I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but how I feel in this moment is much different than how I was feeling a month ago and those few months before that. After an incident a few days ago at school, I realized that I’m in a better place now to really think about the miscarriage and not let it consume my mood or state of mind for hours on end. I know it’s an uncomfortable and taboo subject, and that irritates me, especially because 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage during their lifetime. What is especially disheartening to me is that people celebrate pregnancies for 9 months, yet there are so many women who have suffered, are currently suffering, or will suffer the heartbreak of loss. I’m by no means saying that those who have healthy pregnancies shouldn’t share their joy, but with social media being so prominent in this day and age, it is much more in-your-face than it was even a mere ten years ago.
Anyways, the class I just finished up is on employee and labor relations and consists of a lot of group exercises to demonstrate how arbitration, mediation, and negotiation work in the public and private sector. Fun stuff. After my group completed one of the scenarios, one of the young female group members started making small talk with me. She was super nice and asked me about my life prior to moving to El Paso (she hadn’t been outside of Texas before…yikes!). I started asking her questions as she was visibly pregnant, and she proceeded to tell me that it’s a boy and her second child as she already has a five year old daughter. I’m not sure why the next question came flying out of my mouth, but I asked when her due date is and she replied, “March 12”. For those of you that don’t know, that was our due date (I know they’re tentative, but whatever). Something similar happened in December- the girl who was next to me at graduation told me she was due March 18 and it took everything I had to hold in my tears for those few hours. Now after the girl told me the date, I’m sure I looked a bit shocked (I cannot for the life of me control my facial expressions, haha), but I truly felt happy for her.
Now I know that everyone grieves in various ways so what I say worked for me definitely won’t work for everyone. Also, I don’t really think that time heals all wounds, no matter what the unfortunate event may be. Yes, things will probably get easier as time goes on, but the heart will always remember and feel the scars upon it. Day-to-day activities just became slightly more bearable as time progresses and a silver lining will eventually make its appearance. Below are some things listed that I’d suggest not saying to someone that has recently experienced a miscarriage. Again, these are just things that didn’t help me so don’t get all butt hurt if these are your responses to people or if you see no big deal in them 🙂
1. You’re still young– I’m 28 and Tyler will be 31 in March. Yeah, we’re young compared to people in their 50’s, but so what? We chose to get an education, get married, build our relationship, attain a good job (well not me yet, haha…but we’re financially secure with Tyler’s income so whatever job I get will just make things better). We’re not that young, especially in the military community. Spouses deploy all the time for months on end which obviously hinders the process as well; being employed by the military is very different than holding a “normal” job. Age doesn’t take away the pain.
2. At least you know you can get pregnant- I agree, and I’m trying to be positive but realistically we have no idea what the future holds. I know women who have experienced multiple miscarriages or are dealing with infertility after experiences miscarriages themselves.
3. You can always try again/Women are typically more fertile after a miscarriage and/or D&C- Trying again was the furthest thing from my mind when it happened. Of course I wanted to fast-forward a few months, but your body and mind needs time to heal, and in the meantime, you get to find out that everyone and their mother is expecting (Kidding…but not really). And not everyone is more fertile after a miscarriage- trust me.
4. It wasn’t your time- So it wasn’t my time, but it was all of the teenage, unwed, uneducated, girls times to get pregnant? That’s a hard concept to understand and doesn’t really make sense. I’m old-fashioned and I believe in first comes love, then comes marriage, but more and more couples are putting the carriage before committing to one another first. Or purposely not marrying in order to receive government assistance so they can afford to give birth, but that’s a different subject matter 🙂 I don’t think a college education is for everyone, but I do think additional training/schooling in any field after high school is essential in this day and age. Taking care of yourself first is important and will only make life better in the long run for you, your relationship, and your child(ren). I understand that people say this to be comforting, especially if it’s someone who cannot possibly relate, have never experienced a miscarriage, and have had healthy and happy pregnancies. And I do think that time is something in life that we all need to appreciate. Time can be our enemy, but it can also teach us valuable things such as perseverance and patience. *****
5. It’s a blessing in disguise- something was probably seriously wrong with the baby- I know that most miscarriages occur due to genetic abnormalities, but for some reason I find it kind of insulting in general. If something was wrong with the baby, it doesn’t make it any less human, any less real. The doctor kept reassuring me of this because I had so much guilt that it was something I did or didn’t do. In fact, after we got the news and I threw myself into Tyler’s arms, the first thing I said to him was “I’m so sorry”. You’re the one carrying the baby so it’s a hard concept to grasp.
