And frankly, right now I am feeling a little like Luke Skywalker. I don’t think it hurts that odds are my Dad is really Darth Vader [wink].
The problem with me is that I do GET IT . . .
I would say that I have been suffering some sort of gigantic mind/body/spirit disconnect. Because I am still disconnected, I don’t know how to articulate that, of course, the logical portion of my brain can see what I need to be doing, but my emotional/spiritual self is still all a-jumble. My logical brain completely owns that I had a miscarriage and consequently, knows how I should move on and appreciate my life. And mostly that is what I have done; I have moved on.
Then the other night I was talking to a friend — one of the first people I have tried to open up to since having a miscarriage. Before I would even allow myself to really talk about things (protecting myself), however, I made sure she knew that I was aware of the following:
(1) I acknowledged that I know that there are people suffering more than myself.
(2) I acknowledged that I am aware of how much time I have spent trying to get pregnant and that maybe now I am just being selfish.
(3) I acknowledged that I can adopt and why I have thoughtfully chosen not to adopt.
(4) I acknowledged how grateful and joyous I am for Kyle and Eli and that it is precisely this gratitude and joy that led me to wanting a third.
(5) and then I acknowledged several more things to let my friend know how completely alright and aware I am. (I really don’t think she needed to know any of these things, by the way).
About half way through letting my friend know how lucky I am and how I know that there are others who struggle more than myself blah, blah, blah and that I GET IT, she said,
Beth, you really haven’t felt this yet, have you? It seems like you have moved right past the pain and onto this positive (logical) attitude.
Perhaps I have. The first few days I let myself cry. I let myself be. And then something took over. I sincerely could not help thinking about all the other people in the world who have it worse than I do. I could not stop thinking about the fact that I need to be present and I need to be a functioning mom for the two beautiful children I do have. Consequently, for the past two weeks, I have been stuck thinking and thinking and thinking some more. I have repeatedly put a value on my loss and what I keep thinking is that my loss does not add up to much. I mean, come on, I have so much to be grateful for, don’t I?
While I was talking to my friend, I stopped thinking long enough to listen. I stopped long enough to feel (only for a few seconds), but I did.
And then I cried, something I haven’t been doing much of.
Somehow we started talking about Kyle and his birth and messages of self worth. Of course I always knew as a child that someone in my family was suffering more than me, but why can’t I conquer those feelings of low self-worth once and for all? Why do I not allow myself to truly embrace (feel) the good and the sorrowful in my life? When I think I have it all figured out, I FINALLY GET PREGNANT and FINALLY LET MYSELF FEEL JOYOUS and then look what happens: I LOSE MY BABY! I LOSE EVERYTHING I HAVE WORKED SO HARD FOR AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO FIX IT, which completely sucks, by the way.
See, many people know that when Kyle was born, he almost died and so did I. He was born not breathing and without a heartbeat. Something I breeze over are things like while the hospital staff were scrambling to get Kyle out of me, a nurse, who thought I was as good as gone instructed Dave, a mere two inches from my face, what organs of mine he could legally donate. I was not worth her taking the time to pull Dave out of the room to explain what was going on: I was just a dying organism.
Because I grew up feeling so second class, I just think I expect things to be bad. I expect the nurse not to step away. And if it would help, I would probably act dead so she would feel more comfortable. And I expected this miscarriage. I did not expect to have a full term and healthy pregnancy. Why? Probably because it took so long to get pregnant and I took all of my fertility issues as a sign or something that I am worth a healthy pregnancy. (And please don’t lecture me on self-fulfilling prophecy. I get that too.)
Last Wednesday morning, there I was and that is when something good really did happen. For about ten minutes, because I didn’t know what else to do, I asked the planets to align and you know what, they listened.
I was sitting alone when another person, someone I don’t know well, but someone who matters walked in the door. We will call him, Yoda, because seriously, that is who I think he is. Of all the people to let my guard down in front of, I let it down with him. So weird. I asked Yoda to sit with me and I asked Yoda to listen. And you know what? Yoda sat with me and heard what I had to say. He stopped what he was doing, put aside his commitments and put himself in the right head-space so he could see me and accept me with all my quirks, intensity, joys, intelligence and pain. He did what Yoda does and sat contemplatively, making sure not to miss a word or nuance. He looked me in the eye, gently smiled and waited, making sure I knew that he saw me. He acknowledged the need to be present for others and apologized for not always being present for me. He reminded me that life is about re-shaping and re-thinking each step and then he reminded me that when we get comfortable, things will always change. At that moment he allowed himself to be with me, feeling my deep sorrow and discouragement. And then he told me how he saw my strength. As I sat there, Yoda reminded me that he had already seen who I was and that he was now telling me these things because I wasn’t seeing myself. He was present and by being present he sparked something in me, something I can’t quite put my finger on, but something which enabled me to once again begin healing myself.
He smiled once more, telling me,
This was nice for me too.
And then I think he grabbed his walking stick, reminded me to always use the Force and quickly vanished.
I am still trying to be alright. I think I will always be trying to be alright. Believe me I know what I have and I know how much I have focused on my infertility blah, blah, blah. What I continually need to see and find from within, however, is that I am of value and that my feelings are important, no matter how small, big, amazing or stupid they seem to anyone else.