Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hitchhiker Adventures #3: The words "Miscarriage" and "Lost the baby" are not okay

I have felt this way for a long time, but I couldn't speak out, I wasn't part of the club. Well, I got my card yesterday, and this sucks, so I am saying something. It's time for a language change, an attitude change a change at how we look at fetal death. You really want to convince a woman it isn't her fault that a baby died, don't call it these things, because nothing says you did this, like verbs that imply miss doing something or losing something. I didn't lose this baby, I know exactly where it is, in fact my body is holding on so strong it's going to take anesthesia and a team of people in an operating room to get it out. I didn't miss carry anything. I carried it well, I did everything I was supposed to, I took shots, I ate well, I made sure I was active, I sat when I wanted to work, I slept when I wanted to stay up. I didn't misplace or mishandle this baby.

Then there is the stigma that I should have kept this a secret, so we wouldn't have to tell people that the baby died. Screw that, that is messed up too. Yes it sucks that so many people were excited and joyful and now gloom has fallen upon them as they grieve this loss too, but it would suck more if we were trying to hide it and keep silent. That is messed up. I shouldn't just now be finding out so many people have also had miscarriages. Why did they feel they had to keep that silent? Because of this stupid stigma.

There is an idea too, that it's so early, it's not really a life, or a big deal. Whatever. I have been working on this baby for close to a year now. It's been an idea, a dream, and physical work for months. Even if it wasn't a long project, it's still a big deal. There was a life and now there isn't. There were hopes and dreams and now they are gone. There was relief and excitement and a heartbeat and it stopped. There were plans, and schedules and all kinds of things in motion, now they have stopped. We are back at square one, actually we have a few months to go before we get back to square one. So we are at like negative ten right now.

I guess you could say, it's not my baby too, so it shouldn't be that hard. Maybe you are right, but it was excruciating to see that there was no heartbeat, and wait for the doctor to say it outloud and look at this woman who has gone through so much, who trusted me with her baby, and know that the lifetime she had already started planning for was over. It hurt that I was the one crying and she was strong and trying to comfort me. Our family had dreams too, we had plans of giving them this baby. I had hopes of being done with this and getting my body back by the holidays. I was almost done with the injections. It feels like I not only let down myself, and my own family but a whole other family as well.

The language is horrible and the feeling of failure is overwhelming. Maybe I have proved all the "I told you so's" right.  Maybe this wasn't a good idea. I brought misery to my house, I have put my husband's mental health in danger. I risked it all, and literally according to medical terminology lost it. Lost it like I lost my phone, or gambled it away and lost it, either way that is a horrible way to phrase it. I chose to do this, I chose to take on this risk of loss, and here we are. Add another nail to the failure coffin. So if you are in this camp, steer clear, I already see your face of disapproval in the mirror.

Now we are back to unknown. I am wondering again if I am worthy. Before we can try again, I have to get through surgery. I have to have more anatomy examinations. The doctor and the family have to discuss whether they want to move forward with me. They have to decide if I am worthy. So you can say it's not my fault, you can say I "just miscarried", but the louder message, the one screaming in my head is "maybe, you can't do this". I imagine for those that "lost" their own babies, the feeling is pretty similar.

The doctor told me I didn't have to try this again. Even though we committed, I can still say no. Honestly though, I think being told I can't try again will be devastating. As much as I don't want to be working toward pregnancy and pregnant for the next year, as much as I don't want three more months of shots procedures and blood tests, of waiting to find out if it worked, the alternative is so much worse. Going through all that I have since the evaluations started to what is coming next Tuesday in the operating room, and not having a baby for that family would feel like the ultimate failure, it would feel like a waste. Yes we have had an adventure, made new friends, learned about a whole new part of life, learned more about each other, strengthened our bond as a family etc. But right now, I can't be grateful for that. Right now, it sucks, the possibility that this is it, burns worse than the pockets of oil I injected into my hips. I am sure I will get back to a sense of gratefulness, but I am not there yet. Let me get this out of my body first.

I can't even go to the God side of things right now either. I just can't start thinking and questioning. I am so glad that at youth group this week, we have a lot of work to do practicing for a lip sync contest of all things, because I really, literally "just can't". I am glad this week is full of busy work, not big theological questions, silliness and not sermons. I don't have to explain this week, why God let's really yucky things happen when people are trying to do something good. I don't have to go there, this week.

I just wish there was a different terminology, a different way to tell a woman what happened, to label this whole thing besides misscarriage and lost. Those words don't help with any of these feelings at all, they add to them. This is death, not a mistake, not a misplacement. There is great loss, but let's not use that as a verb. If it's not my fault, if it's because something was wrong with the baby, then why did I miscarry, why will that be what they say? The surrogate miscarried, she lost the baby. That says it all. No matter what tone it is said in, or what intentions are behind it, can you see, how much blame that statement can carry?

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