My first miscarriage taught me grief.
Then my second, resilience.
Now my third, gratitude.
I know how the third one could not make sense but I’m so grateful for so many things. After 3 years on this tough road I’ve learned there are worse things than infertility even though infertility is hard and will continue to be. I’m most grateful for my support system. The hardest part about going through infertility are people and the things they feel like they have a right to say. For a while, I blamed my stress for my miscarriages and in turn the people that caused my stress. If there’s anything I want to write about having had a third one now, is to move on from the pain that others have inflicted on me during all this. It wasn’t enough for them that I had physical and mental pain from miscarrying 3x and dealing with a terminal diagnoses but they just had to add more to that. In talking with my therapist, I don’t like how much those words consume me from what people have said despite those that do support me and have been so amazing to us. And I need to move on.
I had some much time to think and I came to the conclusion that we just wanted basic empathy, grace, compassion. I didn’t think it was hard, but then we went through what we went through and I guess we were asking too much from some people. Even when someone had nothing to say to us, we were OK with that, we understood that. You’re probably thinking then why don’t you drop them from your lives. And I did, with one person. I no longer speak to her. I have told her when she is ready to listen then I am willing to talk. And I know she is going through something hard although she never told me she is, but I just happened to be the perfect person for her to take her pain out on.
The others are complicated. Although, distancing ourselves, at the moment is needed and I hope they don’t misunderstand us for doing that. Or ‘assume we don’t care’, since that has already been said! But they are the type of people to misunderstand, that what we are going through has nothing to do with them, so that one is tough and their family. Family isn’t an excuse but as I’ve experienced, they can be the most toxic because they feel entitled to information that they aren’t. And maybe what we are going through is toxic for them, so I would understand if they had to distance themselves from us.
I can’t forget the things that were said and I can try to forgive but I don’t think I could ever trust them again. It causes me so much stress and at one point I told someone that I was in therapy because of them. I feel like if someone told me that, I would rethink how I treat or what I say to people. I even told them that I don’t make up things in my head to be upset about something. They said things to me and honestly, continue to and make situations harder. I try to respect their boundaries but in return mine aren’t respected. I have a limit.
Maybe one day I can wholeheartedly forgive and let go of it all. And I am working on it with my therapist. If it was easy then a lot of people wouldn’t have mental health problems and need therapy but it is so hard to ignore some of the hurtful things people say, especially when you are already going through something so hard.
I keep telling my husband on a daily basis, I want to be better and when I do have kids someday, I want them to always be better and kinder despite someone treating them wrong. I understand that I am the first person to go through this on both sides of our family and our circle of friends and for the most part we have had the best support and there was a learning curve with some and fortunately for us, we only had a handful that just couldn’t figure it out no matter how many times we talked.
1. Questioning our happiness for our pregnancies. Just stop.
2. Asking me to prove I’m not pregnant by having a drink. Why is this ok?
3. Digging at my husband for not having kids yet. No.
4. Expecting us to read minds and know something we had no idea about during the hardest time of our lives.
5. The judgment and misunderstanding we both got. It was so painful for me to watch and hear about it towards my husband. More painful than dealing with my infertility.
6. Comparing healthy pregnancies to my past and future pregnancies. Unless you have lost a pregnancy just don’t even try to say you understand. You are lucky and I hope you never have to experience this type of loss.
7. I can’t even begin to say how many times, despite our struggles, we showed up for friends and family. We literally only canceled one thing, 4th of July because I miscarried for the first time 5 days before. But after that we were adamant about not letting it show and there were people who told me it wasn’t enough.
8. Making me feel like I was crazy for the feelings I felt after loss. I literally had to say, ‘I thought I reacted as any normal person would’ve if they had gone through what I did’. And then the judgment I received after that exchange for who I was during the hardest time of my life. I asked so many people if I was out of line and they all said no.
9. Being asked to put ourselves in their shoes. I would never ask someone to put themselves in our shoes. That is so cruel to even ask someone to imagine miscarrying so why would you ask us to do that?!
10. Saying you can’t imagine what we went through. The right phrase is I can imagine but I don’t want to. Because it’s our reality unfortunately and we can’t just imagine. It seems like such a luxury
11. Being told at least you know you can get pregnant. Right it seems so, but I’ve miscarried everytime.
12. Blatantly asking me if I’m pregnant and if I wasn’t going to tell, I would be asked. I would never ask, even if I knew, until I was told. That’s private and no one’s business until the couple is ready to tell.
