Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gestating a Rainbow

I first wrote about my miscarriage the same day it happened.  I was in a whirlwind of hormones, and at the time I felt the need to quickly announce the miscarriage because I couldn’t bear to hear anymore congrats on the pregnancy (we'd announced a week before).  I took as good a care of myself as possible and tried to remain positive.  There was a sense of relief after it happened, not that we weren’t pregnant anymore-that was devastating, but that the bad feelings, signs and sadness that had been there for days meant something, I finally had an answer.  I truly felt in those first moments a strange confidence in my body; I had worked through contractions, alone, and got what was no longer living out of my body.  It was intense and beautiful in its own strange way.  The absence of that pain left me feeling better physically and I thought that must be as intense as it would get.  I assured everyone the worst was over and I trusted the process and had faith in the future, the stats were totally in our favor.

Well if only we could be so in control as we think.  Hormones are a wild thing, and loss is huge.  I waited patiently as I could for my body to cleanse, level out and for my beloved cycle to return.  Josh was unwavering in his love and support, and lack of belief in anything less than wonderful happening, he inspires me everyday.  Every Monday I was sad, my mom supported me in saying I should take time out to just be pissed and sad and frustrated with it-feel it all- and then leave it and move on until I need to take that time again.  Josh would hold me.  Not long after I miscarried three other wonderful couples announced their pregnancies, one a close friend due nearly the same time I was and I found myself in a most uncomfortable position of being truly happy for them, and deeply and painfully jealous.  It became hard for me to face them without imagining what I was missing, and was filled with a sadness so deep.  It was morbidly funny to realize within my little realm we were proving the stats true-1 in 4 pregnancies will result in miscarriage.

After one amazing cycle and a whirlwind of house purchasing, I faced a bottom I had not expected.  My second cycle didn’t arrive, and I felt like I was going crazy-a hormonal imbalance mixed with a pessimistic view.  I wavered between great agitation and wishing to that depth of sadness.  I continued to weep over the loss more and more and felt completely out of whack.  I had everything I wanted, amazing partner, new home, great job, and felt terrible for feeling there was this huge hole within that had only been full for a few weeks.

The healing agent of time seemed to be my only cure, in addition to forceful positive thinking and luckily a partner who was not losing faith in my body.  Soon after I calmed down and regained balance, we decided to begin trying again wouldn’t you know it, my cycle returned immediately.  As if to say, “I was waiting for you” rather than the other way around.  Needless to say I was pregnant within two weeks.

In the natural birth community a birth after a loss is called a "rainbow baby" as it is so healing and a miracle. While I think all babies are miracles, it’s interesting to have another term for the next baby.  Today is the original due date for that first pregnancy, and I am happy to have made peace with that.  While time is the true healer of most losses, of course being four months into a new, healthy pregnancy seals the deal.  I can look to other pregnant women with love rather than longing (our friends who were due near me had a healthy boy last week),  but not a day goes by that I forget to be grateful I only miscarried once, and that as far as we know our ability to have healthy children is still strong.  

I realize I have not written about our wedding yet, but what can I say?!  It was absolutely perfect.  It POURED the day before, and rained much of the day off, but luckily it stopped an hour or so before the wedding and it stayed beautiful.  Our dear friend Randy was the most excellent officiant ever, and the ceremony was wonderful.  We planted a tree rather than exchanging rings and surprised our guests with the news of our new pregnancy.  The pig was smoked to perfection and the food was perfect.  Best of all was having (nearly) all the people we love together, at our home, for an entire evening.  I still can’t believe it came together so perfectly, especially as I was battling early pregnancy 24/7 nausea (which magically held off the day of the wedding :) I truly can’t thank everyone enough, it would take forever.