Friday, October 19, 2007

Post-Miscarriage Perspective

So, I've almost completed a full work-week since we lost our baby. It's been harder and easier than I anticipated. I did not talk to people and return calls (on the phone) aside from family until Wednesday night. Then I at least felt up to calling back my old friend & life-group leader's wife. It was a good conversation. She let me say everything I felt like saying... I talked about how the miscarriage happened, my daily struggles, my hurt spirit, and our grief over losing this baby after IVF. She never offered any "advice" or tried to help me see a "silver lining" she just listened! She did offer some praise for how we were handling this, which when you feel like you're drowning and failing in misery and sorrow, was welcome to hear. She did mention since I'm not really struggling with anger or questioning God, I might struggle with weariness of this long trial. Totally nailed it, without my ever having recognized it. We are weary of struggling to have a family. With that comes a sort of numbness to "What's next." IVF #2? 7 months away? All right, whatever. I need perspective and hope renewed in my heart, because for now I'm just weary. But knowing what you need is half the battle... right?

On the other hand, I tried to call another friend yesterday, but the conversation was anything but helpful. I know she cares & loves us. No question there. But she was in such a hurry to tell me "you sound like you're doing really good." I felt like she didn't really want me to talk and mainly was interested in hearing anything good... in a hurry to reassure herself I was fine. I felt that way on the phone with another person that day too. So I stopped conversing and let them fill in the rest of the call with whatever they wanted. She even asked, "What's been the most comforting to you?" And honestly, when people tell me they're praying for comfort, I feel like yelling "I don't need comforting!" Definition literally means "to make comfortable", but also means "soothe, console, reassure, relieve in affliction." Am I being crazy? I don't want to be comfortable, reassured, and I cannot be relieved of this! I want perspective and I want grace to handle this. I want hope for the future. But grief is grief! I can't stop missing our baby, but I can sorrow over it less as time fades that grief. I can be assured God loves our child and us, so He will cause this to work for good (Rom 8:28). But comfort? No.

I actually want to address this gently to my sweet friends, generally anyway. But I don't yet have a good enough handle on what I need instead of comfort (in a less verbose way of what I said above). Thoughts, sweet friends who have gone before me here?

I do actually cry less. Sometimes I still feel crushed with how long it will take to do IVF again. April/May 2008. Since our previous IUIs didn't work, at this point we don't see any use forking out 2 tickets to SAT just to try them while waiting. Yeah, we never did a complete injectable/IUI. If I knew we could freeze sperm for cheap I might do it (either while J is deployed, or just so we don't have to buy him a ticket every time I go). Now, our insurance will pay for everything (drugs,blood,ultrasound) used to treat infertility if used with NATURAL intercourse (i.e. no IUI/IVF). I've played with the idea of using an RE in Atlanta just to get a 2nd opinion and maybe see if they'd try some medicated cycles w/with us. I don't know though. I wonder somtimes about pumping my body full of hormones for cycles with little past success and how it'll affect my future health. Plus, it's still 2 hours one-way and maybe insurance won't cover everything. But the idea of only natural TTC by ourselves until April/May just seems such a waste! 7 months! (Well, count 2-3 out b/c of deployment.)

Well, I meant to talk about my grief but got carried away with future treatments... Wednesday night we went to bed and talked about losing the baby, and ended up crying in one another's arms. It actually helped to see my husband cry again, since he hadn't since Sunday and I felt he still was pretty upset about it. It helps to heal together, to ask the hard questions, and to be honest about our very real future fears. At least we're in this together.

(P.S. I'm so glad you all liked the picture, it truly was the happiest day of our lives and we're still very much in love!!!)

12 comments:

Chris said...

I, too, found that most friends and particularly family, were less than helpful after my miscarriage. It wasn't that they didn't care. It was just that they didn't get it and they didn't know how to respond. I found myself feeling like I had to comfort them. That was when I really got to blogging quite a bit more, and reading other people's stories. It was the only thing that helped me. And I still don't speak of my miscarriage to people I know in real life because they just don't get it.

Pam in Colorado said...

You summed up most people's problem with handling grief... they don't know what to say, they don't know how to handle your pain, they get uncomfortable, so they either avoid or try to "make things all better". What a blessing to have a friend that truly listens and is good a discerning your need.

