On Pregnancy Loss

It is snowing as I write. It felt fitting to start a fire, so the ambiance is perfect – snow outside, fire and warmth inside, babes asleep. I get this quiet moment once a day. This morning as I prayed for a few moments before the house awoke, I prayed for grace. I’ve been struggling to get back into our normal routine after Christmas and travel and constant movement. It gets a little too quiet, a little too slow and numbing when I’ve become accustomed to busyness and movement. This snow, this spark to my soul, feels just like the grace I prayed for. It feels like a tangible miracle, a little magic to delight my heart just because I was needing a little “oomph” in my day. It’s already starting to collect on the rooftops. I haven’t seen snow in three years; I love how it simplifies and quiets everything. All you see is white, all you hear is muffled and silenced.

In the new year one of my goals is to write daily, not just weekly or monthly. As I was struggling with what to write about, it quickly became clear. We had a miscarriage over the holidays and I feel like I haven’t had a moment to digest it. With early pregnancy loss, it’s like you never quite got your head around the fact that you were pregnant, and then it’s gone. You wonder if anything is happening at all or if it’s all just in your head. It’s a complicated grief – at least, for me it is. I’m always a little terrified when I find out I’m pregnant – it’s terror and hope tangled together.  And with miscarriage, before I get the chance to untangle it I’ve lost what I was already coming to love.

 

At other times, I feel relief, knowing that I would likely be sick by now. It’s hard not to at least be thankful for that. But it feels weird to be thankful for that; I feel guilty that I’m relieved. I’m thankful that I can still be active and keep working out. And again, I feel guilty. I’m even thankful that I get to have a glass of wine; for that, I feel especially guilty. And it’s like someone is in my head saying “how dare you feel relief – a little life was lost!” as if it was my fault. And I must remind that little voice – it wasn’t my doing. Grief is never a straight path; it has varying degrees of complication. Grief jumps us and surprises us, scaring us at how big it is, and then it recedes for a bit, leaving us disoriented in its wake and confused about where it has gone.

Everything is white now. Cliché as it is, snow always feels like a fresh start. A new perspective. A little tingle of life and light. Today I am sad; I miss the little glimmer of hope and excitement that I lost in the pregnancy. Grief always feels unmanageable. I look at it and say, “I see you, but what am I supposed to do with you?”. I think, I think – grief wants us to accept it, to give it some space and place to reside for a while. And that is the scariest thing of all, because grief looks big and like he’ll take up all the space we have. But he won’t; just trust him, let him cohabitate for a while, and he’ll leave sooner than later.

 

So I’m letting grief have a little space today. And the snow reminds me that my prayers are heard, that suffering is redemptive, and that I am not alone.

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