Sunday, September 4

Designing on the side.....of real life

From time to time, I stray from talking about design on this blog. It's usually when something major happens in my life and I need a place to vent. I have always found solace in writing and so after a few days of feeling really lonely and lost...I am turning again to writing with the hope that it will help me find a way forward.

OH MY GOSH...that sounds dramatic doesn't it? Seriously? Where is the funny, fluffy girl who talks about paint colors and perfect houses? She's here. Trust me. And she'll be back soon, I promise. But tonight, I want to talk about something tough.

Miscarriage.

Wait? What? Holy crap! You were pregnant? You were PREGNANT? Aren't you over 40? Yep. Don't you have...like a soon to be teenager? Uh huh! Were you guys trying? Heck no! Did you want it? Oh yeah. With all our hearts.

Here's the scoop. Frankly, it's been a crappy summer. My father in law is literally fighting for his life. A brilliant, faithful and young 68 year old otherwise healthy man is in a battling lung cancer and it has been truly devastating for our entire family. Mostly for him and for my mother in law who has been at his side for 47 years, but also for my husband and his sister who are navigating this awful journey with incredible strength. We all went to the beach together to try to get past the initial shock of his diagnosis and soaked our sorrows in a gorgeous ocean front hot tub (see previous post!) and more jalapeno margaritas than I can count. It was a great trip full of beautiful memories.

When we got back, I was late. I was pretty sure it was early menopause but I bought a pregnancy test at Target anyway and laughed at myself all the way home. Let's just say when the two little pink lines showed up on the test, I said my fair share of curse words and ran several laps around my house before I burst into tears and then hopped in the car to go buy five more tests. There was no question...I was preggers.

In total shock and denial and fear, I called my husband at work and waited for him to freak out. But he didn't. He was giddy and soon I was too. We couldn't wait for our kids to come home to tell them. Being the impulsive, passionate and trusting person that I am, it never occurred to me to wait. We had no problems with our first two pregnancies and I had no fear of issues this time. I had cute shirts made letting them know they were going to have a baby brother or sister (a bunch of you reading this just said Of course you did!). We recorded their reaction. We told our families and our close friends. The joy and genuine surprise was palpable. We started making plans.

And then this Tuesday at almost 11 weeks, in dramatic fashion that included a trip to the ER and a middle of the night surgery, it was over. No more pregnancy. No more baby. No more joy. A miscarriage. It was awful.

My biggest fear when I woke up from the anesthesia is what long term effect the news would have on our kids and everyone we told. I instantly regretted telling anyone. Why didn't I wait? Why do I always have to tell everyone EVERYTHING? Why am I even writing this dumb blog? Good question.

Despite the flowers, texts, calls, and all the comforting words I have heard this week, I have never felt so alone. And yet, here's the thing...since it happened, I have learned that at least five friends have gone through this exact thing. How on earth did I not know that? Why is miscarriage seemingly a secret? Why do we suffer alone?

If I'm guessing, it's because, like me, women who go through this feel a deep sense of guilt. Is there something else I could have done? Did I cause this to happen? Should I not have told anyone? For me personally, I wonder if I have made the situation in our family worse by telling them before we were sure it was going to be ok. Will my kids ever recover? And then there is this sense of weakness and failure which is especially hard for me.

I pride myself on being a tough chick. I keep saying I am ok. I keep telling myself that so many others have had to deal with this, and so much worse, that I just need to get over it. It doesn't seem like a totally legitimate reason to grieve. We never even heard the heartbeat. We weren't even trying to have a baby. We have two gorgeous, smart, healthy, athletic kids and a great life. Our marriage has never been stronger. We both have successful careers that we love. We have an incredible support system of family and friends who love us. I am ok. I must be ok. It's not that big of a deal.

And yet, I'm not. I am in a lot of physical pain and even more emotional. I woke up in the middle of the night last night sobbing and promptly got mad at myself for doing so. It's your hormones stupid....get over it. You have a soccer tournament to watch tomorrow. And I sat through that tournament in a ton of pain and misery, pretending like everything was fine. Catching up with friends I haven't seen all summer, repeating the line "Our summer was great! How was yours?"

And so, dear bloggy friends, here I am writing this tonight to put it out into the universe hoping that maybe by doing so, I will figure out how to stop faking it and really be ok. To give myself permission to be sad and in real pain a little longer. To reinforce what the doctor told me - that there's nothing I did to cause this. And to reiterate to myself what I already know, that my kids are resilient and amazing beings who will indeed recover. And I am putting it out there for all the other people who will go through this too one day. You are not alone. I have been where you are and it just plain sucks. Miscarriage should not require quiet suffering.

Life is a story and this is just one chapter for us. I know that I'll be able to look back and find a reason for this to have happened. And soon I'll be posting about finally finishing our dining room (yay!) and our plans for turning the basement into a man cave. Until then, I'm gonna keep letting the tears flow. I think I've earned it.

- Me