Between TWO and THREE was a challenging time for me. I lost one, but was filled with peace through the experience. I wrote another post about my experiences with that first miscarriage. (Have I mentioned that I hate that word? Because I do!) Then came the most brutally smashing run in with hormones that I had ever experienced – or hope to ever experience. For those that have experienced the crazy hormones of pregnancy, you might be able to grasp some idea of what this was like. For those that have never felt that personally, let me just try to explain a touch. When a woman becomes pregnant, there are hormones that simply jump through the roof. Not only do those hormones skyrocket, but they do it incredibly fast! It is those hormones that enable a woman to pee on a little stick from the drugstore and expect it to indicate if she is pregnant or not. Those hormones are powerful stuff. They make some women violently ill. Others become so tired or ornery that they drive themselves (and perhaps those around them) a bit loony. The hormones that make some girls holy terrors as teenagers once a month are minor in comparison to those powerful pregnancy hormones for many women. I am lucky. I honestly don’t have the worst time in those first days of pregnancy – especially with my girls. I am NOT like two of my sisters that throw up to scary levels essentially from conception on. But, those hormones still sure can pack a wallop, even for me.
What I never knew is that when a woman miscarries, those hormones drop off almost as fast as they pumped in to start with. That combination can be scary. I’d heard of women that dealt with “baby blues” when those hormones drop out at the end of a regular pregnancy, but had never experienced it for myself. I also didn’t think that was possible when there was only a very short pregnancy involved. Well, I was about to get an intense education on such things.
After I lost our baby, my doctor explained to us that we needed to be careful to not get pregnant right away, even though right after a miscarriage is one of the very most fertile time periods for a woman. Until that point we had approached “family planning” with an attitude that went something like this… we won’t force anything to stop or start and leave it entirely in God’s hands. We wanted lots of kids and never felt the need to stop them from coming. Well, with my doctors warning of needing to give my body time to heal and recover, we took a new approach. We would directly try to intervene and keep me from getting pregnant until it would be safer. Well, what we learned is that we could be poster children for abstinence. I swear if my kids’ “sex ed” programs in high school fail to mention abstinence, I may make posters of warning.
In other words, I got pregnant again. Quite quickly after the first pregnancy had ended. I mean, super quickly. My doctor was still monitoring my hormone levels after loosing the one – she wanted to make sure my body was back to “normal.” I consequently knew fairly quickly that I was pregnant. I was shocked. I’m not sure if I was more shocked at how quickly I had become pregnant or that I had become that way in spite of our efforts to avoid it. Either way, I didn’t know if I should rejoice at such a quick chance at another baby or simply worry about what this might do to my body or if the baby could even survive with my body so unprepared to take care of it. I mostly ended up focused on those last two, especially after seeing the real concern on the face of my doctor as we discussed things. I waited to see what would happen.
It did not take very long before I had lost that pregnancy too. That was when we decided to add another layer of protection to see to it that my body truly got a break to heal and repair itself, so that I might one day again be able to carry another baby to term. You know those posters I mentioned making up when our kids get to high school? Well, there’s a reason I am so convinced of the important difference between abstinence and any other method of avoiding an undesirable pregnancy. Yeah, I became pregnant again. And again, not surprising to anyone, this was not a pregnancy healthy enough to last. Unlike the first two, however, this pregnancy did not take care of itself. With the first two my body did its job and cleared everything out. With this third one, my body was either too tired or something, but it never started the process of purging. I had to go in for a D&C. It was not an experience I hope to ever revisit.
It was after that was all “over” that the real trouble began though. All of those fast paced volatile changes in my hormones brought me to a place of living misery. I have never felt so completely broken, hopeless, alone, and sick – mentally, not physically sick. I frankly didn’t want to face reality or life anymore. I heard it put this way by someone else once, I didn’t want to live anymore – I wasn’t suicidal, but I just didn’t want to have to live anymore through it. And, that being said, there were even a few times when my thoughts went too close to lines of suicidal thinking and it scared me to my very core. I remember several nights – or perhaps it was day, but felt so dark inside that it didn’t make a difference – when I would go into the corner of our bedroom where the bathroom was and try to squeeze into that corner as tight as I could. I think I was hoping that if I got in there tight enough, the corner would just swallow me into nothingness.
I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I wondered if this was some kind of freak form of mourning. But whenever I wondered about that, I could still manage to remember that I had been OK with things before and it being mourning didn’t make sense. I realized eventually that part of it was that I didn’t know if those later two pregnancies had actually gotten started and gone far enough that new little spirits had been sent to forming little bodies. Each time I thought about that I just felt empty, like there had never been life involved in those pregnancies. In a way that was comforting, but in a way it just seemed like such a waste. I mean, it still trashed my body, threw insane amounts of hormones in me, and made me almost hope for a new baby each time. That all seemed so useless and mean when there was no baby from it – for now or for ever. I have never felt a real certainty about those pregnancies, but I have never felt that confirmation of those being my babies in anyway like I did with the first. Somehow that just left me feeling all the more lost.
