I've talked to a lot of people about miscarriages infant loss. Many people who've suffered miscarriages eventually, when time has passed, seem to develop an “oh well, what are you going to do attitude”. If you ask these people, they usually willingly share their stories but always end with a statement like “it worked out for the best” or “it was a long time ago.” The implication is that they've moved on and seldom give their losses another thought.
I sometimes wonder if these people are being completely honest with themselves. Now, I certainly don't advocate dwelling on a loss if you really have managed to fully accept it. I'm all for growth, progress, change and being able to get ourselves un-stuck. But there's a fine line between acceptance and denial. Sometimes they look they same to us.
This week, I had two separate instances where babies or pregnancy on TV upset me.
I find this odd for two reasons. One, I don't watch that much TV and when I do watch, I'm usually also reading or writing or doing something else. TV never has my full attention. It's always sort of a peripheral sort of thing for me.
Secondly, it's been seven years since my last miscarriage. It's been five years since I lost my daughter. It's been eighteen months since I more or less made peace with the fact that I'm never going to have a third child. (Before that, babies on TV and elsewhere, upset me all the time!)
The first TV show featured a character announcing she was pregnant. It set off an anxiety attack for me. I felt heart-broken all over again. I went to bed depressed and woke up depressed the next morning. I trudged through work, practiced yoga, tried to meditate and eventually felt better but it took a good 24 hours. I haven't been in that sad place because of babies in a long time.
The second TV show featured a woman actually having a baby. It made me cry. Not great heaving helpless sobs, mind you and not for a long period of time but it made me cry nonetheless. I recovered quicker the second time.
I'm normally pretty in tune with my emotions. I usually have a good handle on my motivations, behaviors and what's going on in my head. Yet at the moment, I'm perplexed. I'm not sure where all the anxiety and dismay over babies came from this week. It's something I'm going to to need to investigate further.
I share this story with as a reminder to always check in with yourself. You may feel better about your losses at some points and worse at others. Grief is never linear. Pregnancy and infant loss may change you forever. I doesn't matter so much what you share or chose not to share with other people, just make sure you're always being honest with yourself.