October 15 – National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
It isn’t strange at all to think that it has been nearly a year since I miscarried.
I wrote about it here which was one of the most difficult moments to open up about our experience. I guess I was afraid more or less about being judged. Miscarrying at 7 weeks is early, so was I entitled to feel that large of an impact of loss like I did? After publishing that post, those who contacted me through comments and email touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I no longer felt alone.
There are so many women that I know personally that have walked through the difficult journey of losing a pregnancy or an infant. It is one that I had hoped to grow stronger from – but I have realized this past year that I tried far to hard early on to put that moment in the past. I found myself randomly driving, thinking about that day .. or the excitement that built up the weeks prior to the miscarriage. The tears would start flowing, and I found it hard to stop.
We wanted so badly to bring another child into our family – and during the first month or so after the miscarriage I felt compelled to try again – with high hopes, a better ending. Then the fear set it. With each month passing I found myself growing more and more fearful of the idea. I started to develop awful anxiety. Which was not a surprise to me, seeing being anxious was always a part of who I was. But, this anxiety was different. I felt like my life was on pause. I miscarried – a few short weeks later Owen was sick in the hospital – fast forward a few months later to Brody’s diagnosis with IBD and weeks and weeks of being in and out of the hospital. We bought our “dream home” – and in over our heads in renovations. Everything was piling on and I felt suspended.
I never really talked about the miscarriage to anyone. If it were brought up, I would say silly things like “When it’s meant to be it’ll happen” … just to stop the conversation. There was not a way to convey to people how I was really feeling – I felt overwhelmed with everything happening in our personal lives. Our boys were sick – moving to a new city – piling on extra things to do on my list in between taking care of the kids. I quickly found myself in a huge rut. I have always been a girl who said yes to everything – making my to do list bigger than me, it did not take long until that list took me under.
I found myself pulling back from friends, and social situations. I started to develop REALLY awful anxiety attacks that would come and go at the strangest of times. I shut down, I did not want to talk about how I was feeling, I definitely put on an act. Until almost two months ago when I woke up at 4:00am to my heart feeling like it was jumping out of my chest. Trying to relax and go back to sleep – I could not quiet shake the feeling. By 7:00 I found myself collapsed on the living room floor and unable to catch my breath. My hands and legs went completely tingly and numb. They cramped up so tight – Dan immediately called 911 – and as soon as the paramedics came they knew it was a massive panic attack.
I, of course, was mortified.
I was so embarrassed that my body took full control and it got THAT bad.
It took it getting to that point until I realized just how much things I went through within this past year really took its toll on me. No, my miscarriage did not destroy me. But not dealing with it correctly definitely wore on me over the months to come. I have always wanted to large family … for my kids to have lots of siblings. Seeing friends and family get pregnant did not make me sad at all – I was actually super excited for them – and wanted that for myself as well. But then the thought of losing another pregnancy took over. I could not quiet swap it out to positive thinking.
I know right, it’s not like I lost back to back pregnancies.
I guess I just felt like it was my body telling me to stop trying. So I felt defeated.
Since my attack I have come leaps and bounds with my anxiety. I am really proud of myself that I have much greater understanding of why and how I am feeling. That I do not need to be embarrassed or ashamed, or feel that I have to validate my feelings. More importantly I wanted to share this story with you guys because learning that I was not alone and understand that what I am feeling is OK and normal has helped me cope so much better.
Our miscarriage will never be forgotten.
For those who are trying to start a family of their own, keep trying.
For those who have lost a pregnancy or an infant, I pray for you all.
It is not an easy path to walk.
I hope we all can be a little more open-minded about what others have experienced and are going through.
Light a candle tonight, to remember.