Wednesday, August 7, 2013


 If you are brand new here, I advise that you skip this entry all together.
By saying that, I've probably doomed you to read it, curiosity being the pokey, insistent thing that it is.
I ask you not because I am horribly embarrassed by the content. I mean, I am, a little bit. I'm a very open person, but I can never tell how open is TOO open when it comes to the lovely interwebs. At the same time, I do not believe that one shouldn't be authentic--I should not pretend life is all daisies and posies and sunshine if, in fact, there are thorns and thunderclouds.
I don't know about you, but, personally, I REALLY dislike blogs where they portray their lives as constantly perfect. Mine certainly is not. Oh, sure, I've highlighted the good stuff on here just like everyone else, but, sometimes, things are very hard.

I'm usually a cheery blogger. I've been told I'm quite funny, and I know that I'm quirky with an odd way of saying things. I find joy in little phrases and little discoveries. I love life. I love LOVING life.

However, this is not one of those days. We recently went through something very hard, something I've been very honest about. This entry is a continuation of that. I felt things inside that had to come out, and they are not pretty things.

If you do not wish to read something that sounds whiney, perhaps melodramatic, and at all sad, don't read any further. Go to the left sidebar and click the picture labeled "The Hubs" or "Misadventures" or even Friday's Letters. Those tend to be amusing.
Don't read this. This is . . . it's very unlike me.
Or maybe it's the really real me, and that's less pleasant than I want to admit. I haven't made up my mind yet. Are we truly ourselves when we are sunniest or stormiest? Do we really want to know?

I'm very afraid this entry will give you the wrong impression.
I'm not usually like this, really.

If you, however, are a regular reader or one of my family or friends from across the country, I suppose you can read on.

I'm very sorry it's not cheerier.

You know, I was doing really well with everything until this weekend.
I was pretty much normal, again . . . Well, almost.
I mean, emotionally, things were pretty much ok, but, physically . . . not quite there yet.

Went for a check-up appointment with my OBGYN (lovely, delightful woman--so glad that she was put in our path through this very difficult process), and it turns out I had a mild infection. No big deal, she said and gave me a shot and some antibiotics. See you in two weeks.
Well, I do the stupid thing and start reading forums and articles online.

Oh, um, P.S.

NEVER read anything medical online. - Well . . . I thought it was just a cold. But, according to WebMD, I'm clearly dying.

Because, you see, now I'm terrified that I've been damaged beyond repair. Most likely a major overreaction, but . . . well . . . things aren't normal. We're almost there, almost back, but not yet. Not in ways that matter. I don't quite feel like a true woman, not yet.

You know how they say that, when you're pregnant, you know your body better than ever? There's this almost spiritual connection within yourself? I got a glimpse of that, barely, and then I got sick. Then everything happened, and I . . .
I feel betrayed by my own meat suit.
I don't know what's going on with it, I don't know what's happening, all I can do is sit and wait and pray.
Pray that basic functions go back to normal. Pray that I'm just NORMAL. It's an incredibly humbling experience.
Before, if I had any sort of ailment, I knew how to fix it. I exercised or took a painkiller or put a bandaid on it. DONE. Better in no time. Not now. There's no bandaid, there's just me and my body and time. Three separate entities.  I have no idea what my body is doing. I'm just sitting here, waiting on it, going mad with suspense.
I go in again tomorrow to make sure the infection is gone and that I'm on the path to normality. It can't come soon enough.

I feel like I'm being melodramatic.
It was only a miscarriage, right? It happens all the time, they say, to all kinds of women. Some women do it voluntarily (I cannot, really and truly, understand why--I say that without judgement, I do I just . . . why would anyone do this to themselves on purpose? It's miserable. It's not a get up and go the next day, it's a . . . it's long, it hurts, and it's hard, just physically).
Miscarriages happen, you get over it, you get pregnant again. TA. DA. Maybe I'm spending too much time alone. Too much time with just me and the furballs. 
They tell you the stages, the steps, of a miscarriage, one by one. And then they say you get over it. Right?

..... right?

Maybe I was recovering. I was so close. I could almost go a day without thinking about it. I was enjoying my life again. 
Until this weekend.
Until the text message.
From my pregnant sister-in-law.
That they were heading to the hospital, possibly in labor.
By 5:08 AM EST, Sunday morning, they were parents.

Reilly William M.
Picture from his paternal grandmother, an old friend of my family's.
With that head full of hair, he totally looks like his father, Ryan.
 I sent encouraging and congratulatory text messages, posted lovely things on their facebook pages for every status and every photo posted. They were happy and healthy and in love with their child.  Their parents--now brand new grandparents--were ecstatic, head-over-heels for their first grandchild. They should be.

