Everyone mourns the loss of a loved one differently, and everyone is 100% entitled to mourn the way that feels authentic to them.
While I have yet to find a book on how to mourn a lost loved one, there are "steps" that, as a society, we seem to have created. Crying is always on the top of the list. We console and lean on our family, friends, anyone that had ties to the person (or animal) that has passed. We arrange for a funeral and a burial. We host (or attend) some type of "life celebration." Food is exchanged, memories are shared, and eventually the chapter is closed. Of course never for good, but for the most part you have closure (generally speaking, as I know every death and situation is different). This is a type of unwritten "script" out there that we all seem to somewhat follow in order to reach a sense of peace. It's talked about, you inform friends and family, it’s known and it's out there for everyone to help you get through it.
But how do you mourn over someone you never met? How do you mourn over someone that no one (except for a handful of people in your circle) knew about?
I told very few people about the miscarriage or (at the time) that I was even pregnant. Furthermore (until now), I have barely told anyone about any details regarding my IVF journey or about the other six embryos we've lost. Whether they stuck for a tiny bit or not at all, they were OURS and every single loss is one loss too many for this girl to handle.
So how do I mourn? I of course always cry… more like sobbing without being able to take breaths. Sometimes the crying lasts for hours, days and to be honest, months. Some days I don't even know how I'll survive. For some reason there have been other times that the crying was less, but this was maybe just after the first transfer since everyone told me the odds were better after the second.
My anger always grows and takes over. Sometimes I hibernate and don't want to talk to anyone and yet other times I want a shoulder to cry on and someone to tell me it will all be okay (and it's always been okay. I have survived and will continue to, but its always hard to see that when you lose a baby). And yet the pain, however I express it, is still there, always in my heart and the back of my throat.
So how do I find my peace? Everyone says "let yourself have time” and “mourn the loss” or “it's okay to cry" and I get it, but I don't think you can understand the pain unless you have gone though it. So then my anger comes back. I can't have a funeral, I can't send out a mass text (because no one knew I was pregnant or even transferring an embryo, or let alone going through IVF). I can't take my kids out of school, I can't stop working, and I most certainly can’t stop being there for the family I have, the family I'm so lucky to have! But to be honest I want to do ALL of those things. THE GUILT FLOODS and I just want to scream at everyone and tell them that this is the worst feeling ever, that going through a loss every two-three months for the past two years is a sadness and depression I have never felt before and would never wish upon anyone. ANYONE!
Time always passes by and eventually, things seem to feel better. Food tastes better, a glass of wine sounds exciting, and jumping on the trampoline with my girls or taking a hot yoga class sound like things I want to do again. Hope always creeps back in. It will work next time, I repeat to myself.
But the pain is still there and I still can't understand why this is all happening. There are good days, better days, and great days! But then there are bad days, worse days, and days filled with anger and tears that seem to now happen more often than not after doing this so many times.
Then there is social media and television, with new babies left and right. "Due August 2019" (my due date from the miscarriage baby), or "I wasn't even trying to have a baby..," To be honest, yes all this causes a lump in my throat, but I also know now that we don't ever really know what anyone is going through (exhibit ME), so I smile and quickly continue to scroll or change the channel.
But then there are those posts of people sharing their miscarriage stories, which make me vividly remember falling onto Nick's chest for support, seeing the screen with no heartbeat, and those same feelings take control of my entire body again. Believe me I'm actually SOO happy and excited that women, especially in the media, are coming out and sharing their stories, finally! It truly makes going through a miscarriage feel almost communal and I do believe that sharing my story and hearing others has helped me feel a little less alone. With that said, as excited as I am that women are opening up and being so strong, it's also is a constant reminder of what I have gone through, what I am going through, what seems like a continuous loss.
"I saw Janet Jackson on the Todayshow and she was talking about her miscarriage and I was in tears" Nick texted me today from his hotel gym in Chicago (he's been traveling a lot so we've been texting a lot). My heart sunk. I wanted to hug him and let him feel how I feel when he hugs me after I get sad. But I couldn't today so I sent a lot of heart emojis. Oddly enough I had just watched an episode of Married to Medicineon Bravo (yep, I'm a Bravo addict, especially when Nick's gone!) where one of the ladies had just gone through a miscarriage after 8 weeks and regretted telling her kids... basically mirroring my exact story. I texted that to Nick to somehow find a connection, even being a million miles away. I cried again then, too. I cried and relived every single loss: the one in December 2017, the TWO in March 2018, the one in May 2018, the one in January 2019, the one in May 2019, and the one in August 2019. I guess I understand why the wounds still feels so fresh, but I also thought I was done hurting so much.
I think I've realized that my heart is just not going to stop hurting. Nothing will allow me to forget each loss. No amount of people I tell will make the sadness go away. No flowers, "I'm sorry's," date nights, parties, or vacations will even mildly erase the devastation. But coming to terms with that is my peace. I've come to understand that I just don't have an answer right now, and maybe I never will because even when I have my baby, and I will have that baby, I still won’t understand why we had to endure so many losses.
I DO know that I've become so much stronger, and I know that no matter what I WILL always survive and be there for my family and be an example for my girls. I grow after every loss. I appreciate my beautiful girls SO much more every single day and I pay really close attention to all of the little things the universe delivers every day. This is my peace offering to myself. This is the way I can make sense of what has happened and my way of mourning each loss. This is how I can continue on my beautiful blunder.