I am continuing to struggle with this process, but I think that’s the way it has to be. I went back to have a follow up hypnosis appointment today and it was interesting to judge the difference in myself now and when I was there before. I’ve really fallen apart since then.
And I think that’s the challenge here. I’ve been through some bad times in the past few years, but I always found a way to pick myself up and move forward because I knew where I was heading. Now I don’t. I just don’t know where I am going with my life or what I am moving forward with or to. And that’s a foundational problem for me. How do you start to move on if you don’t even know what you are moving on to? Or where you want to be headed? Or what you are working towards? Or what you want and don’t want? If you have no clarity, how do you put the pieces together and make it work?
I keep telling myself that my job right now is to live in the day. Sort of a “the journey is the destination” kind of idea. Today I have goals – I need to do Christmas shopping, I need to make my kid happy, I need to get some things done at work, I need to do laundry, make dinner, clean the kitchen, and spend some time finishing up some photography work for clients. Most of my days lately are like that – a checklist of things to get done so I feel like I am living in the day. Truthfully, it’s a hollow way to live because I’m not getting anything out of it in terms of feeling like I am leading a fulfilled or engaging life. On the flip side, at least I am getting things done. The only thing that I am connecting with in any way other than checking it off a list right now is making my son happy. Well, at least focusing on being more present in the time we spend together – that’s good. He and I have been having a lot of fun – and it’s not just a checklist item – it’s real. And that is good.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the losses along the way. And for some reason my mind keeps going back to the second miscarriage. The one that was around 10 weeks. I sort of hope that by writing about it, I’ll just be able to get past this thought and it will quit coming back up. I guess thinking about the losses is normal, since it was a part of the process and it was as close to realizing this as I’ll ever be.
Anyway, the one that keeps coming up is the first D&C. I never mentioned this to anyone, because it struck me really hard and I just haven’t felt like there was a need to talk about it because there’s nothing anyone could do to change it or help me make sense of it. But, I want to stop thinking about it, so here goes.
When I went in for the D&C, I went into labor that morning. Contractions and all. By the time I was pulled back to the surgical area, I think most of the miscarriage had happened naturally. Without rehashing the gory details, I had good reason to know that to be true. And that’s not really the point here, anyway. In the prep for the surgery, I had to verbally confirm the procedure with many nurses and doctors. One nurse, in asking me to confirm it all, snapped her head up from her clipboard and glared at me when I said I was there for a D&C. She was very cold and gave me a scathing look. And she asked me in the most horrible, judgmental voice if I was having an abortion.
I wasn’t. I was there, in labor, watching and living through the death of a life I very much wanted. And for me, it was a life. I had plans for that baby. We had a life together. It had no name, it had no gender. It had no basis for being a physical sustainable life. But through me – in my mind and in my heart – it had a life. It had a future. It had a family and people who wanted it. I knew what kind of diapers it was going to wear, and how I was going to be so much better at breastfeeding this one than I was the first. It was what I wanted most in the world – and it was taken from me by an unfortunate roll of the genetic dice.
And that woman – that woman. Her face is burned into my brain. The way she judged me during the greatest heartbreak of my life. The way she made me answer to her judgment. I will never forget. I wanted to kick her in the damned face and scream at her – my insides were raging and on fire – but I quietly answered her question with, “No, I had a miscarriage of a very much wanted child.” And I started crying again. Of course I had her sympathy then – but it was too late.
At the moment that I needed compassion more than I have ever needed it in my life, I got judgment. And I cannot forget it – I relive it over and over and over. For all of the kind, compassionate people I encountered that day, the one I truly remember is the one who was cold and cruel. And while my point here wasn’t to comment on abortion care, it gave me a firsthand experience in understanding the true need for compassionate abortion care. I have always believed that to be true, but now I have lived through what that feels like – and she misplaced her judgment in me. Which is a whole side to this that I had never considered – it’s not only important for the women making the most difficult choice of their lives – but it’s also important for women being forced to endure their greatest heartbreak. There was no reason, that for even one minute, I should have been forced to feel judged. It gave me perspective on why this is, in practice, not just ideology, important for all women. At all times.
So, I am not sure why this scenario keeps coming up for me, other than, perhaps I really needed to flush out my thoughts around it. But I am tired of reliving that day and that experience. I really thought I was past it, but it’s coming up again. And maybe that just happens when you have a loss. It never quite goes away, it just becomes a more distant memory numbed by time. Maybe I have to go through it again as part of leaving this all behind. I just don’t know.