This is a draft.
It's unfinished, yet it feels best this way.
Maybe because we're still in the first chapters to our story...
This year, I'm trying hard to allow more vulnerability into my life; to face it head on, to not be afraid of it... to show it, and share it. Vulnerability is what makes us human. It's what we have in common. It connects us to each other. So I'm taking a deep breath while I hit "submit," and here's to hoping some of my words might just leap off the screen and wrap you up in a warm hug.
Below is my journal entry and a drafted post from six months ago. And although these words have taken home in my "draft box" for a long while... I felt impressed to share them today. After this past week was National Infertility Awareness week, I'm feeling like they need to be read by someone other than myself.
So, here they are.
Journal entry from November 2016:
"My heavy eyelids and tired body need more sleep, but my heart yearns to write this morning while I have some peace and quiet. It's 6:00 am. The house is dark, and my soul is craving the written word, in fear I may forget my deepest feelings if I don't write them down. I have something to write about, because I have something to feel about. And for some odd reason, the feeling of my pencil to paper brings some relief, knowing I can finally release and let go.
Bry and I started trying for another baby earlier this fall. We felt it was time again. In October, I missed my period, and was feeling signs of pregnancy: mostly morning nausea, some headaches, sore boobs, and the feeling of a "bloated" tummy. I secretly got excited inside. We didn't have a pregnancy test at home, my periods have sometimes been irregular anyway, and so I thought... I won't check for now. If I miss it again next month, I'll take a pregnancy test then and surprise Bry.
[Note: I know it sounds weird, but I'm the kind of person who would be okay with finding out eight weeks down the pregnancy road that I was expecting, rather than earlier. I think because that's what we did with Ellie, and it helped that first trimester pass by a little more quickly. Ignorance is sometimes bliss, right? So I decided to put it off, (at least until I went to the store and remembered to buy a test).]
It happened right before Thanksgiving. I started to bleed. At first, I didn't think much of it. My thoughts were, Hmm, that's strange. Maybe I wasn't pregnant after all. Here comes and goes another period.
Well, that's what I thought had happened.
Twelve days later; still bleeding. I remember coming home from the gym one day and asking Bry if he'd watch Ellie through his first work meeting because I literally couldn't get myself to stay awake. I fell asleep flat on my face, with all my exercise clothes on and woke up again around 10:30. (Not usual for me.)
Fourteen days, fifteen days pass by and I was still bleeding heavy, starting to pass clots, and having terrible lower back pain. At this point, I knew something was off. Something was wrong. Either I was miscarrying, or something was terribly wrong inside of me. The thought of both made me nervous. It was the week before Thanksgiving, and I dialed the number for my OB/GYN. A nurse answered the phone. After explaining to her my symptoms, she told me I needed to take a pregnancy test. She explained it would still show positive if I were pregnant, and if I was miscarrying. She also told me if the bleeding didn't stop after three weeks, to call back and come into the office to be seen.
I walked to my bathroom alone. I wanted to be alone, just in case. Bry was busily on the phone for a work meeting, and I unwrapped a test, peeing on the stick and sitting back to watch. One line: blue. The other line... blue. Two blue lines.
The news sunk deep. I was miscarrying.
I was pregnant and now I was miscarrying. I was losing our little angel. The thought pierced my heart. It was strange finding out both things at the same time: that we were in fact pregnant, but that we were also miscarrying. I walked slowly to the office, showed Bry the pregnancy test and turned around to collapse on our bed. Bry hurried to end his phone call and came in to pick me up. I buried my face in his chest to cry. He rubbed the back of my hair - "I'm so sorry, honey."
We were only around six weeks along at the point, but I didn't expect the emptiness that followed. Or the feelings of sadness. Or the feelings of envy I tried not to allow myself to feel. The next week was a sad week. I kept seeing babies everywhere: with friends, at the grocery store, new baby announcements being posted... I didn't think I'd feel any sort of jealousy for that type of thing, but unfortunately it came, even when I tried my hardest to push it away.
Besides all the emotion, there was the physical reminder. I was still bleeding. And every time I went to the bathroom, and passed yet another clot, I was reminded once again of our little angel, whoever they would've been. Would they have been a boy or girl? What would they have looked like? Who would they have become? All the doubtful, harsh questions that followed: Why couldn't my body carry this baby? I'm living so healthy, why did this happen? Will I be able to ever get pregnant again?
It helped to not be far enough along yet to hear the heartbeat. Oh, how my heart wants to reach out to anyone who has heard a heartbeat, and then lost their little angel. It helps to have a loving husband who wraps his arms around me every time the tears come. How my heart aches for anyone who has to go through pain alone. It helps to have our little babe already here, who I cherish and squeeze with all my might. How my heart aches for those who are trying and trying for their first. It's not easy. Any of it.
I feel extremely blessed to have our little Ellie, and I don't want to ever take that for granted. That has helped me immensely, but there's still an empty space in my heart. It's a hole that nothing can really fill. It's the type of hole that sometimes dwells best in silence. And that's the stupid thing about it really. A miscarriage isn't the type of thing you go around telling people, or wearing on your sleeve. Or is it? Sometimes I don't know how to act or treat this situation. Is it something we should be telling people? I wasn't sure at first. But as I've shared it with the family and close friends... some of that pain has been lifted.
Today we're choosing to move on. Today we're strong. And today we're praying once again for another angel to come soon."
It's been a while since all of that happened, but I thought of it all again today. The feelings came back fresh and deep and open. It's the reason I have decided to share here. Not for pity. Not so anyone will feel bad for us. But only to let someone else out there know they're not alone, if this is something they're facing too. I know what it feels like to keep trying and to start my period again and again while the tears fall. I know how it feels to want something so much, yet to pray for patience. I know what it feels like to get your hopes up, only to feel let down once again. And to those who are experiencing a similar struggle, I'm with you. Sometimes the knowledge that we're not alone, is the strength we need to pull us through.
For those of you who have miscarried or who are struggling with infertility:
My heart aches with you. It's okay to hurt about it. It's what makes you human. And my arm is around your shoulder. We are on this raw and delicate motherhood journey together. I pray for you, I pray with you, and yearn for another one someday too.
We can't give up.
For now, I will keep loving my living angels. Keep kissing. Keep snuggling. Keep holding those hands with all the love I can muster. I'm so lucky and grateful to have my Bry and my Ellie. And we're not giving up any time soon.
I know heaven holds our angels safe.