grief and loss · Infertility · journal entry · sermon takeaways · trying to conceive

The loneliness of infertility

I haven’t felt like writing very much recently. Part of that is just being so busy with work lately; and between that and trying to do work on our new house and start planning for a move…there’s hardly any time to think.

But it’s been a while (again) and I’m finding that I’m in a rather uncomfortable place emotionally so I need to try and sort things out.

Things are fine during the day. I’m occupied with the aforementioned work/house tasks and that keeps me distracted. And most of the time I’m so exhausted at the end of the day that I just crash.

But lately I’ve been finding myself overwhelmed by a cloud of negative emotions and I can’t get myself out of it (other than by going to sleep; which ends up being difficult if I get down enough).

This infertility journey has become very lonely. I feel so isolated. Yes, there’s people I follow on social media and various blogs; so there’s indirect encouragement sometimes. It’s helpful to see that I’m not alone; but that isn’t translating to my immediate day to day life.

People have all but forgotten about the miscarriage; and I don’t think they realize that the continuing to unsuccessfully try is almost as hard for me now as the miscarriage was, and how difficult it has been to deal with the unsuccessful IUI. And they don’t ask. I want to be heard; but I don’t want to force my emotions on anybody so I keep them inside until someone asks.

I even feel like I can’t really talk to my husband about it. Which is absolutely not true; I know I *can,* he always is willing to listen. But I know I sound like a broken record whining over wanting to be pregnant and whining over who didn’t say or do what I thought they should have, so I just get tired of repeating the same things and making him feel badly for not being able to fix it or make me be able to move on.

He made a comment recently indicating that he wouldn’t have even been able to remember our baby was due in October; and that really stung. I know those dates are more meaningful to me, but I guess I thought he would at least remember our due date and hoped that when the time came he’d acknowledge it.

So even in the processing of the loss (which was definitely set back by the failed IUI) I feel very alone and forgotten. I get a sense of, “why are you still being so angsty about this” from people whenever I do bring something up related to it.

I can’t handle pregnancy and birth announcements. I can’t handle seeing moms with newborns. I want it to be me so badly and every month it isn’t I feel like it’s less and less likely and the ache just gets deeper and heavier.

I know in the journey of all this I’ve all but forgotten God. I’ve pushed him off to a corner to try to deal with everything on my own; and so unsurprisingly he feels far away. As my pastor pointed out, “we shoo God off to a corner and then wonder where he is when we need him…he’s probably still sitting over there saying, ‘I’m here, I just gave you the space you asked for.'”

I’ve been trying to get back into reading my Bible (amazing how when I forget one day it completely throws me out of the routine even if I’ve been doing it consistently for weeks…) and I picked up a book on spiritual disciplines that I need to spend some time looking at. The sermon on Sunday was really applicable as well, he was talking about the function of lament as a means of helping us to respond well to despair; so perhaps I need to take some time to form my own lament in an attempt to reconnect with a God I believe to be good even if none of this feels good right now.

And I guess I also should just talk to my husband. He can’t fix it, but he can be there and I just need to let him.

after miscarriage · baby EL · grief and loss · Infertility · pregnancy loss

And it’s over

Today my hcg is 1.

Most of me is relieved; I know it can takes weeks sometimes for those numbers to drop all the way, and obviously until it drops the body still thinks it’s pregnant and won’t initiate the regular cycles.

So we’re a tangible step closer to being able to try again. And that is a good thing.

But there’s still a new ache at having this final confirmation that the pregnancy is completely over. Obviously I knew that already. And I don’t want my body to think it’s pregnant when it isn’t. It’s not the same level of ache. It just marks the final physical end to this season and that makes me sad in a different kind of way.

““““““`

I’ve entered a “read everything and try to remember all the things I know to be true” phase and I’m trying to keep track of things that jump out to. Maybe I’ll post some of them another time. At least I’m wanting to do something again.

I’ve also gone back on antidepressants as of Friday night, and have my first counseling session and spiritual care conversation this week.

It’s beginning to feel a little less dark. So I am grateful.

after miscarriage · grief and loss · journal entry · pregnancy loss

On the ugliness inside

I feel like I’ve moved into an ugly place.

Not only am I finding myself thinking and feeling some rather unattractive things, I’m also confused about why I’m still feeling so miserable. I wonder if there’s a sadistic part of me that wants to stay unhappy. I’ll have a good day that is followed by more than one bad day; almost as if I’m rebelling against the attempt at being happy by intentionally focusing on what is making me sad.

So that in itself is ugly. I mean, how shallow and pathetic is it to make myself think about how crummy everything is? I know I have so much to be thankful for, I know that my spiritual framework should be starting a rebuilding process and that I should be focusing on God’s blessings and goodness and leaning into him as I grow through this.

But I seem to be counting my misfortunes instead of my blessings. 

And on top of that, my attitude towards other people who have what I don’t is becoming callous and bitter. I found myself annoyed last night by my sister-in-law’s response to some painful Braxton Hicks contractions instead of compassionate and sympathetic. All I could think about was how selfish she was being by making a big deal out of something that I’d give an awful lot to have. And as she cried through the fear and the pain I was trying to keep from having a meltdown over the unfairness of it all and angered by her eagerness to have this part ‘over’ when it wasn’t all that long ago that she was desperate to have it too.

I don’t want to pray, I don’t want to read my Bible, I don’t want to try to journal and process this out (other than my blog posts) because I think maybe I’m not ready to let go of the hurt and anger.

Losing a pregnancy after infertility has revealed some really ugly layers of my heart and I’m not really enjoying that very much.

==============

But I have decided in light of all this that it’s time to make an effort to get “better.” There may be a sadistic part of me that likes being miserable but I know I can’t stay here. So I’m working on finding a therapist and going back to counseling, and have started the process of meeting with someone from my church’s care ministry.  I’ve also reached out to my doctor to ask if it’s wise to resume my antidepressants.

