This month's blog writing challenge for Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is to discuss any "blessings in disguise" that came from your loss. There is the old cliche' that every cloud has a silver lining, and loss really is no different, although it took me a long time to be able to see anything other than pain and despair from the whole situation.
My marriage fell apart in the weeks and months right after my miscarriage. I'm not sure if I've ever discussed candidly here what actually happened so here it goes in the most condensed way possible. Those weeks after my miscarriage were the darkest I've ever seen. I was in a very vulnerable grieving state where I thought daily of ending my own life. I've never felt so lost in my life and that's when my ex-first love, A, randomly contacted me with a friendly, "How's married life?" kind of message. If he had sent this message even a few weeks previously, I would have gushed about how happy I was, how much we were looking forward to being parents, and how much I was looking forward to the future. Instead, I talked about how unhappy I was, how much I thought of suicide, how much I just hurt. I had attempted to be friends with A earlier in mine and Matt's relationship and it did not go well. Matt could see then that feelings still laid in wait and made me promise to cut all ties. This meant that the whole exchange we had started having had to stay hidden, which in all honesty, made it more appealing. I'm a bad liar and Matt knew something was up. In what seems like just a few days in my mind, I'd been sucked into this fantasy life I had convinced myself awaited me in Northwest Arkansas with A. I was in this state of mind where I felt like I could reason out anything. And this loss was supposed to be some catalyst for change in my life right? Maybe that was the universe telling me that my husband and I just weren't meant to be? I told myself that I definitely didn't want to even think about ever getting pregnant again, didn't want to think about a childless marriage, and I just wanted to get away from anyone who even knew I had been pregnant (what an awful idea!). My miscarriage was September 19th and by the first week in November, Matt was living in Prague and I moved to Northwest Arkansas. We spent the next 7 months torturing each other and attempting to reconcile multiple times before we were actually successful in June 2009.
I know you're wondering, where is the good supposed to be in this? It took me a long time to be able to see it too. Well, in my mind, there are quite a few good things that came out of our loss and subsequent separation. Matt got a European vacation that he would have never had otherwise (yeah, he was miserable most of the time, but at least he got to be miserable in a beautiful city. I was miserable here.). I finally started back to school that Spring semester on a path towards fulfilling my career dreams. And most importantly, at least for our marriage, I finally had a chance to put feelings for A behind me. We had to work through so much just to get back together and I try to remind myself frequently how lucky we are to have the second chance we worked so hard for. I think our marriage is stronger because of it and most days, I feel like we could weather anything the world throws our way. I also know that once I become a midwife, I will have patients who are forced to endure loss as well. It brings me more comfort than anything else to know that when I say, "I know how you feel and I know how much this effing sucks", I will truly mean it. Not that when someone who hasn't experienced it doesn't mean it when they say they're sorry, but it just never held the same weight for me. I know it brought me so much comfort when it was all so raw to have the support of women who had actually been through the same thing. I'm actually hoping to find time sometime this summer to actually finish my doula certification so that I can volunteer with the Amethyst organization that provides free doula services for women going through a miscarriage so that I can really feel like I'm doing my part.
I'll always wish it had never happened and that instead of writing this blog post while at my nanny job in Northwest Arkansas, we were back in Searcy chasing our own rambunctious toddler around, but we have to play the hand we're dealt (since I'm busting out the cliche's today) and I like to think we're making the most of it.
And now for a walk around the block with my replacement toddler and then off to clinicals. Also, I have an 89 in nursing school right now which I am pretty proud of!