Thursday, August 12, 2010

Emotional Miscarriage


This has been a pretty difficult week. A death in the family, a $2200 and rising car mechanic's bill, and a dashed pregnancy hope. I've had false hope before in this via crucis of infertility, but I've always hardened myself so much that I hardly felt the sting. Making myself more vulnerable this time, it's never hurt so much. There were too many signs pointing to it this time.

Early this week, after looking at my chart, my NFP instructor instantly ordered a blood pregnancy test. "I've already taken a home test and it was negative," I said, steeling myself against any renewed hope. She insisted, "sometimes those can be wrong, every sign on your chart is pointing to it, and if you are pregnant we'd need to know right away, for the baby's sake."

It was a 2-day test HCG test. On the day between the tests I indulged thoughts I've never allowed myself to think before. I started daydreaming about pink dresses and hair ribbons and nursing and bedtimes and baths and soft fuzzy hair. I was picking out a local OB/GYN for the delivery, plotting out how to make my nieces' school year shorter so I could break in April for the baby, and looking up birthing books and classes. I had convinced myself in those 24 hours that I actually was pregnant. I was scheming an elaborate way to deliver the ecstasy-inducing news to my husband. Hearing from the doctor at this point, I thought, was just a formality.

A day into my daydreaming I got a call from my doctor's nurse. "Wow," I thought as I called her back, "I must be so pregnant they don't even need the second test." On the exterior I was acting doubtful and pessimistic; but I'd allowed myself the extravagance of hope.

"Your HCG level is a 3. The Dr. says you don't need to go back for the second test, you're not pregnant. I'm sorry."

Just like that, and it was all over.

"You're not pregnant." The words kept echoing as I struggled to comprehend their meaning. It may as well have been: "You're useless. Your marriage is sterile and fruitless. You're worthless as a woman. You're barren nothingness." I don't believe those words for a second, but for emotion's sake "you're not pregnant" felt the same as any of the others.

It's humiliating. It's devastating. It's agony. An emotional miscarriage.

Now the grieving process begins anew.
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1. I'm drinking more water. I usually wait until my lips are chapped and my throat is sore before slaking my thirst, but I'm an adult and need to take care of myself. 8 glasses a day it is.

2. I've lost eight pounds. Refocusing negative energy towards a positive goal is a small way to bring good out of suffering. By the grace of God, the intercession of my recently deceased Aunt, and a little renewed will power, I'm hoping to stay on this path.

3. I haven't gone to bed any night this week without having first done the dishes. It's easier to get up in the morning if the kitchen is clean.

Be encouraged. Read others' small successes this week and share your own.

20 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry. While I don't know the pain of infertility, I definitely understand the up and down rollercoaster of wondering if you are pregnant. You are in my prayers.

Stay At Home Mom at Work said...

I too, don't know the painful feelings of infertility, but you have captured here the pangs and stabs to the heart that I can only imagine. Thanks for giving me a sensitivity to others that I haven't had in the past. You are in my prayers.

Joy said...

Hugs and prayers, I'm so sorry for pain felt and the daydreams for now deferred. I am so glad you are taking care of yourself and allowing yourself some time to mourn.

Kansas Mom said...

I'm so sorry!

Haus Frau said...

God bless you. You are not worthless nor your marriage fruitless. Not a bit.

healthily sanguine said...

You poor thing! :(

Tori said...

So sorry you are facing disappointment again. You will continue to be in my prayers.

Elisa said...

Praying for you.

Mary said...

My dear friend - Your heart is fertile and your trust in God is great. Know that I will be praying for you and your husband during this difficult time. I wish I could sit with you and pray in person. I am so sorry for this cross you bear. May God bring you peace of heart and mind as you face this challenge. Blessings and Grace to you...

Erika Marie said...

Thank you for being brave enough to share this with us so that we could join in your sorrow with our prayers. You are beautiful, God will show you.

munchesmom said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your losses & all you've been through this week. As difficult as things have been, I applaud your efforts to find the positives. I think that's one of the most important things of these "Small Successes" each week. My prayers go out for you & DH. (#3 makes a HUGE difference in the morning...I need to do that more often.)

Katherine said...

I don't post often but I read regularly. I am so. Sorry. I will keep you in my prayers.

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

"You're not pregnant." The words kept echoing as I struggled to comprehend their meaning. It may as well have been: "You're useless. Your marriage is sterile and fruitless. You're worthless as a woman. You're barren nothingness." I don't believe those words for a second, but for emotion's sake "you're not pregnant" felt the same as any of the others.

Yep. I know exactly what you mean... and how true it feels, even when you know it's false. Still praying for you.

