That's right. I'm about to talk about miscarriage again. Please don't feel obligated to read this deeply personal post (haha- did I get you there? You want to read now, don't you?!?). Seriously, if you would like to just keep scrolling to see some pretty photos, it would be my honor. The beautiful things I get to photograph are just as much a part of my life as this post is.
I believe I've mentioned before that sharing about my struggles and personal life here on my blog is something I feel pretty passionately about, and while it may be neater and more marketable to blog separately about it elsewhere, it just doesn't make sense to me. My photography clients have been some of the most supportive, encouraging, posts of comfort I've had during this season of my life. So here I am, at 100%.
A friend sent me this article a couple of weeks ago, which began a stirring in my heart. It's entitled, "Why Miscarriage Matters if You're Pro-Life." If you want to understand what I'm about to say a bit better, I'd recommend reading it and coming back. :)
As a Christian, I am pro-life. I have watched people close to me deal with the consideration of, logistics of, legality of, and regrets of abortion. I have fought our culture's "reasoning" with it in my heart. And what God says is clear. It's wrong. We had a 2-week series on abortion at our church a few months ago. You can watch the series, called "Sacred Mortality" in the Media Center at The Heights Fellowship. This series cleared up so many gray areas I had about abortion and the culture we live in.
It was tough to sit through the messages, though, simply because we were discussing babies that were not wanted. I have no idea what that feels like. In fact, I'm so on the other side of that feeling that the talk of an unwanted baby brought this mother to tears quickly and frequently.
The last time I wrote about this part of my life was a couple days before I went in for surgery to fix an anatomical issue I had that was likely the cause of my 4 early miscarriages. It went SO well. The hardest part was getting the IV. The hospital staff was amazing. The doctor was amazing. My husband and mom who took care of me (and a sick Knox) were amazing. The pain killers were amazing (haha- but seriously, they were). THANK YOU all for praying for me. I felt it. My body is completely recovered at this point.
All of these influences/life-happenings have led me to one harsh realization: the grief is NOT over. Ahhh, if only! When Shawn and I went to visit a family counselor several months ago just after miscarriage #4, I was told that I hadn't given myself enough time to grieve. I was really hoping I had at this point, almost 6 months later. The organizer in me would love to schedule it out on the calendar. :) But, it keeps coming back, and when it does, it hits hard.
That big, giant, black hole of grief. I keep trying to cover it with activity, or material things, or even prayer...but it remains. It's dark, and sad, and all-too-accessible. I try to ignore it. I cry for no clear reason, and it hits me in those quiet moments. I think many times I've equated it to my longing for our adopted child, but now I'm realizing that it is grief. Sadness for the children we've "missed out on" in this life. It's the wondering, "does that life count? Should I just move on? Will having another one fix or replace this child?"...I want to talk about it with people. But it's not something you can just bring up after "Beautiful weather today...".
The thoughts echoed above in Rachel Lewis's article really resonated with me. Some of the "mixed messages" culture had told her were things I had told myself. Like Rachel, I am surrounded by well-meaning people who have cared for me and considered me so much more thoroughly than I would have expected. They have been sensitive and thoughtful with their words. I have needed my support system so badly, and they've been there. (You know who you are- thank you.) I honestly think the person who was the most discouraging...has been myself.
I am an achiever. I am sad to admit that I have consistently set goals I know I can meet- because I'm not sure how I'll handle it if I don't. Did I ever picture myself living out my perfect family-building plan with this huge hole in my heart? No way. Had I envisioned myself wiping back tears while trying to play with my 3 year old, overwhelmed by guilt and emotion? Definitely not.
Of course I can have kids a perfect 2.5 years apart! Of course this adoption will go more quickly than we are told! Of course I can keep it together while running 2 businesses and managing a household! Ha- that last one may be the biggest lie I've believed thus far.
I'm missing something. 4 things, actually. 4 little people I didn't get to meet in this life. This hole, however much I hate it, is now a part of me. I know that my hole, my "missing", will become a beautiful, God-revealing part of me if I choose to quit burying it or covering it up. So, I'm getting to a place of recognition (what stage is that?!? Whatever. I don't have time). And remembrance. And honesty. And waaaaaaay to much emotion. But, that is the part I'm living right now.
Listen, God has been good. And constant. He has sustained me through moments of weakness and held me during the moments I've fallen apart. I don't know where I'd be without Christ inside me through this. His word has reminded me that He's gone before me in this situation, and He'll be here to see me out of it.
I'm learning to embrace the hard parts about miscarriage that I may never get over. In a weird way, I don't want to forget how this feels. I know there are so many more women out there who are dealing with it as well. So, whether you like it or not, I'll keep you updated. :)