I knew how I should feel--I should feel incredibly happy and overjoyed and that the only sadness in my heart should be that I am 3,000 miles away.
Do you know how I felt instead?

I was torn apart.

I was angry.
All of the emotions I thought I had dealt with came raging back to the surface.
All of the guilt, the panic, the hurt, the bitterness, and the jealousy. My GOD, the jealousy. Raging. All of it.
 I fought them, I stuffed them down deep, but they didn't go deep enough. They kept oozing out at the most obscure moments.  The light and the luster would vanish, and I was in a deep pit, staring at the photographs and the text messages, and I just ached.

I was relieved I was 3,000 miles away because I have no idea how I would react in person. I don't think I would have been able to touch him without sobbing.  I don't know if I could have even forced myself into that room. I don't know. It just hurts so much. To have been so close to something but so far away, and it tears at me. Claws again and again and again. See? See what you lost?
And again.
And again.
I would have been an embarrassment for everyone.
I shouldn't be around them, now. They should be unabashedly happy. They deserve it.
I carry sorrow and helplessness with me like a shroud.

I think, maybe, I would not have felt so bewildered had Julie's and my relationship been stronger. We were best friends in high school, even through my first year of college.

Julie and I during Spring Break 2007

Then, I started dating her brother, much to her dismay. From that point on, something felt . . . off. We were both growing up. I was exploring as much as I could, going to college out of state, studying abroad, meeting and befriending new people with lives so unlike my own. Julie stayed in her hometown with her same people. One way is not superior than the other. I simply began to change. Julie, seemingly, did not. We found we had less in less in common.  But we had HISTORY.

Oh, for the most part, we very much loved getting together, and, truly, loved each other.

Still, there was . . . something . . . Like we were in this constant, silent competition neither of us wanted to admit was happening. If I came close to possessing anything Julie had, she did not share my joy, not completely. There were these odd, snide, negative comments that she sent my way.
--Do you KNOW what you're getting into marrying Chris? He's such a slob, and so picky about just EVERYTHING. It's ridiculous. 
--What are you insane? A DOG? We have a dog and she's wonderful, but you guys don't know what you're in for. You can't handle it. A dog. Seriously?
--Oh, you're moving into that little house? The one my parents owned and let us rent before you all? Well, it's just awful. Bugs, everywhere, and the water's disgusting. Good luck. Awful place. SO glad we're out of there.

I've never been good at comebacks. I've never been good at confrontation. I'm a peace keeper and a people pleaser. So I kept silent, for the most part. It was only Julie, after all, she didn't mean anything by it. Chris was unaffected by her words, so why should I be?
I know I'm not innocent in all this. That I'm competitive, on my own. That I strive for others' approval, that I compare myself far too often. That, I'm sure, I've said or done something hurtful myself. I can't think of any because I'm me, not Julie. I doubt very much that Julie found her own words hurtful. We all see things through our own filters.
Mine, it seems, is too insecure and too sensitive.

In all honesty, we enjoyed each others' company well enough.
We laughed together and could carry on a conversation. She even threw me a bridal shower that was lovely, and, on some occasions when my self-esteem dwindled as my after-marriage waistline grew (then shrank the grew then shrank again) she was very complimentary and encouraging. We would eat lunch together as coworkers and just have fun being together. We hung together during family and clan events, chattering away or helping in the kitchen.  I made her laugh with my quirkiness, my innocence, and my abounding nerdities. She made me laugh because she said the most outrageously honest things in such a perky, giggly way you never knew if you should laugh or feel insulted.Most times, if not always, you end up laughing with her, she's just so charming.

But it was there. This thing. This barrier.
This barb that would shoot out whenever I found some new happiness.
Maybe I'm oversensitive. Maybe I imagined it all.
That's probably entirely the case. It really is. Women tend to read into EVERYTHING and never take things at surface value. Sometimes, the surface is all that's there.

The final blow came Julie, at six months pregnant, received the package we had sent our families to announce our brand new pregnancy. I had spent an entire day painting coffee mugs with little designs to reflect something each of our siblings loved then brandishing it with their new family title. We were so excited.

So, she called Chris, as a good sister should.
"Soooo . . . Sarah's pregnant?"
"Yep. We made cousins."
"Well, congratulations. Um . . . Hey . . . Listen, I have a question. Would you mind, please, not telling anyone until after I've had my baby in August? Just please don't steal my thunder."

Chris immediately refused her, and they effortlessly merged into pleasant pregnancy conversation. How was I feeling, how was she feeling etc., etc., and so forth.She wished me congrats over an internet message later that evening and seemed entirely sincere and excited.