I've never had infertility or a miscarriage, so I can only imagine your hurt right now. I am so sorry for your loss, of not only your baby but of your hope and dreams. I am very glad that you and your husband are able to grieve together. That doesn't always happen. It does help though!

This is my first visit to your blog, so I am just getting to know you and your life. I did want to thank you and your husband for the sacrifices you make for the rest of us and our country's freedom. You are both appreciated.

Don't let anyone put a time table on your grief. Feel the emotions and take care of yourself while you heal.

Katie said...

I remember when I was miscarrying last year, I was so worried that I would never feel pkay again. I just wanted to know that I WOULD survive the enormous amount of grief that was tormenting me. There were times that I was so desperately sad that I didn't think that I could get better. Of course, it does get better, but you really need to give yourself time to miss the baby. For me, it was a physical pain. The baby had been with me, now it wasn't. I was so alone.

You're right. Family and friends just want to reassure themselves that you are "okay." Of course I was "okay" in the sense that I wasn't going to end my life, but I wasn't "okay" in that I had just lost one of the most precious things in the world to me, and I was NOT going to be all right with that.

I am glad that you have your husband to grieve through this with. I think one of the greatest differences that I see in women's ability to recover from a miscarriage is how open their spouse is to grieving WITH them instead of sweeping it under the rug.

I am still praying for you and your family each and every day. You are in my thouhts and prayers.

Samantha said...

I think your friends all mean well in offering you "comfort." Perhaps you should tell them that they provide "comfort" by letting you grieve, recognizing your emotions, and not minimizing you pain. They provide "comfort" by acknowledging your pain and offering you support when you need it. I think your wording about wanting the grace and hope for future are very poignant. You should tell them that.

Debby said...

The only thing I can think of to explain what I needed after my miscarriages was for the spiritual equivalent of vicodin. Sounds weird, but the emotional pain was just so strong and hurt so bad I just begged God for the pain to get better day by day so that I could function. I hope you find whatever prayers and scriptures and reassurance from God that will help kill your pain during this time.

Elaine said...

I am glad your life-group leader's wife allowed you to say all the things your other peers/family wouldn't. I know it's so comforting just to have someone listen. Although the others care too, it's like you said...they just want to know that you are okay. It's easier for them to "be there" in their own way.

I did struggle with blaming God, and I know that only brought me further away from the real problems. It was easier for me--to blame someone else.

I'm glad your husband is showing his emotions too. So many husbands (my own included) never showed any emotions and let me feeling as if he didn't care as much. Deep down, I know he did...but it would of been somewhat comforting to me to know he was heartbroken too.

Ally said...

I'm sorry for all that you've endured lately. I wish for you the grace you seek and the hope for your future. May you be sheltered in the palm of God's hand at this time.

Searching said...

I'm sorry your close friends weren't able to allow themselves to just LISTEN to you. We'll all listen, every day, multiple times a day (on my days off!). I thought you worded it great when you spoke of comfort. I'm so sorry for the rough time that it's been. I wish no babies ever died and I know this was a long-awaited little one. So unfair. :(

I'm glad your husband is sticking by you and letting his feelings out too. It truly does help a couple to be able to be vulnerable in front of each other. I think he's a wonderful daddy.

I'll be praying for you and these long months of decisions/waiting you have ahead.

Kim said...

I'm really not sure what to say, I've been staring blankly. I admire your strength in trying to work through this. I know that you'll never get 'over it' and wouldn't want you to try, and I also know that this little bean will always be in your heart - without a doubt. So for now, I'm just proud of you for not giving up. You'll be a mommy, someday, somehow. I know it.

gracechild said...

your strength is in your honesty. i wish i had more to say....

Searching said...

Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you today. *hugs*

andrea_jennine said...

Your thoughts about comfort made me think of 2 Cor. 1:3-7 and Matt. 5:4. Comfort and suffering/mourning go hand-in-hand. I think so often people want the comfort without the grief. They mean well, but that sort of comfort is too shallow. It might help to let your friends know that you want to grieve godwardly, and that you trust your Savior (the suffering servant) to bring the right comfort at the right time. In the meantime, let them know that they don't have to offer all the right words or bandaids; they just need to be present with you, mourning with you.