If someone would have asked me 5 years ago what the next 5 years would look like, it 100% , most definitely would have included having at least one baby. It is totally heartbreaking to sit here and write that it did not happen. Not only did it not happen, but our best outcome for children right now is sitting at a “maybe”. This is not at all what I envisioned when Rick and I first got married.
This is not how it was supposed to be.
The past 4 years have involved more blood tests than I could have imagined, medication that has made me ill, battling weight issues, depression, anxiety, grief, physical and emotional pain, frustration, bitterness, miscarriage, monthly disappointments and heartbreak…I could probably sit here all day and come up with ways that the last 4 years have SUCKED.
Through all of this, I have gotten really good at eating my emotions, sleeping and watching really terrible, mindless television. Most would probably say that these are not the healthiest coping mechanisms and I have to say that my jeans and I agree!
I read a blog one time about giving yourself time to grieve when you hear a new pregnancy announcement or birth, or whatever it may be that triggers you, but to set a time limit. Let’s say 24 hours to do whatever you need to do to get through it. Eat your ice-cream, spend the day in pajamas, cry, punch your pillow, go to a spa…whatever. I liked that advice because it’s important to grieve and allow yourself to feel your emotions. It’s important to be kind to yourself and ladies, sometimes that means eating ice-cream in our pajamas as we watch a chick flick. I mean, YOLO, right? However, I think our bodies will thank us if this doesn’t become a daily occurrence. What I’m getting at here is that it’s important to find healthy ways to cope and I don’t mean switching to frozen yogurt instead of ice-cream because it’s supposedly “healthier”…although I really do love those froyo fruit poppers… 😉
Not that I’m an expert or anything, but I think that there is significant value in finding something therapeutic to help you through the devastating journey of infertility and miscarriage. Finding something really specific to who you are and what you like is highly beneficial. Maybe it’s some form of art (colouring, drawing, painting, etc) or maybe it’s music, reading, yoga or getting out into nature. For me, it’s crocheting. There is something about crocheting that is incredibly relaxing and pleasurable. I love the feeling of yarn between my hands and creating something beautiful with it. When everything else feels like it’s falling apart, creating something is deeply satisfying and fulfilling.
The year after we miscarried was probably the most difficult year of my life.
I could not believe that after waiting so long to get pregnant, it was brutally snatched away from us. Suddenly my hope vanished, my positive outlook on life was nowhere to be found. I began sleeping my days away and I stopped taking care of myself. I was depressed and struck by an immense amount of grief. Months later, I finally started to crochet more often and things began to change. Finding something positive and fulfilling to focus on was so helpful. I decided to make an afghan! This was a new challenge for me, involving new techniques and a lot of patience. I knew that it was going to take a long time, but I was determined. So one by one, I began crocheting 12 inch granny squares. When I had completed all 35 squares needed, I began assembling my afghan. I know this is going to sound cheesy, but as I started to stitch each square together, it was like I was kind of stitching myself back together. I was accomplishing something new and beautiful and for the first time in a long time, I felt proud and fulfilled. Now when I see my afghan, I have a beautiful symbol that carried me through a difficult time. In a way, making this afghan carried me through my grief. My grief will never go away, but it has changed.
If you watched the 2017 Golden Globe awards Sunday night, you probably heard Meryl Streep’s powerful speech. She ends it with something Carrie Fisher said to her,
“Take your broken heart, make it into art”.
I love that! You see, there is a common belief that art is therapeutic and that it helps people through all kinds of experiences and emotions. So I urge you, find something to carry you through. Maybe art isn’t your thing, I encourage you to find something that is relaxing and calming. Something that gives you pleasure and satisfaction. Because friends, infertility and loss are brutal. It is way too easy to let it consume us and to take away our interest in life and the things that bring us pleasure. You are worth it. You are valued. Find your therapy, friends.
Be kind to yourself.