The emotional roller coaster that follows a miscarriage (and gets faster and bumpier with each subsequent MC) messes with your head in so many ways. The best description comes from a blog I was recently reading from @GrievingDads (a great one to read/follow for all of you dads out there), where he called it a MindF*ck. Best. Description. Ever.
For me, it started with being numb. I was dumbfounded — still am in many ways — that this could happen to us…again. Deep down I knew there was nothing I did, or didn’t do, that caused this, and yet, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. I apologized a lot back then, mostly to the baby for my body not being able to carry her to full term. It’s a rough thing when you do everything you’re supposed to do and still have no control over the outcome.
Then came the overwhelming blanket of sadness that would overcome me and literally take my breath away. Those first weeks were a blur of tears. My husband and I pretty much sequestered ourselves from the outside world, talking only to our parents (when we were up to it) and corresponding with others via text and email. We were good to one another, which in a weird way allowed us to be good to ourselves. As I think back now, we did pretty well. We showered and got dressed everyday. We’d get out of the house for a little bit each day, even if it was for a walk around the block, to the corner Starbucks or a “big trip” out to lunch. We were surviving.
We both went back to work after two weeks. We weren’t ready for the real world, but we knew we didn’t have a choice and couldn’t hide forever. Not to mention the whole, not independently wealthy thing. My coworkers were amazing. Extremely empathetic throughout (they were there with MC #3 too) and gentle upon my return. My husband works for himself, at our house, and only had the company of our cats. I worried about him a lot, and yet I knew his love for his work would push him through most days.
My return was challenging in so many ways. First of all, I was still crying at the drop of a hat. People who knew didn’t know what to say, and would just give that look that was someplace between sorry and just plain pity. Plus, I was still bleeding and had an extremely unfortunate incident at work due to that, that led to a trip to the emergency room. Salt, meet wound. But I was at work. “Functioning.”
I knew I had changed from these experiences, but I’m not sure when I realized in how many ways I had really changed. Or when the ADD set in. I used to be a focused, driven, detailed-oriented person who had a big to-do list and would work methodically to cross each item off. I’m in marketing and events, which is all about the details. I was all about the details. These days, I stare aimlessly at my computer, not only not sure what I should be doing, but not caring either. My mind just wanders with no plan on where it’s going. And as that Type A personality, I don’t know how to deal with it. Everything that once seemed important doesn’t anymore. Everything I had known is being turned upside down and inside out. Who am I and what the hell am I doing? This is how I go through my days.
I’m able to fake my way through this newfound ADD for now, but at some point it is going to catch up to me. And yet, my wandering mind can’t focus long enough to figure out a way past it. Even in writing this blog, I started it a week ago, and then would jump to something else and the next thing and the next thing. It’s a story of self-discipline that I’m actually finishing it now. I feel like Dug the dog from the movie Up. SQUIRREL!
My therapist tells me that I’m not insane. That this is, in fact, normal. She analogizes it to a roller coaster ride. When this happens, your world (or ride) stops and resets. And when it resets, it starts up on another track. Everything IS different. I just have to figure out what this new normal is. Right, and why don’t I just cure cancer while I’m at it? Ok, that may be a tad overdramatic (although I think I’ve earned the right to be a little snarky from time to time). But the truth is, I am figuring it out, and together, my husband and I are figuring it out. I’ve realized a new friend from a great support group we’ve joined summed it up best, what other choice do we have?