July 8th, 2011. Today's date. It's a date I was looking forward to more than anything else for a few short months. And then for the past six months, it's become a date I've been dreading more than anything else. Here's why: late last October I discovered I was pregnant with our third child. It was something we were planning and hoping and praying for. Everything was going fairly well for the first several months, although for some reason I didn't feel like telling many people about the pregnancy. Perhaps, I had a sixth sense about how things would turn out. We did tell Lucky she was going to be a big sister to another baby and she was so excited about it! Then, thirteen weeks into the pregnancy, on January 1st, I started bleeding. Over the course of the day, the bleeding got worse. I ended up in the ER early in the morning on January 2nd, and we found out what we had feared. I had miscarried.
I don't think it's possible to understand what it's like physically and emotionally to endure such a huge loss, unless you actually go through it yourself. I have friends and family members that have had the same experience, and I always felt really, really bad for them and then considered myself lucky for never having to experience the same. I also would rationalize their loss by figuring that they would get pregnant again with a child that probably wouldn't exist had they carried their miscarried baby to term. I still think that's true, but hearing it doesn't make suffering a miscarriage any less painful. I have a much different perspective on the experience now.
Grieving My Loss:
Miscarriage is such a huge loss no matter when it happens during the pregnancy or who it happens to or how many other children you have. I lost my baby. I grieve that loss and the potential of a child that I never got to meet on Earth. I'm 95% sure I was carrying a girl. The apple juice craving gave it away. (I craved apple juice with Lucky, and root beer with Charm. For me, apple juice = girl and root beer = boy.) I can't advise anyone on the best way to 'deal' with a miscarriage, but for me, it was important to name her in order to recognize her life, albeit short. I chose the name Sunny. We didn't have any names picked out yet, so I picked a name that made me smile, a name that started with an 'S', like our last name (I like the alliteration of a double S), and a name that could be gender neutral, should my apple juice assumption be erroneous.
And as far as a time frame for working through a miscarriage, I'm sure it varies by the individual. I can say that it's taken much longer for me to work through than I would have initially anticipated. I've gone through denial and I've been really angry. Some days, even six months later, I'm still really angry.
I don't have any guilt that I made a mistake or did something wrong to cause the miscarriage. It helps that I have two healthy children and took all the same precautions with my third pregnancy as I did with the earlier two.
Mostly, though, I've just been really sad. I remember that it took many weeks before it wasn't the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning. That feeling of emptiness was so incredibly painful.
When friends and family heard about the miscarriage, many of them said that I should just hug my kids more and enjoy time with them. In addition, I should be grateful that I have 2 beautiful, healthy children. All those things are true, and I know that my kids kept me from falling into a depression over the loss. I love them more than anything and realize, moreso now, that they truly are miracles. For awhile though, I couldn't help but feel incredibly sad when I thought about our loss in regards to them. I really believe that the greatest gift you can give a child (aside from the security of having all of their individual needs met) is a sibling. Bill and I won't be around forever, but our kids will be there for each other long after we're gone. I have a sense of peace when I think about that, and I figure the more the merrier. My loss was really a family loss. It was weeks after the miscarriage, and Lucky was still asking if our baby was back yet. 'Not yet, honey girl,' was the best I could answer.
Moving Forward: Blogging and Faith
I gave myself a couple weeks to grieve heavily. Like 'Bill got home from work, and I went to bed for the night' kind of grieving. Eventually, though, I needed something to do to fill my time and devote the energy I would have been giving to preparing a new nursery and gearing up to take on the tiring task of caring for a newborn. Last fall, I had opened up a blogger account with the name 'Sunshine on the Inside'. I was considering blogging about our basement finish at the time, but organzing the basement finish was more exhausting and time consuming than I had prepared for and blogging fell off the radar.
In March, I decided the distraction of blogging would be good and healthy for me. I'm not blogging for money. It doesn't bother me that I only have six 'followers'. I'm blogging because I'm sure Sunny wouldn't want me to just sit around and mope about what could have been. Instead, I'm tackling projects and turning our house into a well loved home, and I'm honestly loving it. I have a stronger motivation to complete tasks sooner rather than later. I mean, I can sew now. Like really sew. It's crazy. After our vacation a couple weeks back, I thought about stopping the blog because a week off (I scheduled the blog posts from that week before I left) was really nice, but Sunday night rolled around, and I was writing another post. Maybe I'm addicted to blogging about the things that interest and excite me. I mean, I'm not an expert on decorating or DIY design or anything like that, and I don't pretend to be. I do consider myself a pretty good shopper though:), and I love passing along deals I find now and then. I also love the connection the blog provides to my family and friends that live far away. Blogging has been my therapy, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon.
In addition to blogging, my faith has become more important in my life. While I'm still dealing with some physical and emotional issues post-miscarriage, I've found comfort in the knowledge that for some reason, unknown to me, this is the path I'm supposed to be on. I put my trust and faith in God. Maybe I'll have more children, maybe I won't. Either way, I'm determined to have a beautiful life, surrounded by the people I love most.
So there you have it. Today's going to be a tough one, and I'm giving myself the okay to be sad. And then the sun's going to come up tomorrow, and I'll move forward knowing there's an angel named Sunny watching over me and giving me the courage and faith to enjoy every single day I'm blessed with.
My love and peace to you always, Sunny Girl.