Each year of nursing school, we touched on the stages of grief. Five stages. Each one encompassing different behaviors and different feelings. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. In the past almost 4 weeks, I can see that I've felt most all stages- some more than others. I can also see how much healing has already taken place. I look back on the immediate days following our loss of little Gabriel and see the moments of denial. Focusing on what to do next; focusing on the D&C procedure and recovery that was approaching. It was all happening, but it almost felt like it was happening to someone else- not me, not us. I then see the tiny bouts of anger, especially when returning to work (I thankfully had a long stretch off before having to go back). Not only do I work with high risk moms & babies, but also with many new mothers who won't be taking their babies home with them due to DHS involvment and extreme social circumstances. That brings the anger. The woman who called her newborn an 'F** creature' brought anger. It brought sadness for these lives that are unwanted by their mothers. Anger that these women who seem to do everything 'wrong' have perfect term babies- drugs galore, etc. I see many moments when I played the bargaining game- the what if game. What if I hadn't eaten this or that; what if I got more than 1 hour of sleep that day; what if I hadn't worked so many nights in a row, etc. Then came the depression. The deep deep, awful heart ache. The balling in the shower, the crying myself to sleep, the tears that exploded down my face the instant I left the main entrance at work each morning and the makeup I carried in my purse each day just in case I needed a touch up to cover up my red, splotchy face (too bad I'm not a cute crying person- jealous of all you adorable criers). The feeling of always being on the verge of tears and not being able to get my mind off of losing our sweet Gabriel. The lack of sleep... those were hard days. Yes, then there came moments of acceptance. More and more each day. Acceptance that this is a trial we can get through. Acceptance that my tummy is shrinking instead of getting larger. Acceptance that we won't have a newborn for a Christmas present this year. Acceptance that I no longer have a count down to maternity leave. Acceptance that all of this did indeed happen and that we are okay. Acceptance that this is all a part of God's plan for our family.
Acceptance that losing Gabriel was a blessing in some way or another. Because, that's what God has done time and time again- given us blessings upon blessings.
Yes, we're getting through. I'm getting through.
Yes it happens to so many women, and I wish it were talked more about- because it brings deep, deep hurt and we can support each other through it. I read that after a good ultrasound at 8 weeks, there is 98% chance of carrying to term. It doesn't feel good to be in that 2%- at all. Maybe it would be easier if I already had children, or if I didn't have infertility issues and weren't back at square one. But, maybe it would be just as hard. I not only grieve the loss of this child, but the potential future of this happening time and time again due to my health. I have fear though I know deep down that God is in control and fear does nothing but makes all worse. I still feel it.
So, this is where I'm at and where I've been... moving through these stages and feelings like the tide coming and going.
I blog about this because I know I'll look back someday and smile. I know I'll read these posts and still have heart ache for losing this baby, but will have an even deeper trust in the Lord- because of his provision. Because he always provides. In some way or another, we will be parents. In some way or another I will have the joy and privilege of being a mother. But I still hurt and my heart deeply aches. I still get emotional. I still am tearful at random times.
In those tearful and sad moments, I have found immense comfort in God's word. In the midst of my emotional attacks- I recite Psalm 23 and am comforted. I lack nothing with Christ. He is my comfort and my shield. He leads me beside still waters. My cup runneth over...