My Hiatus, My Miscarriage Story & My Comfort.

*DISCLOSURE* This may be a TRIGGER WARNING for some as it will graphically talk about miscarriage. Proceed at your own risk.

I had to take a break this summer and I’m gonna tell you why. I was originally going to write about our vegan adventure this last month, but I can’t type a single sentence. There’s this big fat blinder in my brain and all I can seem to be thinking of is my sweet 5th child. I think that’s the Lord telling me “you know what you’re supposed to write about”. So, we’ll start at the beginning:

Baby #5

We found out we were pregnant with #5 and it was a shock. Our daughters first birthday was that month! We usually wait until our baby is a year old to see if we’d like to try for another one but, SSSUUUURRRPRISE! Here comes #5. I was scared, then I was happy and then I was angry. Why? Because I wanted to shout from the rooftops that we were having another little baby. Instead of congratulations, I knew I’d be met with “you’re crazy” or “another one?!” or my favorite, “are you going to be like the Duggars?”. So instead we kept it to ourselves. Something I regret and will never do again. I hid my joy of having another child for the sake of others. I felt like a hypocrite. I write about not caring what other people think, yet here I am doing that exact thing. So we started to tell close family and people we thought would be genuinely happy for us.

The Miscarriage

I was getting ready for my nephew’s graduation when I went to the restroom and saw blood. I assumed I was starting my cycle and then I remembered. I was pregnant. I panicked and cried, then immediately shut off the water works and told myself that it was nothing but some implantation bleeding and everything would be fine. As the days proceeded there after the bleeding continued, so I went to the E.R. That’s when I saw my sweet babe on the ultrasound. They said it was a threatened miscarriage and that from their point of view the ultrasound didn’t look like a miscarriage. They said the baby was still too small to hear a heartbeat. The timing seemed off to not hear a heartbeat, I had been pregnant for at least two months at this point! I still had hope and told myself “maybe my women’s intuition allowed me to find out I was pregnant super early.” So, a few days later we got ready for Young Living’s Convention and had a mini vacay in Vegas!

The bleeding continued and that’s when I started googling everything about miscarriage. I talked to friends who bled through their entire pregnancy and ended up being totally fine. I continued to tell myself that that would be my same fate. The bleeding continued and then the cramping started. That’s when I knew, but I refused to admit it. I remember lying on the floor of a warm shower balling my eyes out with my husband rubbing my back and me bellowing “I CAN FEEL MY BODY TRYING TO PUSH SOMETHING OUT, BUT IT”S MY BABY!” I took lots of showers during that trip, it’s where I fell apart so my kids wouldn’t see. So then I dried off and we went to the arcade, even though I felt like I should stay back. We went to eat and I went to the bathroom. That’s when I found a gray ball in my toilet paper, a little bigger than a silver dollar. I started at it and quickly panicked, flushing it down the toilet. I went to the emergency room immediately after that. I knew that was my baby. But the protective mother instinct in  me would not allow me to accept that. I kept telling myself everything would be fine.

The Las Vegas ER is something else! I went to give a Urine sample and there was a lady legit passed out on the bathroom floor hooked up to an I.V.! I felt like I was in the drunk tank. The staff was incredibly rude and unprofessional. It. Was. Horrible. Then after a few hours I met the lovely doctor (insert sarcasm here) They had already done the ultrasound. And he walks in and says in a very loud voice like I won some sort of sick lottery “Hey! Unfortunately, it looks like you had a miscarriage so….” -I immediately cry and he says “uummmm” quickly walks out and tells his nurse “I’m gonna give this one a little time” He walks over to the next curtain stall and in the same jovial voice asks the next patient if they’re ready for their prescriptions. No consoling. No bedside manner. Not even a sad voice. Nothing.

The Aftermath

So there I was alone holding my now empty womb with this repeating thought. “I flushed my baby down the toilet in a Vegas buffet.” That’s my miscarriage, I didn’t get to put him/her in a final resting place. I don’t have anything to remember her/him by. That’s it. My baby is dead and my consolation prize is an empty womb as if nothing ever happened. I went on to convention and did just that, acted as though nothing happened. I thank God for my husband and my sister who were there and mourned with me in the evenings when things seemed to unravel like the song “round midnight”.

