Tag Archive | miscarriage

A Walk in My Shoes

It has become very clear to me in the past three and a half months that I will never look at things the same way again. Everything is different. Nothing has stayed the same. One thing that has changed the most is the way that I interpret people’s comments, whether spoken or written. Just because I look at things differently doesn’t always mean that it is a negative viewpoint. I just have a much different view on life than ever before.

I saw a post on Facebook this morning regarding having children. The post expressed the author’s happiness at having children when he was younger. He pointed out that raising children, especially newborns, is the “most time consuming hardest thing in the world” and was glad he was past that. He is the same age as me. There were a mix of comments, some agreeing and some stating that they were glad they waited until they were older. I commented with, “Rodger and I were married 7 years before we had kids. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! Keep in mind, too, that not everything goes as planned.”

I quickly learned that my interpretation of “not everything goes as planned” is much different than the general public. A few of the comments that followed referenced having more children then were in the plan. Someone referenced a comment back to me saying that their family didn’t go according to their plans, almost as if they were agreeing with my “not everything goes as planned” comment. It didn’t even dawn on me that someone would read my comment and connect it to failed birth control, or lack thereof, hence having more children than they had planned on. At first, I wanted to respond with an explanation of what I meant by my comment, then I decided against it. Knowing how sometimes comments can be taking the wrong way via text, I didn’t want to offend anyone or make them think I was upset by their comments because I wasn’t. I just clearly knew at that point that my point of view is very distorted these days and that most people don’t hold that same point of view.

When I made the comment that not everything goes as planned, I was referring to how our plan is not always God’s plan. We can have this master plan for our lives, but guess what, it doesn’t always happen that way. In fact, I think anybody would be hard pressed to find someone who can honestly say that their life has turned out exactly the way they wanted it to.

Rodger and I had the Five Year Plan in place when we got married. We didn’t want to have children right out of the gate. We got married really young, although we would not have admitted it then. If we waited five years, we would have time to enjoy the early years of marriage kid free, yet still have children by the age of 30. At that point in our lives, thirty seemed forever away and kind of old. Remember, I told you we got married young! Well five years came and went and no baby. It wasn’t because we weren’t ready. We were, God wasn’t. He made us wait two more years before we had a child. Those two years were filled with ups and downs and a lot of heartache, including one miscarriage. Seven years after we got married, we delivered a healthy baby boy. We were both 29. A second miscarriage occurred almost a year and a half later. Then, our second baby boy was born two and a half years after his big brother. We learned a lot during those two and a half years, the most important thing being that it’s God’s plan, not ours.  That lesson has stuck with us and has helped us many times during this journey of losing Kyleigh. Having a third child was definitely in our plan. Her death was not.

Compassionate Friends posted a picture on their Facebook wall today that reads: You will never truly understand something until it actually happens to you. We have all heard this before, or at least something similar. It wasn’t until later today that it hit me, I read things differently now, I see things differently now because of what happened to me. Nobody else can understand that except me. Even those who have lost a child will still see things differently then I will, although they will certainly have a better understanding than most.

Nobody was going to understand my comment today for what I meant it to be because they have not walked in my shoes. For me, it meant that my family has not gone as planned because three out of five of my babies are in heaven. Yes, I would have had children at a younger age too, had I gotten pregnant when I wanted to. It didn’t happen. If all of my children would have been born alive, I would have five children ages 6, 5, 3 ½, 2 and 3 ½ months. For someone else, her family has not gone as planned because she planned on two children and now has five healthy children here on earth. This is not a bad thing by any means. I can tell that she loves her children more than anything and goes above and beyond to be the best mother that she can. Let me make this clear, I am not upset by any of the comments from today. What upsets me is that my understanding of life is forever changed. My view of life is forever changed. I look at everything differently. I look at everything from the perspective of a mother who has lost three children. I don’t expect too many other people to have that same perspective.

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Community

With technology the way it is these days, you can connect to anyone, just about anywhere. And for just about anything. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes this is bad. I suppose one of the “good” things about this is finding support in others who have experienced the same thing you have.

After our first miscarriage, I ventured out onto the web and found numerous websites that offered support, whether it was through written articles or other’s stories. I found websites that were very helpful and some that were not so much. I quickly found myself getting sucked into the stories of others, many of whom had far greater losses then my own. I had just lost my baby whom I carried for 11 weeks, but many of the stories that I read were from women who had lost babies at 30 weeks, 36 weeks or even full term or after. I couldn’t imagine going through something like that. If I had only known what was ahead …

I became devoted to reading a handful of blogs about these women. I even continued to read their stories after I became pregnant with baby #2. Reading their stories while pregnant should have set off a fear in me for my own pregnancy, but it didn’t. Once Oliver was born, my time quickly diminished and reading blogs was no longer on my to-do list.

I always wondered why I continued to read about the tragic stories of people I did not know for so long. Now I know. It was preparing me for what was to come, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Those stories have always been in the back of my mind. I just never imagined that I would walk in their shoes someday. Over time, I would check in to see where the lives of these families had taken them. Most of the blogs had turned from sorrow to joy. They were documenting more of everyday life, the good times. Some were still documenting the pain, sorrow and tears.

In the past week, I have started researching again, looking up websites that deal with grief, loss of children and loss of newborns. I have signed up for newsletters, liked them on Facebook and bookmarked them for later use. As I have been researching, I have once again stumbled upon the stories of others. One website, in particular, is nothing but stories. It is specific to miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. You can submit your story, as well as your blog, for those that have one. I have read a handful of the stories and clicked on a few of the blogs. These women are bearing their souls for all to read. In my opinion, some of the information is too personal to share with the entire world. The idea is that women who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss can find comfort and support through the stories of others. While I can see some of the content as beneficial, some of it is not so much, at least not yet.

One of the benefits to many of these baby loss communities, as they are called, is that you can find others who have been through what you are going through. While certainly nobody’s story is the same, there is a sense of comfort in knowing there are many, many other people out there that have gone through what we are going through. We have a wonderful network of family and friends that have supported us beyond our expectations. Having connections outside of this network, even with people we don’t know personally, is a positive thing as well. We have been blessed to be connected with two families outside of these baby loss communities who have also lost baby girls to stillbirth. They have been a great support and sense of strength during these early weeks of losing Kyleigh. Sometimes it is beneficial to have someone to talk to who has been in the same valley as you, whether it is face-to-face, through email or a blog.

The jury is still out as to whether I will find any of these baby loss communities helpful. I’m sure over time they will be. I have to be careful not to get sucked in though. Quite honestly, a lot of the content is depressing to read. I don’t need to read other people’s depressing stories. My goal is to find two or three blogs that are not only helpful, but inspiring. I don’t need to read about someone who lost their baby a month before or after me. I need to read about someone who lost their baby two years ago or ten years ago. I need to see that it does get better. Life does move from sorrow and tears to joy and smiles.

I have not decided yet whether or not to add this blog to the list of others within these baby loss communities. I’m not sure that now is the time. If I decide to in the future, my hope is that Kyleigh will be honored through posts of happiness, not sadness. That others will see the progression from pain to healing and that they will see a love for a baby girl like no other.