I had hoped that I would feel better after I was able to have a normal menstrual cycle and get my hormones more regulated. I was wrong. The feelings of emptiness and despair just kept hanging on. On top of that, my husband and I were not being able to connect on pretty much any level. He tried so hard to reach out to me and to love and support me in my struggles, but I refused to let him. I was afraid of him. More realistically I was afraid of getting pregnant again, but that translated into not wanting to touch him in any way, to look at him, or to even love him. Or to let him love me – at all. I was never able (thankfully) to completely void my love for him, but I tried my best to block him from my inner soul. I was so broken inside that I don’t think I was able to even look out of my misery enough to realize how badly I was hurting him by shoving him so forcefully away from me. I was not just avoiding him physically, but mentally and absolutely emotionally. I would honestly shrink inside if he did something to show his support or love to me – it was as if his love was actually painful for me. Looking back now I weep for the sweet, loving, kind, supportive, and tender man that endured such treatment from someone he loved so dearly. He was left to deal with three miscarriages all alone because I made it that way. I took away his sweetheart, his wife, his best friend, and his helpmate. I also abandoned, at least emotionally, my kids and left their dad to fill in the gaping holes my desertion created. I mean I was there physically much of the time (though I hid in my room often), but I was never anywhere mentally or emotionally except in my pit of darkness and despair. I felt like I would never be myself again. I worried that eventually my husband would loose patience with me and simply give up. Yet even that fear was not enough for me to reach out for the help that I desperately needed.
Honestly, I am not sure how long it really took before I was able to even start healing, but it was many months of horror for me, and consequently for my family, before I started to mend. It was an INCREDIBLE slow and horrifically painful process of healing. The healing also came so slowly that I didn’t even notice at first and I regressed often. I was never sure if I was truly on an upward path or not. I think it was not until after I held my sweet little THREE for the first time in the hospital that I finally had a moment when I felt fairly confident that I was actually OK – and that I was OK enough to stay that way.
I debated sharing this part of my story because frankly it is not a time that I am proud of or like revisiting. I have not shared those experiences with many people – even most of my closest loved ones have no idea of the intensity of my struggles, if they know anything of them at all. I am so grateful that it is in the past and never want to go back. But I decided that in order to understand some of the feelings that I had after loosing BABY BOY, it would be important to have some understanding of this dark time. After we lost him I was terrified that I would get pregnant and repeat that horrifying cycle. I knew I couldn’t face such a thing. Ever again! There was a big difference though. This time I was able to talk about those fears with HUBBY and lean on his support as we made sure to protect my body and my mind. What a difference it makes to have a friend to turn to and to be sane enough to do it. Those dark days are not ones where sanity was guiding my actions and I am so grateful that this time I was able and willing to allow HUBBY to help and support me as we made sure my mind and body were both stable before moving forward towards my current pregnancy. He is my strength, my best friend, and my most loyal supporter – always.
It has also made all the difference in this experience to feel connected with Heavenly Father and to reach out to receive strength through Christ’s atonement. During those dark days I was even afraid to reach out to my Savior, who I knew not only loved me, but actually understood my pains. Reaching out to Him was too much like acknowledging reality and I just wanted to hide from it. As a result I hid from the one source of strength that might have actually been able to help me heal and give me the courage to get whatever other help I might have needed. Sometimes I wish I could go back and smack former me and tell myself to wake up and simply allow the Savior back into my heart and life so that I could move forward. I don’t know if a good hard slap would have made a difference, but I know that opening my heart to the Holy Ghost and turning to Jesus in my pain would have. It was like that picture where Jesus is standing outside of the door that has the lit window. He’s standing there knocking – waiting to be allowed in to bless the person on the other side of the door – but only the person on the inside has a handle with which to open the door. I had firmly locked the deadbolt on the door to my heart and left Him standing on the outside loving me and wanting to help. It took a lot of time and was a very slow process to finally unlock and open that door, but I am so glad that I was eventually able to do it. I can’t even imagine if I had still continued to keep that door tightly shut. The results of that would be something from nightmares or a really bad horror film. Fortunately He has infinite patience and love and when I finally opened that door a crack He filled my soul back up with love and light. It is amazing how His light can chase such darkness out of a heart!
This video below uses a song that gives me strength when I am having troubling times and struggling to move forward. I know that when we are willing to let Him help us, that He truly is willing to carry us through those times. He is ALWAYS full of perfect love and understanding to help us get through our very darkest moments and able to fill our souls with His light. All we have to do is let Him.