My Comfort

I came home and was told things like “everything happens for a reason”, “God was protecting you from something horrible that was wrong with the baby” and “maybe one day you’ll have another”. None of that was a comfort to me. My baby is dead and there is no bright side to death. It reminds me of when Lazarus died and Jesus wept. He knew He was going to resurrect him. Jesus was mourning the fact the death exists in the first place. Its reminds me of the scripture in Romans that says “sin came alive and I died.” In the garden of Eden we were in perfect sinless harmony with God; then sin entered and we could no longer live forever. Death was not a part of the original plan. Death is not normal and I refuse to treat it as such. This may sound morbid, but my hope is in my coming home to Heaven. My comfort lies in the fact that my child is with the Perfect God man who could care for them better than I ever could. My joy is that my child has only ever known love in a womb and glory in Heaven. When we broke the news to the children that they would not be able to meet their newest sibling, their reaction was my favorite. Jesus says to have faith like a child and I get why now more so than ever. We told them that the baby is in heaven with God, their response was all smiles. My eldest daughter asks me “well, then why are you crying mom? The baby is with Jesus!” They get it. “To live is Christ and to die is gain”. I only hope to have their faith one day.

There are days I’m consumed with the feeling that I’m missing something, I’ll head count my children only to be reminded that there IS someone missing. Every time I’m asked if I am planning to have any more children I usually respond in my head with “I did” and then proceed to smile and say, “who knows!”. I spent a lot of time just trying my hardest to not ball my eyes out in public. Although I’m usually not a big fan, small talk has been a favorite of mine this summer.

There are days that are harder than others they’re usually spent walking around depressed and crying sporadically. Lots of movies and snuggles, which the kids don’t mind. It doesn’t just go away overnight, and that’s okay. You take as long as you need to process and grieve. If you’ve have had a miscarriage, I’m mourning with you and if your hope is in Christ, I’m also rejoicing with you. Sometimes they’ll happen at the same time and that’s okay too. I’ll look crazy with you.

 

Perfectionism.

I REALLY did not want to write about this. Not because I don’t desire to talk about it, but because it’s easier not to. I came to sit at a coffee shop to write about the chemistry of essential oils and I brought out my handy thumb drive which has my aromatherapy books on it. God disagreed with this decision and when I opened my files it was the wrong thumb drive, so here I am. Time to emotionally vomit. I’ve been going to therapy and talking about feelings and you know, feeling them more. Growing up in dysfunctional families everyone usually takes up a roll. Mine was to be funny, smooth things over and act oblivious to the chaos around me. For me to believe my Mom, with all my little heart, that the scale in the garage she was using to weigh drugs was just a “jewelry scale”. To go to school for months and hop from one hotel to another, while pretending it was an adventure. Given her abusive upbringing she did the best she could; however I still came out with a lot of scars.

For a long time, I’ve turned that emotionally vulnerable part of myself off as a protective mechanism. It’s easier to not feel… for now at least. As a result, like a bad comb over, I have acted as though everything is fine. I’ve been going through life forcing myself to be everything I thought would look normal and happy. I envisioned cheerfully waking up at five with rollers in my hair, quietly enjoying a cup of coffee, reading my bible, waking up my beautiful angelic children and husband and welcoming them to a table full of breakfast. My house would always be clean, I would never yell at my kids, my husband would always be happy and LIFE WOULD BE PERFECT. All because I said so. That’s where perfectionism creeps in. I’m not talking about the normal kind that takes pretty notes and makes pretty things. I’m talking about the maladaptive kind that makes you hate yourself when you fall short. I spend most of my days disappointed with myself, forgetting that I am trying to create an environment for my family that I didn’t experience as a kid. Forgetting that I had seven mattresses in my room and VCR parts everywhere making it difficult to clean. Forgetting that while all the crazy stuff was going on around me, I was just THERE. No chores. No sitting down at dinner tables. No waking up to breakfast. JUST. THERE. Yet I sit here and expect to do all these wonderful things over night. I expect to do things parents have been teaching their kids to do for years; since childhood. Those expectations I’ve set for myself are tearing me apart and most people have no idea.

I can walk into church with my hair done and my little row of ducklings in tow and I can perfectly tell you “I’m fine, thank you for asking”. I can make sure that the downstairs part of the house is immaculate when you come to visit. And when I’m struggling, I can perfectly and nonchalantly tell you “life is tough” with a smile on my face. Meanwhile, I have four laundry baskets upstairs that the kids keep knocking over that I haven’t put away in weeks, dirty dishes shoved in the dishwasher I have yet to scrub off, my garage is filled with a bunch of crap shoved away before guests come. And when I’m home I cry all the time. I’m like a perfect sunny side up egg that has a rancid yoke. By appearance everything is just peachy, but inside is something rotten.

I write this to encourage you and myself. God has a purpose for us and our families even if we can’t see it now. Our children will see our imperfections while also seeing how hard we work to be different. We are doing this whole normal family thing for the first freaking time and we need to lighten up, acknowledging that we are learning as we teach too. Whatever family we see that we want to exemplify has their own imperfections behind closed doors and has probably taken generations to get as put together as they are. I am in the trenches with you, friend. We are so messed up and that’s okay, there’s a beautiful vulnerability and understanding you have because of it. We can only improve from where we are. Stay hopeful.