I read a lot. And during miscarriages, I seek out faith-based blogs on loss, particularly reoccurring miscarriage. I think it helps to know you are not the only one. Some doctors make miscarriage sound like the chicken pox. You get it- one and you're done. Met your statistical quota. Not that one hurts any less. But having 4 doesn't get any easier. So what about people like me? Well, according to the doctor, it's a sign of something wrong- either structurally (there's not) which is hard to fix, or hormonal, which is treatable. Then there's the little-understood area of auto-immune problems, which despite an initial diagnosis, isn't likely to be it for me either. The doctors say there is no medical reason I shouldn't sustain a pregnancy. Yet why? WHY? No answers, spiritually or medically, intensifies the pain.
In miscarriage blogs, you read statistics. You read treatment options. You read of trying again and of hope that you never experience the pain again. You rarely read of the aftermath. What happens after you hear those words, I'm sorry, m'am, but...
Here's my aftermath:
1. The phone call to family. For a while, Jake and I wanted to keep it to ourselves. With family, they are hurt, too. Grandmas and Pawpaws to be, aunts to be- families ache, too, and telling them is torture.
Worse, perhaps, ripping away the title of big sister away from a child, who isn't sure how to grieve.
2. Notifying the boss and all work-related folks. The plans to be out, and hoping the news is distributed appropriately so someone doesn't come up to you in three weeks and ask how the baby is. I might stare at them and say coldly, dead and in a lab somewhere, then burst into tears.
3. Planning the D&C. It's nauseating. Pre-registration. I know which nurses I'll see, the folks in the recovery room. The texture of the wallpaper in the pre-surgery holding room is already etched in my mind. I know what food and drink I'll have afterwords, and I'll likely be in the same room I've been in for the last three times. No one should know the operating room, the anesthesiologist, or the forms I'll sign in such detail.
4. The sympathy. It pours in. It helps. And it also helps 6 months later, when everyone else is holding babies and moved on and forgot that you are still damaged. Still aching.
5. Packing up maternity clothes and other baby things. Gosh, when people ask if they can do anything, I am tempted to say this. Go through my clothes and pull out the belly bands and button extenders, the flowy maternity tops that hid the bloat, the little pooch. Get the crib, blankets, and diaper bag away. Get the ultrasound pics from the front pocket of my planner and delete them from my phone. Take them away. Go through my calendar and cancel appointments made in advance, white-out the weekly count on the calendar, and erase the heart around the due date. Please. I can't do it. I can't see it.
6. You have to clean the house. People will drop by. And you've wanted to do nothing but sleep for the past few weeks so everything is in need of a scrub. A cleaning service would be a nice sympathy gift, haha. That and a pedicure. Preferably before the D&C. Everyone will see you in all your naked glory anyways, might as well have nice toes. See numbers 3 and 4. (Ironic Addendum- laundry piles are sorted and stacked messily in the living room and hall as I type, and we had a knock on the door before I even hit the post button on this blog. Sorry the house is a wreck. I am folding and packing away maternity clothes and trying not to yell and sob and stomp...)
7. Lastly, and most importantly, is the spiritual aftermath. Do you run to Him? Run away? Sit still and throw a tantrum? Confession: I tend to do the last one. I am hurt because He didn't answer me. While the ultrasound was happening, I was SCREAMING in my head "Abba, Father, I need you! ABBA, ABBA, ABBA, please fix this, make it better, help me, ABBA." Over and over and over and over. The entire time I yelled to Him from the depths of my heart and I heard nothing. And I'm not mad at God. I'm heartbroken. And I don't get why He didn't. I think of a little girl falling off her bike. Crying out for daddy as she topels over. He didn't catch her and stop the boo-boo from happening. Daddies don't stop life from hurting their girls. But Daddy does come to her, pick her up, clean her scraped knees, and kiss her and hold her until the tears stop. I am that little girl. I am still laying brokenhearted on the pavement, crying, scrapped skin stinging, and my Father Abba is coming. He's going to pick me up, and He will hold me.
So that's where I am. My current reality. I am crushed. Broken. Shattered. This sucks. But Abba is coming for His child and He will hold me.