Yesterday would have marked the start of my 39th week of pregnancy.
Grief is a greedy emotion.
It’s like being in a relationship with a partner who takes and takes and takes. It’s unrelenting in its persistence. It’s hard to move forward – and just when you think you have – it pops out from around a corner at you and gets all up in your business. All you want to do is just. move. on.
A little innocence dies in you when you lose a pregnancy. The innocent, naive joy that comes with pregnancy – it goes away. There’s a dark and twisty side that rears its ugly head. It’s the piece that feels cynical about other people’s pregnancies. A whisper that reminds you a positive pregnancy test and a due date doesn’t mean you’ll actually bring a baby home.
In the days that followed our loss, I found myself tempted to blurt out the news at the most inappropriate times to people I didn’t even know. “I know I look normal, but would you believe I just found out the baby I was carrying died and I had no idea until a doctor told me so”
Grief makes you question your own sanity.
And it’s exhausting.
And every night, as darkness falls and the questions begin to swirl around in your head AGAIN, you’re reminded just how exhausting it is to wonder, to ask why, to wish for things that aren’t.
You’re so very ready to just move on. To not feel sad. To not grieve. To not cry anymore. When the tears come, you stop and scold yourself. At times, you want to take yourself by the shoulders and yell “JUST STOP.” You give yourself pep talks. After all, people have it worse. People go through worse. People have been through it more times than you have.
Buck up, buttercup.
Grief will make you angry. It can isolate you. It can squash you and make you feel like you can’t breathe.
So – there has to be acceptance. Acceptance that things just aren’t. Acceptance that life is unfair, that people hurt, and things don’t go according to our plan. Acceptance that pregnancy still IS life affirming, and beautiful and joyous. Acceptance that other people will have healthy pregnancies and deliver precious babies. And these moments are beautiful, even if they are painful.
And acceptance brings peace. Peace that will come more and more often and push out the grief. Sure, the grief will always be there – always – but peace will settle in. You’ll find yourself smiling with pregnant friends, praying for their healthy pregnancies and babies, feeling joy over their squishy little bundles. Even in the pain and the sadness, there will be joy and peace.
The next time grief shows up, you can welcome it with open arms. Let it stay awhile and cozy up on the couch with you, next to a fireplace. Sit still and feel it. And then, ever so kindly, send it on its way – knowing that you will meet again some day.
And take comfort in this.