10 November 2017

Day 23: Suffering

I'm writing Ann Dee Ellis' 8 Minute Memoirs in place of #NaNoWriMo. Please note, this post addresses miscarriage and may not be appropriate for those triggered by this topic.

Sometimes, it feels like suffering is everything. These are moments when my brain forgets how many great things I have--my husband, my family, my friends. They are fiercely strong moments when the suffering takes over, the great things melt away, and life turns charcoal grey.

In the now two and a half weeks since my miscarriage, I've experienced a lot more suffering than I'm used to. Physically I recovered pretty quickly (well, I'm still doing blood draws and have to go visit the OB who performed my surgery in two weeks but I feel fine), but mentally it's not over.

In my head, I can't avoid the milestones I was supposed to be hitting week after week. I should have heard the heartbeat again by now. I'd be able to learn the sex after this upcoming Sunday. I'm constantly looking through a window at a life that isn't actually mine anymore.

I sort of hope that there's a parallel universe version of me who isn't struggling right now. Who has the life I'm watching through a window. A version whose baby started kicking this very week and is having a harder and harder time sleeping every night but who doesn't care because of how grateful she is just to be there, lying awake in the dark with her baby growing inside her. I want to find the window through which I can peer and see that universe, kick out the glass, and take her place. She can come here and suffer while people are endlessly kind and life looks pretty perfect but actually she's still obsessed with the baby she doesn't have anymore and can't go a day without crying yet.

This is miscarriage. It's not the ultrasound tech staring tight-lipped at the screen or the bloody moment when all is lost or even the ER visit to come later. It's the hours, days, and weeks that follow, where you and your spouse still obsess over a being you don't actually know, and slowly, those around you start to forget about a baby they couldn't meet.

This is suffering.

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