The process of my actual, physical miscarriage was painful and lonely. (Warning: TMI ahead) For three strait days I had intense cramping and contractions on and off. I had read that women who had miscarriages experienced real labor pains and contractions, but since I hadn’t with my first miscarriage, I didn’t know what to expect. Well I found myself on the floor, unable to walk, desperately trying to crawl to the bottle of vicodin my doctor had so benevolently prescribed for me. For three days these pains would come and go (and the pain-killers didn’t always work 100%) and I bled heavily. I passed clots and tissue and wondered if any of them was my baby but then on the third day of contractions I gave birth (death?) on the toilet seat. I had to push slightly to “pass” her and it was a very odd sensation, but unmistakably my baby. My immediate reaction was to reach down and salvage what was left, but I was overcome with nausea at the very thought of what was actually happening. I flushed the toilet.
Jon and I decided that a weekend up in Flagstaff at his parents’ cabin would be very healing for us. So we drove the four hours up the mountain with our cat and some warmer clothes. The wind in Flagstaff was relentless (anyone who has spent time in Flagstaff in the springtime can attest to this), cold, powerful and refreshing. Taking a walk through the Kachina Wetlands I felt exhilarated by the wind, like it was blowing all the sadness, anger, and all-around ickyness right off of me. I watched as my grief was spread to the four winds like ashes are scattered at a funeral and I slowly began the process of surrendering these emotions to God
We had a romantic date night at our favorite Flagstaff restaurant and spent the rest night cuddled up watching a movie. Although I knew I was far from healing, I felt a scab forming over the open wound.
The next morning we went to our old church knowing we would meet up with some of our friends from there. I braced myself. One couple was 20 weeks pregnant and the other had a three-week-old baby girl. When I saw these two couples tears welled in my eyes and all of a sudden all I could feel was the emptiness of my womb and the emptiness of my arms. The scab began to leak with fresh blood that wanted out, wanted to bleed and keep bleeding. But over a long breakfast of comfort food (biscuits and gravy) at Cracker Barrel with these friends of ours, I felt the bleeding stop and the scab form once again. These were our loved ones, and they were blessed with life. I was happy for them. I was hopeful for myself. I felt strong, like there was a possibility I could indeed cope with the other pregnant women in my life without outrageous jealousy and anger, like life would go on, like I actually wanted life to go on.
But then I saw pictures of a pregnant friend and walked passed the baby clothes aisle in Target and once again questioned this whole mess! The scab keeps getting picked at and is not healing as quickly as I would like. I know that I will experience these pangs of sorrow in my heart for a long time, but I am looking forward to the day when the wound will heal, the scab will fall off on its own, and all that will remain will be a slight scar.