Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding Peace After Miscarriage

Just a fair warning... this is a long one.

So, if you're up for it, get comfortable and read on...

I've started writing (and re-writing) this post many times, both in my head and here on the computer,
since starting this blog in February 2011.  Now, I'm usually a private person, so sharing this experience with you has been something that I've had to build up the courage to do.

Throughout this past year of blogging we've gotten to know each other, and now that we have, I've been thinking about sharing a little bit more of the real me.

Also, something that our minister said in his sermon today at church really spoke to me.
I don't remember the exact words, but the message was to think differently about the trials and tribulations that we all go through.  Perhaps these struggles are something that we must experience in order to help others get through their own hard times.

I think that sometimes it just helps to know that someone else has been there too... that we're not alone.
That is why I am finally sharing this story with you today.



It was the winter of 2010.  I remember a time full of anticipation, exciting changes, and transitions.
Our son Oliver had a lovely first Christmas.  We were expecting the arrival of our second child.
The hunt for a new (and bigger than our teeny tiny condo) house was just beginning.
More on that story here... Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

By the middle of January, things had changed even more.

It started off with a little bit of spotting, which, I'm told, can be a normal occurrence during pregnancy.
As the bleeding became heavier, we decided to get checked out and went to the walk-in clinic
(it was a Saturday so our family doctor's office was closed).
After a urine test, the doctor on call was straight to the point...

She said that we were more than likely having a miscarriage.

At that time, I felt okay and as though I had come to terms with the situation almost instantly.
From the beginning of this pregnancy, I had felt like something was a little off and this explained it.

But things were far from over...

On the following Wednesday, the cramping, pain, and bleeding were getting quite bad.
We spent the evening in the emergency room, where they did some blood tests.

We were a little shocked and surprised by the results...

My hormone levels were around where they should be and we were told that the pregnancy may actually still be viable.  I guess extreme bleeding can be normal in some cases, including the ER doctor's own pregnancy.

So home we went, trying not to give in to that glimmer of hope and waiting for morning to come so we go back for more tests.

External and internal ultrasounds, more blood tests, and a whole lot of waiting filled that day until it was our turn to see the doctor.  This time, the results were pretty clear.  My hormone levels had dropped drastically.

There would be no baby.

The next week or so I spent a lot of time in bed as the miscarriage took its course.
Thankfully, I had our little Oliver to take care of... I was even still breastfeeding during that time.
I think it would have been an even more difficult time, if not for him.
We had this beautiful, healthy, happy little one in our lives... and he needed me.

It took me a very long time to feel anything close to my normal self again.

There was a lot of sadness, but for the most part, I was angry.
It was a fierce, searing type of anger that I had never quite experienced before.
It was extremely out of character for me and I think my husband was the only one who ever really saw part of that anger come to the surface.

Along with my family and friends, there have been a few things that have helped me get through.

Starting this blog was one of them.  Charcoal & Crayons celebrates the good things in my life.  Focusing on that has been so helpful.  Also, the wonderful response from family, friends, and all of you out there in Blogland has meant the world to me.  From the beginning, your comments, support, and words of encouragement have brought me many happy smiles.

Another thing that has helped tremendously is running.  I began running last summer and it quickly became something that made me feel alive again.  Along with an incredible sense of accomplishment, training for my first 5K race was a solid goal to work towards and pushed me to get moving and out the door everyday. Running was my time to think, reflect and to be by myself.  After a day of taking care of our little family, it was something that I did just for me.

But to be completely honest with you...

This story is not over.  It's still wrapped up within an on going struggle of emotions. Every time that I feel as though I've come through to the other side or "gotten over it"  the anger and the tears creep back up on me.

I guess the grief hasn't gone away completely.  It's still there... hidden in the background.

Sometimes it's a scene in a movie or on television that triggers it.  Sometimes it's something that I read or something that someone says, or even a song that I hear.  Sometimes it's just a thought that idly passes my mind when I least expect it.

Perhaps this happens because it is not something that I'm supposed to "get over".

It is an experience that has become a part of who I am, just like that child was and always will be.

What has brought me the most peace is realizing and accepting that this child was never meant to live on this earth...

...instead, this child was meant to live in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by.

Andrea

7 comments:

  1. Andrea,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Such a horrible thing to go through, I can't even imagine. Glad you've got running and this blog to help you.

    Was so glad when you stopped by and left the comment about my owls vs. peacocks. I just had to see your owl drawing - it's fabulous! You are a gifted artist.

    New follower
    Kelly

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  2. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I hope that writing this post was a form of catharsis and helps you to fully get through to the other side. My heart goes out to you.

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  3. Sometimes God blesses us through other people. I guarantee someone will read this who needs to hear exactly what you're sharing. You're a strong woman and I am sorry you had to experience this!!

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  4. Andrea,
    I totally understand your pain, grief and anger. I have suffered three miscarriages of my own. Nothing prepares one for the shock and disbelief that this event brings on! For me personally, my faith in God was my help and refuge. I know He loves and cares for me and He has a plan.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I do believe that experiencing heartache can help others with the same.

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  5. Andrea,
    I'm sorry to hear of your miscarriage.
    I have had a similar experience and know the pain you have felt and the ongoing emotions, mine still after 4 years. I believe that my experience was something God had decided for me, knowing that I would not have been strong enough to look after a baby with mental disabilities...some people can and I admire them, but not me.
    I too had a first child that helped me through the pain and I have since had my third child who is also a blessing.
    I truly believe 'That what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger'.
    I'm new to blogging and found your blog which I love reading, keep on posting!xx

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  6. It's really nice to know that I'm not the only one who is still dealing with the pain of a miscarriage and struggling with all of the emotions. Mine was more recent (early December of 2011), and I constantly find myself thinking about the pregnancy milestones that I'm missing. It's been tough, but reading your post has given me a measure of comfort and a sense that I am not alone. Thank you!!

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  7. Thank you Andrea for having the courage to share your story with us. What a heartbreaking pain, and one so many families have also suffered through. It's cathartic to share your sorrows, both for the reader and for the storyteller. I hope this has helped you to heal a bit. Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart with us.

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Thank you for your thoughts.