Winston Churchill said Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Sometimes, buoyed by his words which tell me I am strong, I think Yeah baby!
Other times a small trigger plunges me into despair, antagonised by critical self-loathing for failing at this most basic task.
Today marks the two-month anniversary of my first ultrasound. Two months! I should be six-… No, my sweet darling, I gently interrupt myself, please don’t go there, it’s not helpful.
I have friends, old and new, who know the pain of losing a pregnancy. I am both mortified and encouraged that those for whom it has been a while seem to have forgotten the acute anguish. They tell me It could have been worse and Imagine if… I know they are right, and that in time I will agree wholeheartedly, but right now it’s a hollow comfort.
I have made beautiful friendships through this blog. Some are former acquaintances, some are friends, some are rekindled long-distance relationships, some are readers of this blog. I now email, Skype, and Facebook with my fellow members of this secret society we didn’t apply to be members of! It seems so wonderful that I should find my tribe of women who know firsthand what it is to feel what I feel. And, incredibly, one woman I know reached out to tell me that although she never had a miscarriage, she knows what it is to grieve a loss and offered to talk. (You know who you are: I am bad at calling, but I will soon. Thank you.) It is refreshing to give and receive support without justifying myself, explaining why… My only regret is that we have all found each other through sad circumstances. I may yet find there is a silver lining in all this…
Baby, please don’t go…
Still, for all the wonderful connections, I do not have a single friend who is childless and who had a miscarriage. Everyone I know who has had a miscarriage already has a child or is pregnant. (Either that or they are struggling to even get pregnant which I think is a whole other kind of psychological trauma.) There is no one who is walking in similar shoes to me right now, and I realise this is why I feel so terribly alone. A few days ago, my cousin-in-law, J., who is a doctor, told me that he and his wife know the pain of miscarriage. They have had three little boys and three miscarriages (miscarriage, boy, boy, miscarriage, boy, miscarriage), but J. was quick to point out that miscarrying when you don’t have a child already is particularly tough. He asked me how I was doing. I told him that I have good days and bad days, and most days are in-between days.
Baby, now that I’ve found I can’t let you go…
Some days I feel fine. I laugh! I am on a roll with my homework and work-work. I joke in a Valley Girl accent, Dudes, I am, like, sooooooo on top of things, and morph into a Southern twang, this here lil’ ole miscarriage ain’t gonna git the better of me, y’all! I am myself again. Silly, joking, laughing, a big fat ham taking pride in her appearance, feeling like if I can get through this I can get through anything. These days are still few and far between. I am able to shake off the I told you you should have started trying years ago (someone else’s unfeeling words, not mine…) and LIVE. I breathe, laugh, enjoy, feel peaceful — until a trigger punches me in the stomach.
Baby, I need your lovin’… got to have all your lovin’…
Some days I flounder in utter despair and can’t get through anything, not even a plate of food — because when I am stressed my digestive system shuts down and I can’t eat. (This explains why I weigh 5 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I am keeping an eye on this and doing my best.) Days like these are awful and make me ashamed of myself.
Honestly, most days are peppered with bouts of despair. It’s been 6 weeks since my D&C and I still haven’t had a period. I called the triage nurse today to ask if that was normal and she told me that, after a D&C, it can take three to four months for your cycle to return. THREE OR FOUR MONTHS?! (Yes, I am shouting.) Add the two recommended cycles, and potentially I’m looking at being back in the TTC game SIX MONTHS FROM NOW (still shouting, but voice a little broken now).
Another devasting blow. I collapsed. Fuck, I don’t know what you call it, but I cried so much and so hard it felt like my chest was folded in half. For an hour, I vacillated between unbridled rage and intense despair. Is this grief? Eventually, emotionally drained, I fell asleep, my cheek pressed against a large wet patch of snot and tears.
Most days I am quiet. Head down, Just get it done. At the end of each day I heave a sigh of relief. I didn’t lose my shit today. Well done, girl, because you seriously could have. Another day over with; another day closer to feeling okay again. Which can only mean another day closer to getting pregnant again… even if it is six months from now.
I desperately want to get back to normal again but I don’t know what I can do. Living like this is like a prison sentence. Another notch on the wall. I am serving time. When I have enough notches scratched into the wall I will be free — but, baby, it’s no way to live.
Oh, I can’t quit you babe… but I think I’m gonna put you down for a while.