I AM NOT THE SAME
Many people have said to me, “You’re not the same.”
At first I took it hard and sometime I still do. I’ve said it myself but hearing others say it affirms what I really don’t want to be true. Turning thirty was a milestone of excitement and eagerness for me. I finally felt like I knew who I was and what I wanted in my life. That’s what people tell you… you won’t know who you really are until your thirties. It’s like when it all comes together and you feel like you just get it. I thought I had figured it all out. I was in control of my life. I guess that’s how life surprises you.
This year was a big year for us. We both entered into a new decade of life while continually celebrating a blissful marriage of five years. To say we were incredibly ecstatic for the adventures to come is an understatement. We had a lot to look forward to and growing our little family was on the forefront of our minds and hearts. We were ready. We are ready.
On my thirtieth birthday, we entered the doctors office excited and nervous to start our new journey together. At 9 weeks pregnant, I felt good compared to what other women have experienced. I was tired. REALLY tired. And I only ever really wanted to eat red meat & watermelon which in retrospect is silly to me. We were quiet to talk about what was happening in our lives and regularly said how lucky & fortunate we both felt that it happened so easy for us and of course, that I hadn’t thrown up yet.
And this is the part that I always seem to stumble on. I’ve sat at this computer screen MANY times and stared at the blinking cursor. And I’m falling into this rhythm as I type this second. A gut wrenching numbness filling me inside and tears streaming down my face.
It never gets easier to think about. I’m finding it still isn’t even easy to write about. And of course, it never gets easy to talk about.
And it's been quite hard to sleep at night.
I was a few days shy of exiting my first trimester and the anxieties that come along with it all were dissipating. We silently celebrated mother’s day, my birthday present was a doctor’s visit and our five year anniversary was spent reveling in the tiny life we had created together. Over those few months we had created memories that I will cherish forever.
On June 13th, a day I will now never forget, we were given the unfortunate news that our little one stopped developing and lost its heartbeat. At three months pregnant, our moments of joy and aspirations for the future quickly turned dim and devastating.
A moment I can still taste as salt touches my lips.
One minute we were laughing and smiling about something so mundane and silly I can’t even remember and the next we were sitting in disbelief and feeling completely and utterly broken. We thought we made it.
The first words out of our mouths were, “I don’t understand.” A phrase I still use and think often to this day.
And the second, which still upsets me so much is, “What do we do?”
I remember clearly looking at my husband so scared, unsure and confused. I couldn’t muster up the courage to even cry yet. I was stunned and shaking. “But how?” That’s something I’ve asked myself everyday since. How is this possible? What did I do wrong? There were no signs or real enough signals to let us know this wasn't true. And that’s just it, there were no signs. I didn’t even know that that was possible but now I do.
The only conclusion I have been able to tell myself is that my body just couldn’t let go of this sweet little one. I wanted it so badly in my life that my body instinctively clung on to its precious little life. If I was ACTUALLY in control, I’d still be holding on and would never let go.
I had what is called a “missed miscarriage” which is a dumb way of explaining what had happened to me. My body missed miss carrying a child. This implies that I not only failed once but I failed TWICE. Que the TKO because that just knocked me the fuck out.
And just like that, in one day we thought we were pregnant with a healthy growing baby, found out we lost our child & I was rushed to the hospital to have an emergency surgery to remove all of our hopes and dreams. Oh and some of my heart, too.
And there lies where this roller coaster began for me. On the hospital bed, laying next to my sweet husband, with a heart full of love and a belly full of a lost life.
I’ve always known I was fortunate for loving a man who loved me back, infinitely. But you never truly know until a devastating circumstance rocks your world, turns you upside down and drops you flat on your face. You know then because that man, amidst his own terrible fall into a pit of despair, pushes his own feelings aside to hold you up. To care for you with so much strength and grace without question. To get you to a place of comfort even if just for a second.
I sometimes wonder if he even breathed a single long breath through it all. I am truly saddened that I couldn’t or hadn’t been there for him the way he was for me. I thought I was stronger than I was and am but these moments show us just how human we really are. There will never be any words I could put together to tell him how sorry I am or how much I love him. I am grateful beyond measure for him and his constant love for me and our family.
You really have no idea what life will hand you in the blink of an eye until you’ve experienced unexpected loss. There are A LOT of unspoken things that happens after this.
A woman’s body goes through things unimaginable during pregnancy. Not many people noticed the changes or growth but I did. This little one had life in me. It’s life was my life and my life was it’s life. I lost a part of me even if I never got the chance to really see it and know it.
For four months, I was taking care of myself the way I should have for it. My mind and body had purpose and my life revolved around it. My daily routines of what I ate or what I did or even didn’t do were solely for the purpose of this thing. And now my purpose has gone and a small piece of my heart has left with it. I have felt like I’ve lost myself in the midst of losing this joy.
Now I’m trying to find a way back to me before this, even if it feels new and different. Even if I have no idea how or what to be.
…. Because I know I am not the same.
In this month of October, it is Pregnancy and Loss Awareness Month, and I am sharing some of my love story throughout the next few weeks in hopes that I can help someone else struggling with this pain. And quite possibly continue to learn to cope with my own grief in the process. Hope you’ll come back for more as I talk about this journey of mine through pregnancy loss.
If there is something you are curious about or would love to know, feel free to ask and I’d be happy to answer or hand out hugs. I want this to be a safe space for you to express your own feelings, too!
Cheers to strength & love,