Still dealing with the loss...
Last night I had a total breakdown, that sort of came out of nowhere. I actually went to bed a little earlier than usual (shortly after midnight, which yes, to me is early) because I felt so tired my eyes were stinging. I thought I’d fall asleep quickly, but instead my mind went to, without trying to sound totally dramatic, it’s ‘dark place.’ I hate it when my mind goes there, and yet there are times when I just can’t stop it.
Every now and then I get a very vivid flashback to when I lost Baby#2, and last night it just floored me. I still think about it every single day, it’s just a part of my existence now. But it’s not like I dwell on it (most of the time). Who has time to dwell with 3 little ones vying for your attention?! Usually the way it comes to the forefront is in how I am with my children. I tend to hug them a little extra, and feel so grateful that I have them in my life – which I’d have been without having gone through that experience, but I think it helps to remind me just how lucky I am. I’m reminded of what I lost, and it makes me cherish my kids more, if that makes sense.
But for some reason last night I had the flashback, only this time something hit me harder than it ever has before. I felt literally stung by the reality that I will NEVER EVER have any answers. I will never know why it happened, and I will never know if it was a boy or a girl. And these things plague me. These things make it so that I literally KNOW I can never get over losing that child. I am an answers person, I like to know what’s happening, or what’s happened, I just like to KNOW. Particularly not knowing if it was a boy or a girl for some reason just eats me up inside. If it hadn’t happened in such a tragic manner (if you’re reading this and don’t know the whole story, you’ll find it on or just after October 11, 2011, since that’s when it happened) maybe I would have an easier time letting go? I have so many scenarios in my mind of what I would do differently, just to be able to hold the baby one time, and to see if it was a boy or a girl. Would I feel better if I was able to give him or her a name, which I don’t feel comfortable doing not knowing (I know there are gender neutral names but it doesn’t sit well with me)? Would I feel better about it if I knew we’d done everything we could to find out why it happened? I know it doesn’t matter in some respects, since just 4 months later (a painstaking 4 months, I must say, it was the worst 4 months of my entire life) I got pregnant with twins, and went on to have a textbook multiple pregnancy – and got out of it the two most beautiful, most precious girls I could ever imagine having in my life. I don’t need to know why it happened so that it doesn’t happen again, because my reproduction days are OVER, and I’m happy about that! It’s just…not knowing…it’s so hard.
I found myself starting to cry in bed, and I HATE crying and almost never do it so it just felt foreign to me and I became restless and didn’t want to be there anymore. I went downstairs and couldn’t stop crying, and decided to use my computer and write (basically what I’m writing now) in hopes that venting might make the feelings subside. I had (accidentally) woken James up when I got up so he actually got up to come and see why I’d got up again, since it’s not something I’d normally do once I go to bed these days. At first I resisted talking to him about it, because as I said to him, it’s really pointless to talk about it and I feel stupid for even being so upset about it right now. But I knew it would be more upsetting for him to know something’s wrong with me but I’m not telling him what, so I broke down and told him what was wrong. Talking about it, saying the words out loud, actually made me outright SOB while talking, which again is just so foreign to me. I hate crying, but even more so I hate crying in front of people, even James, so…yeah. On the other hand, it really helped to have James’ support, and I don’t know what I’d do without him, because he really is so completely there for me. He never shed one tear about that baby, but I know he does understand why it affects me so much. He wasn’t in the room with me when it happened, when if he had been he’d have seen the baby, too, which I really think would have given him more of a connection. BUT, the point is he’s there for me, and I found him very helpful last night in calming me down, just by listening to me and supporting how I feel. I know it’s post traumatic stress, and I know that there’s really nothing I can do to help the situation other than to force my mind to compartmentalize it and try my hardest not to let the ‘dark side’ take over. No amount of therapy can change how it affects me, because ultimately what I need to feel better are ANSWERS, and that’s not going to happen.
This whole thing really frustrates me, because for one, even though I know it’s all relative, I KNOW it could have been SO MUCH WORSE. I was SO LUCKY to get pregnant again just a few months later, because those 4 months felt like the longest days of my entire life but it was ONLY 4 months, I was so so lucky. And, like I said, I ended up with two beautiful daughters. I have 3 children who I consider to be as perfect as children could possibly be, I couldn’t imagine my life without any of them. So the loss had to happen, for some reason unbeknownst forever to me, in order for me to get my twins. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even though the loss made me question why I believe that. I also feel that literally every moment leads us to the next, meaning that to change one moment in time would change everything after it. So what if I had been able to recover the baby just long enough to hold him or her and possibly find some answers? My life after that moment would have been different such that I might not have conceived when I did after that, which means I may not have had twins, and the baby I’d have had wouldn’t have been Margaret or Emily. Yes, whatever baby or babies I’d have had I would have loved, it’s just that having M and E in my life, I couldn’t imagine them being anyone else! If I’d had the singleton that I lost, I wouldn’t know what I was missing, but being where I am now, of course I can’t say if I could go back and not have the miscarriage, I would. I would have to go back and do it all over again the same way, which is crazy, because I honestly feel like a part of my heart is completely shattered from that experience. It bothers me that there’s no way around it, I would have to go through it all over again because so much more of me would be shattered if I didn’t have my twin girls!
It’s all so complicated and yet annoying that it’s even enough on my mind that I feel the need to vent like this. I have 3 kids, I love them, I have a really amazing life (even though I can complain as well as the next person about what I DON’T have or WISH I had!) I am SUCH A LUCKY PERSON on SO MANY LEVELS. I just don’t know if it will ever sink in that the miscarriage really truly happened to me and I have to just live with it, and not get worked up about the answers I’ll never have. In some ways it feels as though it happened to me so long ago that it has always been there – I don’t totally remember who I was before it happened. It had the biggest impact on me of anything I’ve ever been through, and it was the absolute worst thing I have ever gone through in my entire life. Again, I know how lucky I am to be able to say that ‘that’s’ the worst thing that’s ever happened. But I’m very much about love and being sentimental, and that was a baby that James and I created, and who I loved the second the pregnancy test told me there was a baby growing inside me. I know there are worse things, and yet I have to say it’s more that there are worse LEVELS of the same thing, because even though I was ‘lucky’ to have suffered the loss on the earlier side of things, I still see it that I lost a child. And I don’t care if other people don’t think that’s true – I know what I saw, and it looked like a perfect little human being to me.
I guess ultimately the ‘problem’ is the tragic way in which the baby was taken from me. How can I ever get over that? I didn’t even get a chance. Part of me feels numb to it now when I think about it, but last night…and kind of still right now…it feels like a fresh wound. I don’t know why NOW it’s hitting me again, it’s not like it’s the anniversary of the loss or anything. I guess I just have to get used to the fact that these feelings might never go away. I think that’s depressing me more than anything, now that I think of it…I mean, I don’t want to ‘forget’ that baby because to let it go entirely (which I just couldn’t do, anyway) would make it seem as though he or she never existed, which isn’t true, and doesn’t feel right to me to even pretend. But it’s really hurting right now, knowing that I will always carry that scar with me. It’s not like stretch marks from pregnancy, or scars from a surgery that saved my life. This is the kind of scar that just hurts eternally, and I don’t even understand why it has to be there. Why couldn’t I have just got pregnant with my girls when I did, and not have gone through that experience at all? Why did I ‘need’ to go through that? I don’t know the answer to that either. Not just ‘not knowing’ but the KNOWING I will NEVER know is the hardest part.