I’m (finally) no longer pregnant. It took a while as many of you suggested it might. And it was frustrating, more frustrating than I can possibly say, but eventually things worked themselves out. What I find most interesting about the whole ordeal is that I got back on track physically right around the same time I felt solid mentally—like really solid. There were days I hated biology with every ounce of my being (sort of like when people hate the weather when it interferes with their sporting events or vacations), but perhaps it did me a favor.
Now that time has passed and I feel better, I realized once again that body and mind are not two separate entities. Why I tend to separate the two, I have no idea. All I know is that instead of hating biology so very much, I should have seen it as a necessary mourning period. Granted, I didn’t want to hear that back then. I don’t want to hear that now. You try telling that to a woman after a miscarriage, a woman who’s had her future ripped out from under her and wants nothing more than to get that future back again. She’s going to tell you to kindly shut the hell up. And if she’s too much of a wimp to say that to your face, she’ll be thinking it.
But retrospect is funny.
I feel like a different person. There were days back then when I seriously questioned whether or not I was going to survive. No joke! It reads a bit melodramatic now, but I really felt that way. Granted, I did suffer postpartum depression again, and to put it bluntly: that sucked. But a month or so after the miscarriage, things started to get a little brighter; six weeks later, brighter still. I’m now 8 weeks out and I feel OK again, happy even.
I suggested right after the miscarriage, that I wasn’t the same person I used to be. And that’s still true. The difference is, I wasn’t particularly pleased with that fact back then. I worried I might not like the new person I was becoming, that she might be too cynical and bitter, resentful and anxious. But I’m not. I came out OK, hopeful even. In fact, this miscarriage put into perspective a great deal that I probably would have continued to ignore had it not happened. Don’t get me wrong, I’d do anything to not have a miscarriage be a part of my history, but since it is, I’m trying to see it in a positive light. (I did the same thing with 9/11 after the initial terror wore off.)
The cliché is true: sometimes really bad things give way to great things. I’m still waiting for the great this time around, but I have no doubt it’s coming my way.
Having a miscarriage made me realize just how much I love being a mother, and that my new title in life is Mother. I’ve been a little reluctant to embrace that fact. (Why do some working women feel that motherhood is somehow less important than making money in the corporate world?) Truth is, being a mother is a full time job, and an important one at that. I’ve said as much before, outloud with conviction. But it was only after having the miscarriage did I begin to see it for myself. Mothers are responsible for molding the next generation, a generation that will likely be saving us from the mess we created.
That’s important stuff! We’re important people!
(And don’t you forget it.)
I think the second biggest realization that came from this is that I love, love, love (times one hundred thousand) being a woman.
I received a great deal of email after my miscarriage. So many of your stories brought tears to my eyes. The pain many women have endured, the heartache they’ve been through, it’s baffling how any of us are still whole and haven’t lost our minds completely.
For weeks I read stories about great loss. But no matter how different each story, there was one common thread among them all: hope and strength. Every last email sent to me held at least one of those two themes. And that saved me from my loneliness.
Who knows what the future will bring Toby Joe, Emory and me. But I do know this: I’m making it my duty from here on out to pay your kindness forward.
To my fellow women: Don’t ever stop reaching out to one another. I truly believe that by doing so we can save lives. We’re beautiful people, us women.
(And don’t you forget it.)