Monday, January 14, 2013

Walking With You: the pit hurts

Today I'm linking up again with lovely Kelly at Sufficient Grace Ministries for Walking With You. 

This week’s WWY topic ~ Clinging in the Pit
Whether or not you are new to loss, talk a bit about early grief. What was it like, clinging for hope in the pits of despair? What did you cling to for hope? How did you survive the early days? What helped? What do you wish you could share with someone new to this walk, clinging in the pit? If you’re in the pit, currently, share your struggles. What can others do to encourage you?

I'm not in the pit today. Today. But I know it well.

After my first miscarriage, I didn't fully grieve. As with everything else about that time, I didn't know how. I was confused. My heart was telling me it's okay to dwell in that hurt for a bit, but everything around me pointed to moving past it.

After my second miscarriage, I decided to grieve well. [Can one be an overacheiver griever? I sure tried to find out.] I knew I had the grief work to do. That's when I found you lovely ladies. When I fought for my feelings and took care of myself, so much came pouring out. I went deeper into the pit than I could have anticipated.

I wrote about the hurt here. And here. Reading those words heavy with raw grief makes my heart ache a bit now.

A hole that I had no idea how to escape. I couldn't focus long enough to even ask if I could climb out. Or if there was a ladder. Or someone to help me. And it was dark. That's how I described my pit of depression. Reading those words now brings me back. Not in the way that I feel it with the same intensity, but in the way when you place yourself back in a memory.

There is no such thing as 'just' grief. It's not 'just' as in merely, and it's definitely not 'just' as in fair.

There can be a fine, fine line between grief and depression. I have been squarely on the depression side of the fence. I believe that the medical treatment I sought - both in therapy and with medications - was absolutely the right thing. For me. And taking control of my health then benefited me greatly when the post-partum depression set in after Anders was born. And in the periods where the anxiety has reared its ugly head in the months since.

***Please, if ever you find yourself on this line, ask for help. Tell someone. You can feel better. It's not easy, but so, so worth it. You didn't do anything wrong. And you're not alone.***

This community has been one of the most significant sources of support in my grief journey. When I wanted so desperately to be normal [whatever that is], you lovely ladies gave me hope. When you said things would get better, I believed you. When you said that you understood, I believed you. You gave me confidence to continue telling my story, and you love my babies with me. You get it.

I really don't like the adage that time heals all wounds. Time has made the grief less raw most days, absolutely. But my heart will always have two holes for the babies I don't hold here. Only in heaven will my heart be healed.

Three years ago I don't think I could say that I accept that a part of me will always hurt. I hurt too much then to see through it. But I can say that today. I don't like it. At all. But my perspective continues to evolve. That hurt is love that I feel so intensely.

Grief is hard work. Hope is hard work. I am a work in progress.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Walking WIth You: who and where i am

Hello friends. It's been so long since I've written (here) that the dates of my posts will now jump from August 2011 to January 2013. Wow. I just haven't known what I wanted to do with this space, but I've been itching to write and hit 'publish.'

Lovely Kelly at Sufficient Grace Ministries is again hosting Walking With You, a weekly space to share our stories, our babies' stories, and love on one another. This week, introductions and where we are on the grief journey.

This is as good a time as any to start writing again...

My 2009 I had two second trimester miscarriages.

My first pregnancy ended April 20, 2009 at 17 weeks, 4 days. I miscarried at home, without little previous indication that anything was wrong. I left work early, and as I drove, I wondered if I was having contractions. Paul wasn't feeling well, so I found him in bed when I got home. That was no small gift. The cramping and bleeding came on quite suddenly. I knew it was over. In my bathroom. With Paul on the phone to the hospital. Horrible doesn't begin to describe it.

We had no idea what to do. I was hysterical, foggy. We wrapped the baby in a towel to bring with us to the ER. I wish so very much that either of us had known to spend time looking at the baby. I threw a change of clothes, a book, a brush and my toothbrush in a bag, not knowing if I'd have to stay at the hospital. It's strange the things that we do think to do. Physically, I was okay. Still recovering from a labor and delivery, but okay. We received an amazing outpouring of support. Simply amazing. Emotionally, I pressed on.

Anytime I can, I share pregnancy and infant loss resources like Sufficient Grace Ministries with others because I wish someone had shared and connected with me.

In December 2009, I miscarried again at 14 weeks. Again. We had seen the heartbeat at least twice (and did with the first, too). The prenatal care coordinator had said it looked like I was having a uncomplicated pregnancy when I was in for early appointments. If only. At a regular OB appointment, there was simply no heartbeat. My doctor sent me to radiology for a better ultrasound, and I'll never forget the image of the still baby.

My doctor decided I should have a D&C after what I went through with my first miscarriage. But it was a Friday, so I had to wait for surgery until Monday. Horrible. Shock. Again? AGAIN?? Physically, the recovery was much easier. Emotionally, that's when my journey into the online babyloss community started.

The week I took off before returning to work, I found your blogs. Holly's first. Then blog-hopped to Kelly's and Lori's and so many others. I devoured them. I joined an amazing online weekly Bible study with many of you lovelies, which truthfully, is the only thing I remember about January through April of 2010. So much healing happened in that time, space. Moving forward.

I eagerly endured a healthy though anxiety-ridden pregnancy and gave birth to Anders February 16, 2011. After my second miscarriage, I was diagnosed with Factor V Leiden, so gave myself daily Lovenox injections throughout my pregnancy. Anders is worth every poke, bruise and much, much more. Since then, I've survived post-partum depression and multiple hills and valleys.

Today...I've accepted that I will always miss my babies and what might have been. It will always hurt; some days more, some days less. Loss hurts. That's okay. But I don't expect my need to talk about my them, and my love for them, to ever go away. I don't want it to. So I'm here.

I have moments where the pain is as sharp. Where it takes my breath away again. I still have flashbacks occasionally. I've also learned in a whole new way that nothing calms my mind and heart like prayer. That I'm stronger than I think. That I can be a mom to all my babies, but know I'll never have it all figured out.

I've learned my mind is clearer when I write. I've learned that I gain strength from this community. And I've learned that I'll forget all of this and need to relearn it another day.