I have had three miscarriages in two years. Technically four, if you count the twins. The feeling of losing babies that you wanted and loved the second you knew they were there or even before is heartbreaking. It is all consuming. It kept me from seeing my living children at times because my heart and thoughts were with those babies. The date they were supposed to be born. Wondering if it would be a boy or a girl. Thinking of how they would have interacted with our older kids. Knowing that we couldn’t have possible handled twins but we would have loved them just the same.
I was frustrated and confused. How could this be? I was willing to make the sacrifice. I was willing to get up at all hours of the night, to comfort, to feed, to burp, to change. I was willing to gain the weight, the body awkwardness, the hair loss, the hormones. I was willing to change it all just to bring another baby into our family. And isn’t the willingness enough? Wouldn’t that be enough to just get these babies to be born? Just one baby? I had my other children easy enough. Four kids in seven years. I was surrounded by babies and needs and loves and hugs and crying(sometimes mine, sometimes theirs) and kisses. Surely, having one last baby wouldn’t be much different or more difficult. Surely, I knew what was best for our family.
Sometimes what you think is best for you, what is best for your family, really isn’t the best thing. Sometimes God or fate or karma, whatever you believe, knows what is best for you. Accepting that will or plan is surely a different story. One minute, you feel like this is the right plan. You start to create a future with your four healthy and beautiful children. You become excited about the new opportunities that are ahead of you. I will write, I will run, I will bake, I will finally have a clean house! The next minute, you are bawling because how could this happen again? How could it happen three times in a row? Clearly it isn’t a fluke anymore. How can my heart be willing and my body not. The next minute you think, we can try again. It couldn’t happen four times in a row. But in your heart, you know you can’t do it again. You can’t take the chance and the risk.
I have many friends who have lost babies, whether through miscarriage or stillborn. I have friends who have lost brothers (so many brothers), my husband included. I have friends who have lost husbands, mothers, fathers, children too early. And I think how is this the same? I didn’t know these babies. I don’t have a picture to look at or any memories to associate with these babies besides loss, a lost of blood tests and the initial excitement. My family and friends who have lost their people surely must hurt so much more. And you know, I know they do. They have lost dreams and plans and futures. They have lost the physical and emotional presence and support. They do live on memories and I know memories sustain them. I know I will move on and carry this in my heart and in my mind and the pain will lessen over time, or I will get used to the pain. I will use my pain to create something positive or something that can help others. I can use this pain to become more empathetic and sensitive.
In the end, I know that loss is loss. Whether it be Grandma Jo, our sweet 84 year old grandma friend that we only knew for three years but filled a spot in our hearts with her amazing recipes, spunky personality and wisdom. Or whether it be Blake’s brother Ryan who suffered a stroke at age 31 and passed away so unexpectedly. The loss of even one person is life changing for so many people. And yes, we do go on and yes, we do see light some days and darkness others. But loss is loss. The darkness is sometimes all encompassing. But the hope is there. The hope of a future reunion. The hope of being able to see these people and love them in a better place, full of light and love and life.. And knowing that this isn’t the only life that we are allowed. I believe we have an all knowing and all loving God who knows us and loves us and is very aware of our joys and pains and sorrows. Sometimes it is hard to see this in the midst of loss and you can’t see the light some days. But other days you use that hope to continue on in life, to push through and find joy.
And you know that is how your people would have wanted you to live. Not in a hole of unshowered and unmotivated depression, but going out into the world and using your pain to understand others pain. Using your understanding to care about what other people care about. To care about what concerns them and to be a listening ear and a kind shoulder to cry on. That is my hope for me and for all who have lost, which I believe is all of us. That we can turn these experiences, these bitter, frustrating, downright angry feelings into a compassionate and loving hope. That we can help people who haven’t made it to the other side of pain to see that there is hope and light there. And that in the end everything will be ok.