On year ago today, I opened my heart up to the world when I wrote about my miscarriage. I let myself be vulnerable. It was the hardest, yet best thing I could have done. No one wants to open themselves up to judgement and scrutiny, and the dreaded, “she’s doing it for pity” comments. But the amount of people I have been able to connect with through “The Worst Girl Gang Ever” has helped me on my journey to healing. And although that journey is never done, it helps to have people on your side.
Everyone tells you that grief isn’t linear. And it’s true. It’s not. You’re fine one day, one month, and the next you’re not. Grief doesn’t get smaller as time goes on, we just grow around it.
The grief is always there – sometimes hiding in the background, sometimes at the foreground – and it never goes away. The smallest thing can bring you right back to the moment you realized that you will never be the same again: the scent of a candle you had burning, the pair of leggings you find while cleaning that you had hiding in the back of the closet, or having to go to Walgreens for pads because you can’t use your cup. It could be because of the day or time of year, or for no real reason at all.
Yesterday I felt like I got hit with a ton of bricks. Not only is it October and it is Miscarriage & Infant Loss Awareness Month, but I started my first period postpartum. The cramps and the back pain coupled with the red took me right back to the moment in Dec 2020 where I knew what was happening, but didn’t want to believe it. The physical and emotional pain is one I will never forget. I brought myself back to the present. Remy was on the floor (in his lounger) all cozy after our bedtime bath ritual. He was smiling up at me as I tried to hold in the tears. I left the bathroom, walked out to sit on the couch with Remy and hugged him tight and started crying. It’s impossible to not think about what could have been. I know how truly lucky I am that we have Remy, but my heart will always wonder what if.
At times, it’s hard to find a place in the infertility community. I’ve experienced a miscarriage and been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, yet I now hold a rainbow baby in my arms. I get stuck between “be grateful for a healthy baby” and “my heart hurts for the one we lost.” I know it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Both of these feelings can exist simultaneously. Yet I find myself trying to justify why I shouldn’t “still” be grieving. The last almost 9 weeks of Remy’s life I have been so preoccupied that I hadn’t thought of much of anything else. But as we settle into a routine, my mind is a bit more clear which leaves space for the emotion hurt buried in my mind. Whenever I have to ride that emotional rollercoaster, I try and give myself grace, even though I am really bad at it. One step at a time. I’ve learned to let myself feel what I need to feel and not hold back: cry if I need to cry and laugh if I need to laugh. There isn’t a wrong emotion, but you have to learn to process them.
I’m not the same person I was last October. And I’m even more different than the person from October 2020. And let’s not even start to try and diagnose the girl from October 2019. I hate to admit that this journey has made me a more empathetic person. I almost feel guilty that I didn’t have as much empathy before. I thought I did, but maybe I didn’t. I have learned more about patience. I’ve learned to sit and listen instead of just dishing out unwanted advice.
I’ll always be a work in progress.
For you, our rainbow baby:
I am forever grateful for the privilege of being your Momma. Your smile lights up my entire day. I would never have asked for the pain and grief of infertility and loss. But without it, I would not have you. I love you, Remy.
In remembrance of our Angel Baby:
“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
You were bigger than the whole sky
You were more than just a short time
And I’ve got a lot to pine about
I’ve got a lot to live without
I’m never gonna meet
What could’ve been, would’ve been
What should’ve been you
What could’ve been, would’ve been you”
-Taylor Swift, Bigger Than The Whole Sky
(Photos from Dec 2020)