There are all kinds of terrible things happening, here in our own country and all over the world. Facebook is the bulk of my social interaction and my feed is full of current events and political posts interspersed with my friends' happy moments: babies, vacations, funny pictures of pets, weddings and parties. Sharing about losing the baby almost feels wrong, too much rain on the Facebook parade and too much self-indulgent misery on my part. But writing about the miscarriage and sharing my writing has been helpful, and not just for me; my friends and family have told me they are keeping up with me through my blog and these Conception Diaries, and that it helps them feel connected.
The response on Facebook has been overwhelmingly positive; I've started being more active on social media again and I even respond to some emails and texts. After submitting last week's post for the Conception Diaries, I went to the store, I went to the gym, I even called a new salon and made a hair appointment. When my husband asked if I felt up to going on a drive with his car club followed by a party with them, I said yes. I talked to one of my friends back east after I found out she has a serious health problem. I thought that conversation was a good step forward — I was so shocked and worried for her, I had to call.
That was last week and I haven't talked to anybody since then.
I cannot believe I am still not ready to face my friends or family. A part of me wants to see my friends but I feel too anxious to make plans. I thought I would be feeling better by now; I wanted to be feeling better so I could write it down and tell the world, give my story a hopeful arc. Sorry, world, I'm not there yet and I think anyone who has suffered a loss knows what I mean — feeling better is not a matter of wanting.
I think anyone who has suffered a loss knows what I mean — feeling better is not a matter of wanting
I need to accept it's not like a stomach virus, where you wake up and you feel totally better. I've stopped crying all day; I've been cooking dinner on a regular basis again; I'm exercising; I laugh when something is funny, but something about seeing or talking to close friends or family scares me. As crazy as it sounds, even to my own ears, I feel like I disappointed them by losing the baby, that I failed the one task that should come naturally. I feel ashamed. Maybe there are some women who have had a miscarriage that feel the same way. Or maybe it's just me.
My therapist had some good thoughts on my fear; that it is uncomfortable for me to be in a place of need. I would never in a million years describe myself as kind and nurturing, but I do give a lot of bossy advice that I think is helpful. Breakthrough: That bossy advice is me loving and caring about my friends and family and wanting to help them, to nurture them. Being fun and adventurous and hilarious and always wanting to have a good time is how I see myself and how I think others see me, and I'm not comfortable being this sad with any of my friends. But, I've never been this sad before. I'm in uncharted water here, people, and if you've ever had a miscarriage then you can probably relate. The feelings I am having going through this aren't like anything I have ever experienced, they are totally foreign.
On the car club drive, we had the top down and with the cool mountain air on my face I felt ... I don't want to say I felt happy — I wasn't quite there. Maybe happy-adjacent? My husband looked pretty happy behind the wheel of his old BMW convertible. We drove through a canyon and the mountains were all around us, fierce and beautiful; the sky was so blue; the river was flowing swiftly alongside us and I wanted to keep driving with him forever. I didn't want to think about the future or how much longer my husband can handle my grieving, or my body, or having a baby, or any of it, so I tried to stop — just be in the moment and breathe.
For some reason — I suppose because we were in the mountains and all that fresh air — my mind wandered back to my childhood summer camp; a place full of happy memories. We had no radio reception so I started singing my old camp songs. One of them was about a prune and it was so silly my husband looked at me and laughed. And I laughed too. The moment, the drive and the party that followed were so nice that I went home and wrote a funny blog entry about it. I shared it on Facebook. I wanted my friends to know that while I'm not totally back to my old self and I still feel like I have a long way to go, it's not all dark and scary anymore. I can see the sun and sky.