Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Get up one more time

I've been staring at this blog screen for a long time.  Debating.  Wondering what to write.  Starting.  Deleting.  Wavering between my truth right now and the lighthearted inspirational craft advice I think I am supposed to deliver in this blog.  The tone that Emily seems to deliver so effortlessly.

Pretending to offer something I just don't have won't serve me or you, so lighthearted is out.  So is inspirational and crafty.  Which just leaves me with honesty.

So.  Last week I was pregnant.  About 10 weeks pregnant.  Then there was a checkup, with no fetal heartbeat, and now I'm no longer pregnant.

Such a simple fact.  As the joke goes, there is no such thing as almost pregnant.  You are.   Until you aren't.

So many people go through this.  So many women have hugged me with compassion in their eyes and whispered in my ear the story of their own miscarriage. 

Meanwhile my two beautiful girls blithely continue to demand my undivided attention and to fill my heart and my day with relief and irritation and joy and exasperation.  There is no room for grief amidst the Goldfish and dinosaurs and trips to the potty and refereeing of games.

But it's subterranean.  It's down there, deep.  A strong bubbling force that bursts through at moments I am not expecting and can't control.  It's an overwhelming anger, irrational and frightening.  A rage at the loss and the injustice and the permanence.

It's an appalled recognition of my own former unconscious smugness in the relative ease and success of my first two pregnancies.  The satisfaction I took in getting pregnant so quickly, the entitled complaining of pregnancies discomforts I indulged in, almost a sense that I was superior somehow, and that miscarriages were things that happened to other unlucky people.  I had no awareness of any of those feelings before, but I see it and regret it now that I'm one of the unlucky people.

It is grief.  When I'm pregnant, I walk about my day functioning normally, but there is always a portion of my brain that never leaves conversation with the soul growing inside me.  That never wavers its focus from that baby and the awareness that it is there.  And now I'm still functioning normally, but that deeper portion of my brain is howling in loneliness and loss all the time in the background, until it spills up into my eyes at inconvenient moments.

It's the feeling that when people ask how I am, I have to say, "Fine."  Because physically I am.  And because it's over and there's nothing I can do about it.  Because I have two children and a husband and a business and a house and friends who need me.  Because I am blessed beyond belief in so many ways.

But I'm not fine.  I feel alone and sad and lost.  And like now that a week has passed, I'm supposed to be over it.  Really?  A week?

But I lost a child.  Not a fetus or an embryo, but a real child and the potential of that child's life with me that I was already envisioning.  I lost a part of myself.

Maybe we will try again.  Or not.  This seems to be the thing people want to comfort me with, including my husband.  And I suppose it is a comfort.  But another child will be just that.  Another child.  Not this one.  There is no replacement.

So here is my truth:  I am sad and I am angry.  I miss the child that I only got to spend 10 weeks with.  And I am helpless to change anything about that except to accept that this has happened and move on.

Fall down seven times, get up eight. 

Ok.  I'll get up one more time.  But enough already.  Enough.

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