But the words stuck with me. Cut me open. Don't steal my thunder.
They shouldn't have. I shouldn't have cared. I should have brushed it off and moved on. Don't steal it.
But I couldn't erase those words. I want to. I try to tell myself I can and I should, but they're just THERE.

They tell you not to hold on to your past. That, in many cases, time heals all wounds. That, you can't change someone else, you just leave them be and train yourself not to care. Not to listen. To let them be.

How do you do that? Please tell me. I'm not asking snidely, I desperately want to know.
I have too much time to myself here, alone, and the thoughts keep running around in my head like dogs on a racetrack and I can't stop.
Some days I feel so good, so normal, so happy. Then something happens, something triggers the memories of this, of my miscarriage, of the pain I've felt and the pain I've caused by failing to carry my child.
By failing to be happy, to celebrate, by failing to brush aside the words and the pain and the doubt.
 I just want to be okay. I just want to be normal and not to feel the stabs of the past. I want to move on and be okay. Please tell me how you do that.  I'm at a loss.

 The day Julie went into labor, I saw myself, out here, pregnant by some miracle, in a hospital room, just me and Chris. No one to celebrate with us. Three thousand miles away from the people who loved us. Isolated. Oh, they would come as quickly as they could, but . . . alone. In that white, too-clean place where you are just a number. We would arrive and leave alone. Maybe. My imagination works in extremes. It's hardly trustworthy.
The next day, the mental picture changed. It was just me and Chris, alone. There was no pregnancy, no labor, no child. Just us. Just me, unable to give Chris something he had so desperately wanted, asked for.  Maybe if we had started trying sooner, we wouldn't have miscarried. He could be a father and be happy.

I am plagued with regret and with guilt. I am jealous, and I should not be.  I should feel so very happy and rejoicing. I write the words, I say the words, and I ache inside. I feel so incredibly guilty because I am not happy.

Does it really all get better with time?

None of this should be about me.
None of it.
It should be about Julie and Ryan and their precious new son who is such a blessing to them and their families. I should think only of them and celebrate.
I should.
I know the right thing.
I know the right feelings.

It's not about me. It shouldn't be.

Why do I insist on making it so? Why do I insist on being miserable?

You see.
I warned you it was not a pretty post, not a pretty picture.
I'm very sorry.


  1. Boy that was a long post! Your allowed to be emotional you've gone through so much and its going to take a long time to heal. Its understandable that you would feel mixed emotions theres nothing wrong in that, your not a machine or a rock, you can feel however you like, so long as you feel something.
    But please dont Google your medical worries that will just freak you out!
    Go have some cake. Hope your week gets better xx

  2. I think you already know that she's being the silly one, treating life as a competition. I know that those words about "stealing her thunder" would be incredibly hard to forget. There is not limited good in this world. The good news of one baby could not possibly steal the goodness away from the good news of another baby. Both are good news.
    I think that statement hurts because you know, in all truth, that it was wrong.
    You have experienced a great loss, and I can only imagine it hurts all the worse when others don't respond as you would have hoped they would.
    I pray that you will be healed, physically and emotionally, too. Don't be afraid for the future, please don't.

  3. Oh sweet girl I am SO SORRY for your loss. I'm seriously sitting here in tears. I can't imagine the pain you're going through. You are mourning your child's loss through all facets - even anger - and that's nothing to be ashamed of. I will be praying for healing - both physical and emotional. I'll pray that God will bring another precious little one into your life in His timing.

  4. I am praying for Peace that surpasses all understanding!

  5. Ah Sarah went through a traumatic event. It doesn't matter how many other women experience something similar. Your experience is unique to you, you are entitled to any feelings you have. I will continue to pray for peace and healing for you and Chris.

  6. Oh Sarah. Thank you for being so transparent. For not just putting up the pretty pictures and hiding the ugliness that we as humans are.

    There's no answer I can give you besides time. "Time heals all wounds." Because it does. One day you'll wake up and realize that the pain hurts less. Maybe it's still there, probably it's still there, but it's not the very first thing that slaps you in the face when you wake up in the morning.

    I so hope that by commenting on this that I'm not reawakening anything.

    I heard something on the radio the other day that might be useful to you:

    Jesus doesn't stop the storm. He meets you in the middle.

    You'll get through this. No one said it would be easy. But you'll get through this.

    I'm so very sorry for every loss and pain that you're dealing with. Including your sister-in-law. I hope that she can grow up a little bit and be kind to you because it's sort of ridiculous when girls get into these pissing matches with each other.



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