Tanya said...

I'm so sorry. :( Those phone calls are not easy. Nor are the blank tests and the monthly visit that somehow keeps coming. I know where you are coming from, and the pain that this all can cause. You are in my prayers.

Barbara said...

I'm so sorry. I will pray for you.

windydays27 said...

Love you! And praying praying as well. Take comfort in knowing all these women who have posted here, whether we have been through what you're living through or not, are here for your in thought, prayer and love as sisters in Christ.

Farmgirl said...

Dear Farmer's City Wife,
Dearly do I know and understand your pain, as I lived it for almost 9 years. I did feel all those things that you say, and it wasn't just a one-time happening - it happened over and over and over again for almost 9 years. For that space of time, I watched as all of my friends had babies - and then their second, third, child. Still, we were working on zero, as our friends' children were in preschool, then elementary school. We were still chasing baby dreams, still hopeful, but as you say, pessimistic as ever. I built a hard shell around myself to deflect comments, however well-intentioned they might be. During that time, my mom gave me a plaque that read, "Trust in God with all your heart, your mind, and your soul, and lean not unto your own understanding". Sometimes I would get so mad and frustrated and feel so betrayed that I would slam that thing face down and not look at it for several weeks. Then, feeling guilty and ashamed, I would prop it back up and send up a guily apology heaven-wards. At one point, my mom excitedly said to me, "Guess what? I talked to a mom today, and they had 10 years of infertility, and then they had 5 childen!". "Mom," I said darkly, "That will NEVER happen to me. Never! I will NEVER have ANY CHILDREN!" I could feel my voice getting thick and tears beginning to well up in the corners of my eyes. "Well, you never know," she cheerfully persisted, "You know, anything is possible with God". "Yeah," I muttered as I almost slammed the phone down. "Why does she say those things to me?" I choked out through my tears, as I related the conversation to my husband later. "Why?" I yelled, as I threw my shoes into the closet, "Why, WHY WHY? It ISN"T GOING TO HAPPEN!" I said through clenched teeth. "And certainly, if by some miracle it did, it certainly wouldn't happen FIVE times!". Fast forward 10 years... we were just blessed with our FIFTH child - what a miracle! We now have five children in a space of 8 years. When I really and truly think about it, I am completely amazed by God's infinite wisdom, patience, love, and yes, sense of humor. Now my battles of different: lack of sleep, constant disorder, bickering children, and a crying baby. Now I struggle to keep my eyes open all day while I long for a nap or a bit of quiet, but sometimes when I close my eyes and reflect on that time 8 1/2 years ago before we had ANY children, I still can remember how much the pain of infertility and childlessness hurt me to the very core, until I felt that nothing could possibly hurt me more. Sometimes it is hard to believe that God has a plan for you when His plan does not match your own. I look back on that pain, and I know that it brought me good things - an appreciation for my children, a sense of compassion for others going through infertility, and best of all - a desire to adopt a child. Without that pain, I never would have been brought to my knees in deep fervent prayer. Without that pain, I never would have gone to such great lengths to adopt. I hope that you will read this, and realize that your suffering will bring good things for you in the years to come. Your suffering is not in vain, and when something comes at a great price, you value and esteem it more highly.

Becki said...

Chica, I stumbled across your blog today… You are such a treasure! I want to applaud your courage and strength for sharing your struggles. The more I venture out the more I see I am not alone. I too have fertility issues. It isn’t an easy cross to bear, especially for a Catholic Woman! I didn’t take it well at all. I hated facebook especially, because I couldn’t bear to those happy little posts any more. The ones with the sonograms are particularly hard for me. I used to wonder how my husband, my very own Mr. Amazing, could continue to want me, love me. And then it hit me… I remember turning to him and just finally knowing that our love IS life giving! As an aside, he worried if I had lost my mind, but I quickly recovered and shared my epiphany. I have never known a love like this and needing him, caring for him, loving him is my life affirming vocation. And in the event that this is it… just us, then that is good too. We still hope for a child all our own and there isn’t a day that goes by we don’t ask God. But I’m okay now. I can push forward. There is much comfort in knowing I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing! I will be praying for you… please remember me in your prayers.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Thank you for your beautiful comments, Becki.
Yes, I'm "in a happy place" now :). Once I quit sulking and realized I've got a
dream marriage, peace and joy returned! It's still hard, sometimes, but the
cross is so much lighter when I see the amazing blessing of my husband :).
Yes! We will pray for you; please pray for us, too!

Alice Baury said...

http://thiscrossiembrace.blogspot.com/

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