Disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes, but how do we manage the emotional roller coaster?
Sometimes it takes time to work through personal disappointment before one can be ready to share the experience. I am here on this topic today because I have had enough time to process my own disappointment. My family has experienced a loss, and it’s been difficult working through the emotions that come with it. What have we lost? A baby. We had a miscarriage.
We want to grow our family, and after the first, long experience of trying to conceive, we were pleasantly surprised that it only took 3 months to conceive this child. I am aware of miscarriage statistics for the first trimester, so I was super hesitant to share the news of this pregnancy without confirming a heartbeat.
In week 7, I started bleeding which led me to believe maybe we were going to lose the baby, but I didn’t panic knowing that some women do this throughout their pregnancies. I got in with the doctor by week 8, and we were able to confirm the pregnancy through a urine test and ultra sound. The doctor said we had a “strong heartbeat”. Blood work for thyroid and progesterone levels was next to assure I was taking care of myself. I was sent home with instructions to take it easy, but I was confident this baby was okay, after hearing and seeing such a strong heartbeat.
Within 24 hours, I received a call from my nurse saying that I had low progesterone levels and needed to pick up and start a prescription right away. Of course. I felt great, never had any severe cramping or other symptoms of miscarriage, and within a week of starting this prescription, I stopped bleeding. I was so thankful and excited about my next appointment.
In week 10, I went back to the doctor. (Might I add, I took #MyBoy. I told him we were going to see our baby on the TV!) As soon as the doctor started the ultra sound, I started to panic and with a gasp said, “I don’t see anything.” He replied, “I don’t either.”
Immediately, I felt loss, sadness, disappointment, and I felt guilt for having my son with me to witness the emotions that followed. “How could I have missed this?” “How could this happen without me knowing?”
They put me in a private room where I was given time to collect my emotions. The doctor then came in to explain why miscarriages happen and tried to reassure me that this wasn’t my fault. He answered other questions that I had, and closed with the fact that we could try again after having one full cycle.
The days that followed were hard and super sad. My husband was out of town for work. Until he was able to put his arms around me, I was not truly able to start healing. I guess I needed to share the loss with him first. I’m thankful my family was nearby and sensitive to my needs, surrounding me with space, childcare, support, but mostly love. Within a few weeks, I had some previously scheduled time with some of my closest girlfriends too. Wow! God knows our needs!
Some might think that I’ve recovered quickly. Does that mean I am not sad enough? Does that mean I don’t feel a loss, or that I have used a few coping methods that helped me sort through the emotions quickly? Let me clarify. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from this loss. I’ll never forget, but here is what I can tell you has been helpful for me to sort through the emotions and keep my positive outlook.
Prayer. Often, we want to ask God “why?” Never, in the past, has this given me the answers I was needing, so I have learned to trust Him; to trust His purpose & plan, even when I don’t know it nor understand it. I continue to pray that God gives me the will to take care of my family, understanding that His reasons are the best for my earthly family, and strength to smile and provide a happy environment for #MyBoy. He has blessed me with one child who depends on me, and needs me to love him, care for him, and teach him how to survive in this world in which we live… and it comes with sadness and sorrow. I pray that I navigate it gracefully.
Writing. I have always used a journal for my thoughts, but if you’re reading this, you see that I’m starting to share my thoughts with the world through blogging too. It’s therapeutic to discover your feelings are shared by others and you’re not a lone in this world. When you first experience that your story positively affects someone else, it feels right… then you keep doing it!
I thought about keeping this experience to myself, or waiting until we possibly conceive again. None of that felt authentic to myself. If others can add words that will help console my emotions, I need them. If my share helps others through their own loss, I want them to have my support. Last, I did not want to share this after successfully conceiving again because I didn’t want to take away from the rawness of these emotions and my experience.
Essential Oils. I immediately looked up which oils to use after the loss of a loved one. Forgiveness and Ylang Ylang were listed, so I diffused them for 2-3 days straight. No Doubt, I believe they helped me sort through the sadness and roller coaster of emotions that immediately followed the news of our miscarriage.
My family later informed me of the moment they knew I would be okay. It was about a week and a half after I received the news. Of course, we all need time to process, to cope, but I am not sure I would be ready to share this story, if I had not gone through this process of surviving disappointment.
If you have experienced disappointment and need me to remember you in my prayers or want to share the coping methods that helped you process disappointment, please share in the comments below.