the baby we lost at least every 5-10 minutes.

It’s weird – while I do still feel very guarded about sharing our experience to people, at the same time I also have this overwhelming desire to validate our baby’s existence. When our friends tonight asked how “things” were going for us (this was the friend I told we were trying), rather than just simply say “not great so far” or similar ambiguous answer, I blurted out that we had a miscarriage. I’m definitely experiencing this weird dichotomy of emotions where on the one hand I want to keep our struggles private, and on the other hand, I’m afraid that if I never talk about our baby, it’s like he/she never existed at all… like I never was pregnant. And I love my baby too much to do that. Yes, even though I was only 8 weeks along… which means I only knew I was pregnant for about 4 weeks, I was head over heels in love with that baby the moment I found out I was pregnant.

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