Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Had a Miscarriage a Year Ago

I've been working on this post for about a year now, and I think I am finally ready to publish it.

We were so happy when we found out I was pregnant again. Our little McBaby would have a sibling to play with, and our little house would have that much more love. We made plans. I didn't even realize how many plans I was making, or how many things I was looking forward to.

I got a really great picture frame at the thrift store. It was huge, it needed to be refinished but the wood and glass were in great condition. I was so excited to get such a great deal on such a great frame. I stored the glass under our bed while I refinished the wood, which turned out beautifully. I spent plenty of time planning what fantastic artwork or photograph would fill that frame. I thought it would be nice to put a family picture in there after the baby was born.

Then, one day, I had a miscarriage. No one knows why. In a day, all the dreams I didn't even know I was making seemed to fail. They disappeared so suddenly that they left an imprint, like the green and purple splotch that floats in your eyes when a light bulb leaves you suddenly in the dark.

I've read about a mother weeping for her child. Weeping sounds so poetic, like the kind of delicate sadness in a Waterhouse painting.

I have no idea what that kind of sadness and that kind of weeping would be like. I only know about the rattle of lungs banging against my ribcage and punching around my heart, leaving my face swollen and blotchy. I rarely cry, (seriously like maybe once a year or less) so when it happens it ambushes me with violent shuddering and horrible nose blowing. It attacks suddenly and relentlessly- the ugly crying.

At this time, the time of the ugly crying, people start to find out and they start trying to make you feel better. Sometimes though, it doesn't matter what they say, it just makes you feel worse. For a while, everything makes you feel worse. I think the only thing that helped me during this time was Bryce and knowing that eventually, down the line, this wrenching pain would not have so much power over me.

It's hard to know how to react to people, but there's not really a wrong reaction. Even when your friends start announcing that they are expecting a baby the same week that you were, and you feel a clashy mix of gladness for them and sadness for you. It will eventually get better, and you will eventually be able to talk about it, if you want to.

Even when people complain to you about unwanted pregnancies, or how annoyed they are with the kids that they have and you don't; time is there, working, slowly imperceptibly easing your pain. It will get better.

One day, I realized that I hadn't cried all day. I thought maybe it was better, and it was a little better. But things don't get all the way better all at once, and you never know when something will betray that fact to you.

It helped me to be busy. I found a lot of projects. I got out my big refinished picture frame, and found that the glass had somehow broken. This huge sheet of glass had broken and there was no way to fix it. I don't know how or when it happened, but it was done and the only thing to do was to pick up the pieces and get a new glass to fill my frame. I hadn't realized until then that I associated that frame with the baby I was expecting.

Looking at the vast emptiness of that frame made me sad and sparked some kind of resolve in me. I wasn't going to wait for a new family to put in it. I wanted to enjoy every bit of the family I have right now. So we took family pictures and I filled that frame with Handsome Bryce and McBaby and me. I bought a new piece of glass.

 Eventually the days without crying came more and more often, until they started to outnumber the days with crying. Eventually I started feeling pretty normal again, and I got pregnant again. The pain of that miscarriage will probably never go all the way away, but the arrival of McGirlie has dulled it and blurred the sad lines with the happy ones. My dreams didn't disappear, they were just deferred, and they didn't shrivel or fester or crust over; when they came true they were just as fresh and bright and beautiful as ever.
In the time of the ugly crying it was almost impossible for me to imagine that I could feel as better as I feel now. Having McGirlie is wonderful, but I think it is really just time that took the edge off my pain. I guess in some ways that stupid Evanesence song is right, time doesn't erase pain, but it puts it in the past. I am grateful for my faith, and the knowledge that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us, and that if there is not enough time in this life to heal you, there is enough time in eternity.

I don't like to share sensitive things with the internet but it helped me to know that my experience was normal, and happens to normal people. It helped me to know it wasn't my fault. Every person is different and so is every pain, so maybe none of this will help anyone else, but I want to be open about my experience in case it can help.


Jamie Densley Fieber said...

I was the same way after I miscarried. You really don't realize all of the things you start planning when you are pregnant until you have to put them on hold. I still feel a twinge of pain when I see pictures of my friends kids that were born at the same time that I was supposed to have my first baby. Time is such a great healer and I look at Steven and remind myself that I wouldn't have him if I hadn't miscarried before that. You are a great woman and thank you for sharing such tender feelings. :) You are definitely not alone there.

McRachie said...

Thanks Jamie, you are inspiring as a mom. I'm so glad you were able to have those two sweet boys!