And maybe once we hit Thursday (the 5 week mark; the point at which the time of grief is equal to the time of joy) something will just shift and I’ll subconsciously just start to move on. Who knows. The mind and heart are strange beasts.

after miscarriage · grief and loss · Infertility · journal entry · missed miscarriage · pregnancy loss

4 weeks later

It’s been four weeks. In one week, we will have known that our baby had died for the same amount of time that we thought we were going to be welcoming that same baby in October.

Strange. It’s been a blur and it feels like it was just yesterday; how has the time spent grieving already almost passed the time rejoicing?

In terms of processing/functioning, the roller coaster has leveled out a good deal.

  • The ‘ugly crying’ episodes are fewer and farther between; even crying has lessened. Monday was rough though; it was emotionally exhausting returning to my doctor’s office for a follow up appointment and I’m so tired of having ultrasounds of an empty uterus.
  • The anger rears its head occasionally but even that has turned into more of a “Really, God? Why?,” “I just wish you had allowed things to be different,” and a more resigned “I still don’t understand why you would give us a baby that you knew we so deeply wanted and then just take it away.”
  • The depression is less intense; I’m able to function a little bit better and have found that sometimes I actually almost want to do things (like art or reading or going for a walk). I still don’t really do much, but at least I can imagine having enough energy and desire to pursue my interests.
  • I did notice over the weekend that it actually made me upset to be starting to feel better. I guess it was a fear (unfounded) that not being so sad anymore meant I somehow didn’t really love my baby all that much. Chalk it up to the myriad of weird emotions and stigmas attached to early pregnancy loss.

But all that aside; the aching emptiness is still there. And I hate it. I hate that in one fell swoop one of my deepest purposes was sucked away and that I’m left in the aftermath bearing an empty womb and an empty space in my heart that will always belong to a little waterbear that we will never meet this side of heaven.

Honestly, I’m still too raw to even hope for the next time. In a sense, there is hope and there is an eagerness to be able to try again (the waiting for a new cycle feels like such a waste of time)…but the greater part of me is still numb to the possibility of trying and afraid of what might be ahead-months of infertility or more devastating loss.

After all, God never promised a rainbow baby after a miscarriage or infertility. Some people don’t ever get their rainbows. At least not in this sense. So I’m trying to stay realistic but also trying not to lose hope that he will show us grace and demonstrate his faithfulness to us in this specific way.

It’s a weird place to be.

I’d much rather just be 12 weeks pregnant. But I suppose that’s a duh.

 

 

 

after miscarriage · grief and loss · Infertility · journal entry · missed miscarriage · pregnancy loss

Two weeks later

It’s been two weeks since that appointment. Every key moment is still crystal clear in my head. I hate that I keep reliving it but I can’t seem to stop.

I’m riding the rollercoaster of emotions and it doesn’t seem to be letting up at all; in fact, new emotions have joined in the fun.

I was initially just utterly sad (mixed with some confusion and frustration)…I think the initial shock and sadness from the loss and the anticipation of the final loss kept all the other emotions from making their appearance.

Now that the physical aspect is over; anger and depression have been thrown in the mix.

Depression in that I literally cannot interest myself in anything. I make it through my work day pretty well, but the minute I get home (whether I had one visit or five) I just want to crawl into bed and either sleep or mindlessly play on my phone. I don’t even want to watch TV. I just stay in bed; and eventually the sadness wins out and I have a cry (or several). I don’t want to eat; I feel hungry sometimes but nothing sounds good and when food is actually in front of me I have a couple bites and I don’t want anymore. My husband will try to make me laugh and he does a good job for the moment but the sadness comes right back. I have no energy and can’t focus. It’s actually starting to worry me a little bit; I know it’s still early in the grieving process but I also know that I’ve dealt with chronic depression before so I’m concerned that my tendency to be somewhat depressed already is going to predispose me to a major depressive episode.

And then there’s the anger. I guess it’s anger at God (which I’ve never really had before and I’m still struggling to acknowledge because it seems wrong somehow; more on that another time perhaps?)…and anger at a myriad of factors related to the situation.

  • I’m angry at the unfairness. We already experienced one miscarriage and then had to deal with infertility on top of that; it’s absolutely unfair that we get to go through a second (and infinitely harder) miscarriage when we did everything right and when we so desperately wanted this baby.
  • I’m angry that other people get pregnant without trying, get pregnant when they don’t want to be, get pregnant and end their pregnancies.
  • I’m angry that we don’t even get to find out if something was wrong with the baby (apparently there wasn’t enough tissue to be able to run any DNA testing) so that now I have to be even more afraid that it will just keep happening.
  • I’m angry that he would ask us to walk through this again months before my sister and sister-in-law both have their babies.
  • I’m angry that we are 1 in 4 (miscarriage) and 1 in 8 (infertility) and 1 in 100 (recurrent miscarriage).
  • I’m angry that there may be no clear answers this side of eternity why this happened. 

I’m angry that God would give us this child (because after dealing with infertility it is even more clear that each pregnancy is divinely ordained by God and is a gift from him) and then take it away. I’m angry that he would give us both a deep desire to be parents, finally allow us to conceive after months, fall in love with this little life the minute we saw it’s tiny heart beating…and then let it die.

He didn’t have to let it die. I could still be pregnant. And I’m not.

I know all the things that are true. I know that God is always good, that he is faithful, that he uses trials to shape and strengthen us. These truths inform my framework; so I know that eventually once the intensity of the grief lessens and I manage to work through the anger that somehow I’ll be more like Jesus and closer to him. And I know that is what my ultimate goal is supposed to be.

But right now, I’m just hurting.