Just wow. I can’t thank you all enough for the unbelievable outpour of love and support! There were many times I felt swallowed by the loneliness but there was always a helping hand and/or listening ear right there. Thank you for the hugs, the tissues, the shared knowing of this loss, and the prayers.
I love you all.
I wanted to write a follow up post for a number of reasons: to show how seemingly “mastered” thoughts can shape-shift and wreak havoc all over again, to discuss who’s business belongs to whom, and to bring a voice to miscarriage so we can drive away the shame.
Shifty Little Thoughts
After the exercise I shared in the first post, I felt settled. I still hurt terribly, but I wasn’t attacking myself. It didn’t take long, however, for the same, cruel thoughts to shift slightly and return. I had to revisit written inquiry another 3 times to truly breakthrough in a meaningful way. With each exercise, the same conclusion came faster and faster: I cannot change reality but I CAN change the way I relate to reality. I can honor the lost reality (baby #3 due in December) by being the best mother I can be for my two beautiful babies who are here. I have experienced my children in a whole new way these past weeks.
I spent the morning of Good Friday in the hospital to verify that I had, indeed, had a miscarriage and that it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. All results came back that it was a natural miscarriage. When I returned to work that afternoon, my boss asked if the stress from work compounded with my husband’s intense training schedule were responsible for this loss. My immediate, external response was, “absolutely not” and my immediate, internal response was, “how dare you try to take responsibility for my business!” A year ago, I learned that there are 3 kinds of business: my business, your business, and God’s business. As mothers, we make our children (to include our pregnancies and the gift of conception) our business. After investigating the internal reaction to my boss’ comment, I realized that I had done the exact same thing: I tried to make conception, death, and miscarriage my business when, in fact, they are God’s business. As soon as I gave up the idea that I was somehow capable of running the universe, I felt infinitely lighter. I was the best vessel I could be. I took care of my business. God chose to give and take our baby against our expectations and that’s His business. I’ll own my piece and give the rest back to God.
Driving Out Shame
At this point in the journey, I don’t feel ashamed for having a miscarriage. Shame doesn’t belong in this terrible loss because, like I said earlier, it was never our business to begin with. Besides, there are plenty of other big emotions (like grief, anger, and longing) with which to sit that shame is absolutely overkill. I’ve been surprised and curious about a number of interactions where the other person seemed to feel shame for me. This is a cultural reaction from generations of women internalizing the responsibility of miscarriage and infant loss. We can help shift this. Shame loses it hold through sharing. Now, you don’t have to go public to the interwebs, but if you feel shame for this type of loss, share your story with someone you trust—even if it’s just one person. More importantly, know that God has each life, from conception to death, perfectly planned … and He is taking the greatest care of our angel babies.
All my love, XOXO