Wednesday, December 15, 2010

thoughts on loss

Having a miscarriage at Christmas time seems to be really awful timing. Before I knew we had lost the baby I was thinking about what kinds of gifts Santa would bring him or her next year and that by next Christmas I'd be holding a 6ish month old baby while he or she watched big brother opening gifts while proudly holding up his or her little baby head. I thought about how I'd have "kids" now and how the holidays would be so magical with double the excitement.

Once the reality hit I was looking at our Christmas tree and thinking how sad I felt. Christmas is a hard time to lose anyone but it's also really blessed timing to experience sorrow when you're concentrating on the life of the Savior and all the good parts of Christmas. I was watching Scrooge the other night (my favorite version with Albert Finney) and I felt this intense love for Christmas and that we celebrate such a wonderful occasion every year.
I've received such an outpouring of love during this hard time and so many people reached out to comfort me because they knew first-hand what miscarriage feels like. The reality of it is that even though many women have faced the pain of miscarriage, each experience is unique. We can comfort each other and relate our sorrows but we each handle it differently. One of my good friends had a miscarriage just a month or two before mine. In public she acted so completely "fine" with it that I felt almost guilty for being so down-in-the-dumps when it happened to me a few short weeks later, but I know that privately it was a hard time on her and her husband.

What I've realized about how I'm handling this miscarriage has really surprised me. My natural inclination in almost any sad circumstance in my life usually results in bouts of depression, sad music and crying fests with a bag of peanut butter m&ms. Over the last week or so I've tried to get there because that's where I'm comfortable grieving. That place is where I've woed over lost boyfriends, feelings of teenage self-esteem anxiety and loneliness. But I just can't get there. When I start to feel like I'm slipping into any degree of depression, I can't help but look at my life and how grateful I am for all the good in my life.

I guess the best way to move forward after any kind of sorrow is to focus on gratitude. There's always a lesson to be learned in any situation in life and this is the one I'm learning during this particularly hard time in mine. "Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God's love." - Thomas S. Monson

11 comments :

  1. I've been there, girl.

    I hope that you can find peace and joy in the holidays despite the heartbreak!

    *hugs*

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  2. Liz,
    I had a miscarriage last Dec 11th and had many of the same feelings/thoughts that you describe here. Last Christmas is a blur but what I do remember is trying to focus on the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. I felt/feel great comfort believing that I will one day see our sweet child in Heaven.

    At the time of our miscarriage we had 2 little boys who were the joy of our lives. We spent those sad days trying to find peace and comfort and teach our children (they were unaware of our loss) just how much Jesus loves them.

    My vice isn't M&M's but chocolate chip cookies :) and like you, I couldn't find my way to that depressingly comfortable state. For that I am grateful! I believe, for me, it was because my focus was turned upward and on the blessings that this little child had brought to us even though we never looked upon its face. My relationship with God and others has become so much stronger because of this journey.

    Today as I write this, my boys are napping and sitting next to me is a beautiful 6 week old little girl, Penelope Jane. Even in those uplifted moments filled with blessings, there was doubt that we would ever have another baby. It can happen, it can :)

    Blessings to you my dear.

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  3. Liz, my heart is broken for you. I wish I could take all the pain and sorrow away from you. I know that there is only one person who can lift your spirits and heal your broken heart, and that is the Savior. You are such a strong, beautiful, talented, amazing woman and I know that this is only going to make you even stronger than you already are! Love you Liz!

    Erin

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  4. i hope you know how beautiful you are. well put into words- this is one of my fears cause i know how much and how fast he/she becomes part of you. how nice to have the holidays to remind you of the rest of the good around.

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  5. I commented a couple of days ago and mentioned that I had 2 miscarriages.

    You are so right about being grateful...like you said sometimes it is hard to get there...but that is how you are feeling right now, and maybe Christmas is helping.

    My 3 girls remind me now whenever we talk about having the miscarriages before them, that they probably wouldn't exist if I hadn't had the miscarriages. Kids are so wise!

    I hope that you have the best Christmas with your hubby and baby, knowing that the new year will be wonderful!

    Ashlyn

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  6. Amen sister. God works everything for good to those that love. It's evident reading your post:))))))

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  7. I have four healthy children and am due in April with a baby girl. Though this journey did not come without loss as well; I had two miscarriages after my first child and then this current pregnancy began as twins, but we lost one of the girls at 9 weeks. This miscarriage has been the strangest sensation of all because I want to feel the loss of the one baby completely, however, I have to rejoice in the one that is still growing and kicking. I also don't know how or if to tell our children...and some of the reactions have been somewhat painful. Words like, "Oh, I bet you were a little relieved though. I mean, twins would've been so hard!" How am I supposed to take that? On the other hand, there have been words of compassion and understanding as well.

    I have found that the best way to cope with a miscarriage is to allow yourself to acknowledge it completely and be okay with however you are feeling that day. But, more importantly, to allow that sense of peace and sacredness that comes with being a mother who has lost a baby, to permeate your spirit. It feels sacred, because it is.

    Thank you for sharing such a personal experience with us. Your writing and life is beautiful!

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  8. My heart goes out to you, Liz. I know what joy a pregnancy can bring and it saddens me deeply to think of your loss. We love you Liz. If it helps, just know I've shed some tears for you my sweet friend. I'll be thinking of you!

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  9. My thoughts are with you. Big time. I had a "miscarriage" (hate that word...doesn't describe what I feel I went through) in February and I STILL feel heartbroken everyday.

    Thanks for the positivity. I hope you're doing okay.

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  10. You don't know me (I'm mostly here for your recipes but your little one is SO gorgeous I stay for photos of him!) but I had to reach out to you--I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother lost a baby on Christmas Eve, which I didn't know until shortly before she died--and by the next Christmas, I was there. Not that it always works that way, of course, nor does it take away from this loss. But know that I will hold you and your family in my heart this Christmas too, with best wishes for a blessed 2011.

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  11. Dear Lizzie,
    I've been an avid reader of your blog - I love how you embrace everything you do {decorating,cooking, baking et al!}, the love you feel towards your husband, your baby boy and your parents too. You are a beautiful person, inside & out. I am so sorry to read about your miscarriage. I hate that word as it just sounds so awful & final. I hope as the days pass, you will be feeling stronger. I experienced a miscarriage after my first uncomplicated pregnancy. My daughter was two and I was almost 12 weeks along when it happened to me. I felt empty and overwhelmed. It was by far, the worst thing I have ever dealt with. I never thought that it could happen to me? Me? What did I do wrong to deserve this? I never wanted to go through another pregnancy so we concentrated on our beautiful girl. Six months later I became pregnant again (age 37). We now have a beautiful boy who just turned one on Dec 11th. He arrived two weeks early as if to say that everything was going to be alright. And it certainly will for you. It's ok to cry, grieve or whatever your heart tells you to do. Good luck on the journey and wishing you & your family only the best in 2011. xo

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