13. This isn’t related to our pregnancies, but bluntly being lied to because they’re afraid you’re going to ask if they’re pregnant. I’m excited for anyone who starts a family. My problem is not yours. And you’re very lucky you don’t have the issues I do. But don’t sit there and lie. That’s hurtful and now I can’t trust anything that comes out of your mouth. Just trust that there are kinder people out there who won’t ask such a personal question like yourselves even if they had suspicions.
14. Not holding yourselves to the same expectations that you expect of us. There’s a word for that, hypocrites.
15. When people say they know it will happen for us. I know it comes with good intent but like how? Did you talk to my doctors? Do you know something I don’t?
16. The advice. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. I’ll ask for it if I do.
17. Lastly and lately, dismissing our feelings about what we went through and continue to go through. Everyone’s problems are equally hard and this is not a competition of whose problems are harder. I never thought I would have to defend my feelings.
I feel like as I reread some of these, I just remember that exact moment of when it happened. Then I tell people, like in group therapy or just to vent and they are shocked, so then I feel like ‘ok yeah’ I am not overreacting and I have every right to feel the way I do. So when I say we weren’t expecting anything from anyone, I literally meant it. All we wanted was grace. I wasn’t myself, we were not ourselves. How would you handle flushing your ‘pregnancy’ down the toilet? Were weren’t supported by the medical community. I was literally fighting with nurses/doctors while trying to miscarry. This changed me and I needed patience because I was figuring things out. I was healing from trauma and I still am. This will never go away. A baby won’t fix or erase what we went through. I was doing things out of character to survive. I’m still surviving. And in the end we still don’t have our baby.
I know I make it look easy but it doesn’t mean that when I go home the burden of what I’m carrying or hiding has no weight. So I’m trying to put the bad aside, people included and devoting my time and presence for those that I am so grateful for. Giving the people who have given us grace and patience and support, my time. Cause at the end of the day, I’m not afraid and fearful of what they’re going to say to me. I’m not making up things to be upset about. I’m upset because these things were said to me and I bravely voiced my hurt with my vulnerability front and center, and was met with nothing, not even an apology.
With time, I sure am way better at handling certain comments but it doesn’t mean they don’t add up.
So I gave up. I gave up on them. If you can’t listen then I’m done talking and asking for grace. If you can’t say your sorry, then I can’t share anymore. I’m so grateful for what I do have and I have so much to be grateful for and sometimes it’s hard to remember when the bad things consume your mind.
1. To our friend and my sister-friend who dropped off just because homemade bread and homemade butter. A bunch of handpicked dried lavender. I still have the lavender in what will hopefully be a future nursery. And having someone to just listen and validate my feelings even though you had no idea what I was going through.
2. My sister who brought me food before I had to go into labor. The countless times you buy me butterflies cause you know what that means for me. The check ins but then checking in on my husband because you knew he didn’t have anyone checking in on him. For always feeding us and distracting us. The list is endless.
3. To my girls who dropped a crate of goodies to show their love for us cause they didn’t know what to say. Your action shouted volumes. We felt so loved that night. Even the fact that you included my husband in all of it meant so much because husbands aren’t usually asked how they are doing. I love our girl nights
4. Both of our parents who literally carried our pain with us when we couldn’t bear it and continue to. But then when they stand up for us, because it just gets too exhausting to even stand when you have people trying to bury you.
5. The family that has been the much needed distraction for when we needed it the most. The understanding and for always including us even though you were afraid of how we’d respond.
6. My workout buddy and dear friend who always listened to me and holds more hope for me than I can sometimes. For always being our travel companions
7. Flowers for my loss from a co-worker.
8. My college little sister who randomly sent me snail mail and flamingo earrings to just make my day.
9. A talented and amazing friend who gave me this beautiful mental image of my grandma holding my kids and watching over them in heaven. I always look forward to our nights of just endless conversations.
10. My husband’s friends and my friends who love him as much as I do. I know sometimes he makes it hard to love him, more now than before, but having people that don’t give up on him means more to me than you would even know.
11. Our friends and family who allow us to love their kids. As much pain its brings us to not have our own, its nice not to feel left out.
12. My OG loss moms group therapy girls and the people I have met on the internet. Something so beautiful came from the worst thing that could ever happen to us.
The good always outweighs the bad.
And the biggest thing I learned through countless therapy is although I can’t control what others say or do, I can control my response and actions. I’m not purposely trying to make things difficult and it feels so weird that I have to even say that. I want to be a better person. I don’t want to be the infertility girl that only ever talks about her infertility problems, but I so appreciate my people that let me know vent cause, man, this is hard sometimes.
Most days are great, but then those mornings that I just walk up with reality slapping my face and days when it gets bad and I have trouble hiding the pain, I just hope that whoever crosses paths with us that day will have grace for us.