i remember the exact moment the thought popped into my head. Lars and i were at church, in the lobby, seated side by side across from our pastor during pre-marital counseling. We turned the page in our book, and in big, bold letters across the top of the page was, “Miscarriage”. Lars looked at me, i looked at him, we frowned, and inside i said, “that is NEVER going to happen to us”. We told our pastor that we would stay strong through any storm, and honestly i don’t remember much about what we discussed that day. But i do remember thinking vehemently to myself that there was NO way i was ever going to have to endure a miscarriage. Lars admitted that he thought the same thing.
When we got pregnant with our second baby, 2 of our siblings were also pregnant. i remember uncharitably thinking to myself, “please, God, if one of us has to have a miscarriage, please don’t let it be me.”. Thankfully all of us had healthy babies. You might be thinking that i am a horrible person, and maybe i am. But the truth is that until you decide you want to have a baby, and then succeed in getting pregnant, you will probably never understand the desperate need that parents carry with them always, that their children thrive, survive, and stay alive. It isn’t that i wanted my sisters in law to have miscarriages. i would not wish that on anyone.
The point is, i convinced myself that i would never face losing a baby because the idea that that could become my reality made me freeze in terror. Here i am, frozen.
There are so many questions running through my head. This is the second time i have had a miscarriage. Twice in a row. Am i just not meant to have more children? Am i being punished? Will my marriage suffer? Will my marriage fail? Does God not love me anymore? And ultimately i know it is not my fault, or Lars’ fault. Is my faith shaken? Yes. But i know shit happens.
Here’s the thing. The fact that “shit happens” doesn’t stop me from shattering. It doesn’t keep me from crying on the shower floor, so hard that i can’t breathe. It doesn’t mean i don’t feel hollow, broken, or like a failure. My body failed me somehow, and i am failing also because i can’t get my emotions under control to stay strong for my living children and husband. The reality of my life is that if i allow myself to fall apart completely, literally nobody else is going to pick up the pieces and put my life back together. It isn’t that i am bitter, it isn’t that i can’t rely on my husband. It’s that i am the only person capable of building the life that i want, because i am the only one who truly knows my own heart and mind. If anyone else tried to pick me up, well intentioned as they may be, i know i would end up telling them how to do it anyway, so there is just no use in letting them expend the energy to begin with.
Moving forward i am not sure what i am going to do. Maybe i will give up on my dream of having a large family with many children. Maybe i will adopt or foster children like i have considered doing in the past. Maybe i will throw myself into parenting the children i have, overcompensating for the ones i have lost. i don’t know yet- my head is still fuzzy with grief.
All i can say is that you should never say never, because the side of statistics that say “shit happens” could very easily be the side that you live on. And that side fucking sucks.