Battle wounds

13 Oct

When going through pregnancy loss, when you’re deep in the thick of it, you are suddenly and very painfully aware of how little people talk about miscarriages.  You feel this incredible and profound loss, one that no one seems to understand (because no one talks about it), and never have you felt so alone. Yet you find a way to survive.  You adapt to your new, unfamiliar surroundings, where everything around you seems dark and impossible.  Even if you have support in the form of your partner or this community, it’s still solely on you to come out the other side.  You are the one responsible for finding the strength to continue.  To somehow find a glimmer of hope in the depths of your hell.  Others can love you and be there for you, but you are the one that has to reach inside of you and figure out a way to keep breathing.

Then afterwards, whether or not your life becomes what you once had hoped it would be, you are beat the hell up.  The bruises are extensive and internal. You may have moved on, but your soul is still broken in a way that may never completely mend.  Life becomes easier to face, for sure, smiles may have even returned….but inside, you’re different.  Not only do you show signs of a battle having been fought, your marriage or partnership has scars as well.  As it turns out, people don’t talk about any this, either.

In my case, I’m one of the lucky ones.  I got the baby I worked so hard to have. She is….well, a miracle.  She’s everything every mother present in their child’s life has to say about their kid.  She’s all of that and more.  She was absolutely worth the fight.

But the thing is, you go through this war and then are thrust right into the depths of motherhood.  You go from one hell right into, well, another.  Sure the second hell has snuggles and smiles and a sense of a chapter finally being closed…but fuck, it is exhausting.  You are suddenly responsible for this little creature who depends entirely on you to continue living, all while you’re still recovering from your prior battle.  You’re still processing everything you just went through, except you don’t have a moment to yourself to properly think anything through.

So here I am, almost three years later, still figuring out this new me. I came out the other side of this a completely different woman.  Not only did my losses profoundly change me, trying to recover from those losses while becoming a mother also changed me. I’m still trying to recover….Even though I have my baby, the feelings of loss still resurface regularly.  The four that are no longer with me, never actually left me.

I would like to say, however, that even though my insides are still a mess, I have a confidence in myself and what I can do, that was never there before all of this.  I’m proud of the woman I have become. The battle gave me that.  Surviving the war gave me that.  Motherhood gave me that.

I may be processing this for years to come, maybe even the rest of my life.  But I will do what I did while in the thick of it: rely on that ever-present hope.  Because none of this is easy.  Loss, motherhood…life.  All we can do is keep trying to breathe, and work hard to find the light in the midst of it all.

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21 Responses to “Battle wounds”

  1. Belle October 14, 2015 at 4:57 am #

    “But the thing is, you go through this war and then are thrust right into the depths of motherhood. You go from one hell right into, well, another.” I could not have said this better. The feelings of guilt, dread and fear that you had as an infertile only seem to intensify once you reach the other side. I am also still processing. You are not alone. Also, so glad to see you back in this space!

    • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

      Thanks for commenting (and still reading), Belle! It’s really nice to know I’m not the only one who feels like this. It’s hard, isn’t it?

  2. jjiraffe October 14, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    So glad to see a post for you!

    Yes – this really resonates with me, in a lot of ways. Particularly this: “Even if you have support in the form of your partner or this community, it’s still solely on you to come out the other side. You are the one responsible for finding the strength to continue. To somehow find a glimmer of hope in the depths of your hell. Others can love you and be there for you, but you are the one that has to reach inside of you and figure out a way to keep breathing.”

    I haven’t seen anyone express this truth in quite this way before, but you are absolutely right. Both going through infertility and parenting after infertility showed me how alone I was, in every way. It’s not something I was prepared for, but coming through it has shown me I can be resilient. And resilience is an underrated virtue in our society, but is key to helping us to live a good life. Resilience allows us to keep hoping and moving forward.

    You, my friend, are resilient. Hugs.

    • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      As are you…

      Thank you for this….it actually made me realize something huge. This pull I’ve been feeling lately in my life (you know the gritty details), may have come from that forced inward strength and the fact that I essentially had to get through this on my own. It made me discover a side of me that I didn’t know existed…and now I feel a pull from that even more. Does that make sense?

      • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

        Or rather, a pull to use that part of me even more…

  3. Mrs T October 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    Sometimes my reader teases me with what appears to be a new post from someone I haven’t heard from in a long time but turns out to be a glitch. I was so glad this wasn’t a glitch!
    This resonated: “You go from one hell right into, well, another.” It’s hard to talk of it as a hell when it’s also so wonderful and is the goal we tried so hard to achieve. But parenting is unrelenting in a way that was hard for me to imagine before.

    • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

      I agree completely! It’s certainly not hell as a whole, but I would definitely say there are hellish moments. Especially in the beginning when the exhaustion outweighs so much. But saying it was hell worked so well in the literary context, that I stated it like that. 😉

      I hate those glitches! Such a disappointment. Nice to “see” you again. xoxo

  4. Mo October 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi old friend. Nice to see you here again.
    It gets pretty crappy, doesn’t it? Others have expectations of you to be happy and “fixed”. And you’re not. And you feel like you SHOULD be enjoying every second of this, but you’re not. Because babies are hard. Toddlers are hard. Taking care of them is hard. And sometimes – gasp! – boring.
    You can’t spend all day gawking and smiling broadly, because that’s not what the day to day of the mundane looks like. That’s not what a tantrum looks like. Or a sore hip because you spent half an hour holding her up to the light switch to turn it on and off. Or the guilt of giving her an extra 15 minutes of TV so you can get work done.
    Or wanting to re-embrace life and yourself because you just lost so much of it on the way to where you are, you’re grasping to regain even a fraction of it in the moments you can find.
    But nobody wants to hear you talk about that. Because that’s not what a “happy ending” looks like.
    And that is very isolating.
    But you are not alone.
    hugs.

    • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

      “Or wanting to re-embrace life and yourself because you just lost so much of it on the way to where you are, you’re grasping to regain even a fraction of it in the moments you can find.”

      Exactly. (Nice to see you again, too!) You describe the difficulties a mother face so well. Do you find yourself feeling as if you never had time to process all of your losses – that you still are – amidst balancing being a mother?

      It’s funny…here I am saying people don’t talk about the aftermath of this while mothering…but I’m realizing I don’t, either. I talk about what I went through, for sure. But I don’t talk about the inner turmoil I still feel. I don’t think anyone even realizes I’m not “fixed”…not even Tim knew how deep I still felt all of this before reading this. Honestly, I’m not sure I realized the extent I’m still feeling this until recently.

      • Mo October 14, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

        I’m in the exact same boat. It took me about a year after Lili was born to regain my footing. By that I mean: Cut my hair, put together some career goals, get some decent work clothes that can be worn when not perpetually pregnant.
        Another 4 months before I realized I needed to go back into therapy. Now she’s 25 months old and literally last week I finally admitted to my therapist that motherhood is very far from the fantasy I built around it, and that I’m still trying to come to terms with the mother that I am, rather than the mother I imagined being.
        THIS HAPPENED LAST WEEK.
        We’ve started talking about trying for number 2 and just discussing it brought up everything again. That part of me is still very raw.

        Honestly – I don’t think you ever get over it. I think it settles into a very delicate scar that can open up with a pin prick. And you just learn to nurse it or ignore it depending on the circumstance.

    • Mrs T October 14, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

      Yes! I had this vision of playing blocks on the floor with my child on a Saturday morning, not realizing that she would be done playing blocks after 3 minutes tops and I would already be counting down the minutes until bed (whilst feeling terribly guilty about it of course).

      • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

        HA!! That happens to me all the time!

      • Mo October 15, 2015 at 2:14 am #

        Happens to me too! Oh, the guilt…

  5. jjiraffe October 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    “THIS HAPPENED LAST WEEK.” Hahahahahaha!

    I am definitely NOT the mother I thought I would be, either. I figured I would be just like my mother, who is possibly the most perfectly nurturing woman of all time. NOPE. Serious question – does anyone find motherhood to be exactly what they expected?

    • bodegabliss October 14, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      I guess it’s impossible to really know what to expect, right?

      And Mo — I actually have no desire for another. None. It’s mind-boggling to me that I don’t want one. So yeah, I get it. I can only imagine how much more it would open things up for me.

      • Mo October 15, 2015 at 2:18 am #

        I sooo get it. The thought of another makes me kind of sick to my stomach. I think I KIND OF want one. But then when I dive deep into it the desire almost disappears. I never in my life thought I wouldn’t want another. Shmerson actually made me promise when I was pregnant with Lili to not discuss anything until she was 18 months. 18 months rolled around, and I said “yeah – not ready. Let’s revisit in 6 months”. 6 months passed, and not much changed. I’m utterly baffled and surprised by this.

  6. noemi October 14, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    And once again I am quite certain that you are one of the only people I know who truly understands me.

    So good to read your words again. Love you always.

  7. Courtney October 16, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    I can’t believe you’re back! So good to see a post from you!

    This is such a hard topic. People expect us to get over ALL OF IT once there is a live baby, but it just does not work that way. Not at all.

    Hugs!

  8. nonsequiturchica October 23, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    After I had my daughter I suddenly felt this confidence that I hadn’t felt in a while. Unfortunately, now that we are trying (and failing) to have a second child, that confidence is gone once again. I hope that I get it back….

  9. Valery Valentina October 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    Here from Mel’s Roundup. Love this post. And love the comments too! Suzy is pfff let me see, 32 months, and I have just managed to let her use finger paint in the house. While the babysitter was here…..

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thoughts on Resilience | Too Many Fish to Fry - October 21, 2015

    […] of my favorite bloggers (and humans) returned with a post after a three year absence. Go ahead and read Bodega Bliss’s take on how past wounds both […]

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