6. It’s part of God’s plan- This was kind of goes hand in hand with #4. Tyler and I aren’t very religious so hearing this was a bit odd, and it made me question life in general. Now, I do like the saying that everything happens for a reason which is somewhat similar, but not as religious sounding (I’m not going to get into my stance on religion, but I’m in no way against it). I’ve prayed many times in my life for a variety of reasons- when others have needed strength to get through hard times, if a loved one was sick, when I was extremely grateful for my life and those in it and prayed that everyone was protected for any sort of harm, when I’ve been hungover or needed a good grade, etc. I remember blowing drying my hair one morning asking God that if anything were to happen to please let it happen early on. That might sound nuts, but I was scared. Obviously my request was denied.
7. Let me know if I can help/if there’s anything I can do- This is too vague. I have no problem asking my mom, siblings or best friend for some time to talk, but I’m not the one to ask for help (I have no problem asking my hubby though…this he knows far too well, haha). I can’t ask someone to run to Wal-Mart for me to get me some bananas because I’m in El Paso (not that I would- just saying!). I feel like this phrase is said to be said in many circumstances and isn’t very helpful.
8. Nothing- I didn’t expect the whole world to come to a halt and to my rescue when my heart was hurting. However, reaching out even a little bit helps more than you know. I’ll always remember those that sent a text, email, called me, or sent a card or whatnot. Always. People out of the blue that I hadn’t talked to or seen in years were so incredibly kind. Sharing their experiences whether it happened to themselves or someone close to them made me feel so much less alone. To those of you that called and left voicemails- I’m truly sorry I didn’t answer or return the phone call. It’s probably not a good thing, but I tend to alienate myself with I’m upset. I listened to each and every one multiple times and I’ll never forget your kind words. So thank you- you know who you are and I love you guys 🙂
Now I’m not complaining by any means- I just thought I’d share my thoughts nearly five months post miscarriage. I’m also by no means an expert when it comes to the “right” things to say because, as I mentioned before, everyone is different. Though it’s uncomfortable, just speak from your heart. This can be said for any unfortunate situation in life! Check up on your family member or friend once in a while- that will go a long, long way- believe me. I made the pregnancy public early on (10 weeks), and while I don’t regret doing it, we will not be doing that again when and if we are able to conceive again. My days may be brighter now, and while seeing those 2 pink lines will be thrilling one day, my heart is still fragile and I’ll be worried it’ll happen again.
Just a little update- today was my last day of my HR class, and Tyler starts his Master’s degree program on Monday! I will continue job searching and plan on brushing up/learning more Spanish as well.
*****I got a tattoo at the age of 22 on a whim when I was visiting my cousin in Florida one year on Spring Break. My ex and I had split about six months before that (mind you, it was my high school sweetheart so it was unfortunately taking me a bit longer than expected to get over…) I didn’t know any better or anything else, and he kept telling me he needed time (tables turned a few years after he got back together, so don’t think I’m super pathetic 🙂 In my frazzled state, I got the word “Time” tattooed on my wrist in cursive writing. Now, this probably sounds absolutely ridiculous but hear me out. If you’re familiar with the Green Day song “Good Riddance” you’ll know that one of the lyrics in there is “Time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go”. It sounds pretty silly, but since I’ve gotten it, I’ve had to learn really learn the value of time on a few occasions. Look at how long it took me to finally graduate! I wanted instant gratification and achievement, and it was so discouraging seeing all of the classes I had left to take when I started getting serious about school. But it felt so damn good as those classes got checked off my list 🙂 Tyler left for OCS and we spent a year living apart. Again, I had to be patient to see if our lives would start to unfold together.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone, but this is an outlet for me to look back on and remember how I was feeling. I know I didn’t have to publish this post, but I figured if it even helped just one person get through any type of sad situation in their life, then it’s worth it 🙂 Have a great weekend!
P.S. Don’t mind the grammatical errors- too lazy to revise today!