When in the midst of a struggle, heartache or tribulation in life and someone tells you “it gets better”, I know for me, it sounds like rubbish. Sometimes we are so blinded by our grief or anger that we see no light at the end of the tunnel. The pain is so raw and real that we don’t believe it will ever “get better.”
I have struggled with infertility for over 9 years. In all that time, I had never once seen a positive pregnancy test. Throughout that time, whenever I would hear of someone having a miscarriage I would almost count my blessings. I have always said that I would rather never know the joy of being pregnant if I had to endure the pain of miscarriage. I used to always tell myself, “at least you have not had to lose a child.” Even though in 9 years I had never experienced the joy of conceiving, at least I had also never had to endure the pain of losing the baby.
Unfortunately, I can no longer say that.
In February, when for the first time in 9 years, I finally experienced the joy of a positive pregnancy, I was overjoyed. I had imagined that day so many times and when it finally arrived I was stunned. It almost didn’t feel real, like I would wake up any moment. Those weeks that followed were euphoric for me. The overwhelming happiness that our child was growing inside me. That finally the Lord had chosen to give us our hearts desire.
Its hard for me to decide if I would give back this experience to save myself this pain. Like I said, I always told myself it was better to never conceive than to conceive and lose it. I can still recall everything that happened up until the moment the tech told me “this is the hard part of my job” and went on to tell me my baby’s heart had stopped beating. I don’t remember much after, just the overwhelming pain and uncontrollable tears.
Everyone likes to give advice to you when you are infertile and they still like to give advice to you when you miscarry. ”At least you know you can get pregnant now” was the favorite and although my mind knew that to be true, my heart still broke every time someone said it to me. Did I really want that knowledge if it meant enduring a miscarriage to get it? Was it better to never know if I could conceive than to learn I could and have it ripped away?
What has gotten me through these past six months after my miscarriage is my faith, family, friends and something very unexpected. You see people don’t talk to you about miscarriages and how common they are until you have one. When I miscarried, I can’t tell you how many people came to me with their personal stories of loss. It blew my mind with how many there were, and some of them had endured multiples.
It’s hard to have a pity party for yourself when you see how many other people have had to endure what you are experiencing. I’m not saying it makes the pain any less real, but I am saying that it opens your eyes to the sliver of light that is shining at the end of your tunnel of pain. When you hear “it gets better” you no longer fling that aside like a dirty towel, but instead cling to it as a child would cling to their beloved blanket. You want so much to believe that the raw pain and emotion you are feeling will “get better.” Six months ago I would have been a skeptic, but today, I know healing does happen.
I’m not saying I don’t still cry over the loss of my child. I’m not saying I don’t still feel pain and heartache. I’m not saying I don’t still keep track of where I would be had that pregnancy not terminated. I’m not saying I don’t sit alone sometimes and imagine what that child would have looked like. Would they have had my husband’s eyes, or my curls? Would they have been tall like their daddy, or stubborn and strong willed like their momma. Its torturous sometimes, but I still smile as I imagine how beautiful they would have been and how loved.
I guess what I am trying to say in this long run-on-rant, is that it does get better. I am healing. I still don’t know if it would have been better to have never known conception. I go back and forth on that. I know I still smile and laugh thinking back on the day we found out. How giddy and silly with joy my husband and I were. How completely shocked we felt. It was wonderful and amazing. And I still break with the pain and sorrow of hearing that my child’s heart had stopped and seeing my husband’s pain and then blaming myself for not being able to give him that child.
I would have been 35 weeks today – just a few weeks from welcoming that precious baby into the world. I’ve been torturing myself this week thinking of how I would have been feeling, what I would have been craving, would my belly button be in or out, would I still be able to see my feet, what would I look like with that belly, etc.
I know healing is a process and after my D&C in March I would have never imagined where I would be today. That gives me hope for where I will be in another six months. Sure, I will always feel sadness with the knowledge I now have, but maybe as time passes, the joy from the experience will overshadow the pain. And as much as I never would have believed it, it does get better.