What The Heart Wants (*trigger*)
My head and my heart aren't on speaking terms right now. They're engaged in battle with each other. I'm not sure there will be a winner.
I should be 19wks pregnant today. 8 weeks ago I had a miscarriage. I was 11wks along in a pregnancy I hadn't anticipated and, as a result, didn't share the news widely. I'd hoped for "just one more" since shortly after the birth of our third, but this year was too soon. My due date would have been my wedding anniversary -- prophetic, I thought. I'm a big believer in Murphy's Law.
The timing was all wrong, and would have complicated so many things with our family and business. I worked hard to find the positives -- repeating them endlessly in my head until I started to believe them, to get excited, to plan. Very few people knew I was pregnant, as the effort of faking happiness and excitement for others is a stress I prefer to avoid, but I was looking forward to week 12 or 13 and sharing it more widely among my friends.
I am 37 years old and suffer from endometriosis. Fertility issues and miscarriages are not new to me. In the 11 years since my oldest was born, I've had 3 -- one at 6wks, and another at 8wks. Everyone processes grief in different ways and I'm pragmatic about these things -- they generally happen for a good reason -- so I found myself blindsided by the emotional turmoil that followed in its wake. I've never felt so vulnerable, so open and raw -- not even after the birth of our second child. I didn't expect this to bother me so much. The mind is a funny thing.
Sometimes you don't realize how much you really wanted something until it is gone.
I don't think it's the loss of the pregnancy that I'm grieving as much as the loss of the idea -- the unfulfillment of plans I'd started making, the reinforcement of my body trust issues, how I'd finally warmed to and embraced the idea of it being the last time I would do this and then I'd be done. An October baby could have been lovely...
Now I worry if it was the last time I will have done this and if I'm done. Fertility is a tricky thing once you hit your mid-30s and beyond.
The last 8 weeks have been an interesting time of self-reflection for me. I found resolution for some things that happened a long time ago, I uncovered a lot of old feelings I thought I'd dealt with years back, and I found myself in a rare state of *needing* to be touched -- people who know me well will know this is a bit of a big deal for me, because I generally dislike being touched. *Needing* touch and inviting it are foreign to me, my kids being exceptions (for the most part) -- I'm still navigating that development. It's hard to ask for hugs when you've spent most of your life avoiding them. I learned just how much good friends matter in a time of crisis -- one friend in particular was my rock.
In the meantime, I've been flip-flopping between being fine about it all and being completely crushed. A couple people I know announced pregnancies that very same weekend, with similar due dates, and I've muted their social media feeds in self-defense b/c I'm not sure if their chatter will reduce me to tears or if I'll feel happy for them at any given moment. I *am* happy for them, but I find it very hard to talk about right now because I can't predict my reactions and I hate crying.
Have you ever noticed how, when you want to be pregnant, it seems like everyone else already is?
Sometimes that Murphy is a real asshole.
I know I will feel easier about this eventually, but right now I still feel very conflicted. The timing of the pregnancy was atrocious, but I've never been one to claim that there is a convenient time to have a baby. "Children" and "convenience" do not co-exist. I am adrift in my emotions. I expect that will settle down, too, as the weeks and months go by. I will take this opportunity to take care of myself -- I feel run-down mentally and physically -- and I will not let this push me back into depression. Hiding inside myself is tempting and would be an easy thing to do.
I don't want sympathy -- these things happen and are part of a larger, natural process, and I accept that. I want to unburden because I worry I might stumble under the weight of these feelings. Taking my thoughts and setting them free lightens my load, and helps me move on. It is time to move the focus back to the great things happening in my life -- there are a lot of great things...
Still, that's the Brain talking.
The Heart remains sad.