Friday, October 13, 2017

The Fog is Lifting

There's a mountain between Waynesboro and Charlottesville. I've driven over it a number of times. It's actually an interesting part of a very boring drive. However, sometimes that mountain is covered in fog. There are signs and reflective beacons and lights all along the route. In the middle of the day it can seem excessive, but early morning or late night drives, you really appreciate them.

When you're driving over that mountain in the fog you can barely see what's in front of you. If you are lucky, there is another vehicle in front of you that gives you a little more of an idea where the road is going. If not, you just have to have blind faith, go slowly, and trust that you will make it over that mountain.

I was reflecting on that fog one morning last week when we had a bit of very minor fog on the drive to drop Frances off for school. Most of that fog was over in the field beyond the road I needed to drive on. I knew where I was and I knew where I was going, but the entire view didn't look as familiar to me.

It was during that morning drive that I realized that my fog seems to be lifting. I honestly wouldn't have even described it as a fog until just recently. I've been going through life, aimed in (mostly) the right direction and simply plowing along, going slowly, and having faith that I was going to make it.

I did some research on post-partum depression. I've never been diagnosed with it before, but a stray comment from a friend got me thinking. My miscarriage was 17 months ago.That fits within the time frame. I am now at a point where life seems to be less fuzzy. While I've been wading through the fog, I had forgotten how some familiar things looked and felt.

Everyone who has experienced miscarriage has had a unique experience, though there are some similarities. My family and I have grieved this child. We still talk about "Lucky" and Ben still hugs my bear. I often wonder how life would be different with a 10 month old around. Would the kids be big helpers with a baby around? We'll never know the answers to those questions. I try in my mind to be realistic about things. I don't want to candy coat what life would have been. I know us to know well enough that I would still be overwhelmed with things to do. There would still be piles of laundry (likely bigger ones), the kids would help out on occasion, but they weren't going to change into different people themselves just with an addition to the family.

I've accepted that life is different now. How we view life has been altered in big ways in little ways. Our family has gone through a crisis and come out on the other side. I've spent a lot of the last 17 months wondering if the way I felt was just my new normal or is there was something going on. I'm coming to realize that it was something else. I am experience joy and silliness again. I am feeling hope and safety. I don't want to jinx myself, but the severe anxiety I had been feeling is lessening. Life seems a little easier to deal with lately.

It doesn't mean I've forgotten. Maybe it just means I've accepted things. I expect that I'll always feel like a part of our family is missing, but it's less overwhelming lately.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Since going through my own miscarriage I have come to know about many other women who have experienced one as well. It is talked about more openly now, but many women still feel alone in this experience.

Personally, I still feel a mix of sadness and relief. Sadness because I really would have welcomed a new baby into our family, but relief that we didn't have to start completely over again. I've felt a lot of guilt over that, and I honestly struggled to even write it here. I'm sure there are some who will judge me, but I also know that there might be a few who need to see that someone else has felt the same way. I don't mind being judged if someone else can take comfort that they are not alone.

As we remember those babies lost too soon and those we never even go to meet, please reach out to check on a woman you know has been affected. Men too, as I know fathers grieve these losses as well. If you have had a miscarriage or lost an infant, my prayers are with you. If you need to talk, I'm here.

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