I woke up this morning aching. After the failed IUI and then learning I had a cyst that would prevent us from trying again this month, I haven’t felt the same. Even though I’ve resorted to all my usual antics to try and pick back up and stay positive, I feel as if I’m hitting a breaking point, one where the reality of what we’ve been through has finally truly hit me.
They say that after a miscarriage a women not only grieves the loss of her baby, but grieves the loss of her reproductive story.
I never quite knew what that meant. I understood the idea of grieving a reproductive story on an intellectual level, but I hadn’t quite felt that loss in my heart yet. I hadn’t grieved the loss of my reproductive story.
I’m finally having that out of body of experience, where I look back at the last two years and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. I can’t believe how this desire to start a family turned into a nightmare, and one I can’t wake up from or claw my way out of. I can’t believe that this is my story. All the heartbreak, stress, tears, and loss is now my reproductive story. And it makes me so sad.
Last night as I laid in bed headed for sleep, my mind was still going and my heart still hurting. I had been feeling depressed all weekend, like I was suddenly struggling through fresh grief. I thought to myself, as I started to drift into twilight sleep, “What am I feeling, really?” And instead of words floating through my mind to answer that question, I saw the answer in images. I say myself in the ocean, in the middle of a violent whirlpool. I was trapped in its torrent. I was flailing my arms above water, towards the side of a boat, trying to lift myself up, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t grasp the edge of the boat to pull myself up. And there was no one there to lift me up. So instead I kept thrashing, trapped, alone, getting pulled deeper and deeper.
When I woke up this morning I mindlessly picked up my phone and opened Facebook, which I often do before getting out of bed. The first picture I saw was a photo of my best friend’s seven month old baby. The friend who shared my due date, before I lost my baby. With time, I’ve healed enough and grown numb enough to see photos of her baby without too much of a stabbing pain. When he was three months old, I even got the courage to go spend the day with him when I was visiting San Francisco where my friend lives. But this morning, I saw that picture and the loss just hit me.
He just looked so….old.
He was growing into a little person. He wasn’t just a little 8 pound nugget anymore, lying helplessly, swaddled in his blanket. He was becoming someone. Something my babies won’t ever get the chance to do.
With that photo, and with that realization, I closed my eyes and let a tear run down my cheeks. I could feel my losses in a profound way. I could see what I lost. I could see what I lost getting older, growing into someone his mom and dad probably could never imagine their lives without.
I miss my babies today.
I miss the awe and wonder of knowing that they are growing inside of me. I miss the nausea and the fatigue and the changes to my body that assure me that they are in there. I miss imagining the people they would become, and who they would resemble. I miss envisioning the life we would all have together. I miss the promise that they held. I miss the joy I felt knowing they are in my belly, and that my body was busy creating a life.
Although I have faith that I will create life again, I will always miss my babies, always remembering how old they would be, always wondering who they would have been. But someday, I hope that maybe I can make peace with my reproductive story. Instead of feeling loss and sadness, I hope to understand what it’s given me. How it’s made me a better mom. How it’s forced me to never take my children for granted, and hug them just a little tighter knowing how hard I fought for them. How it’s given me more empathy for others who struggle. How in going to these dark places, I will embrace the light in a deeper way.
Today I may grieve, and I may miss my babies. But eventually I hope to understand, and find a deeper meaning into why this had to be my reproductive story.