Day 52 of 100 Days of Grief and Hope
"Don't duck the most difficult problems. That just ensures that the hardest part will be left when you are most tired. Get the big one done - it's downhill from then on."
-Norman Vincent Peale
Friends this blog is going to last forever. I hate that I keep skipping days between posts because it's getting farther and farther away from losing Hope but then at the same timeI'm realizing that I'm not skipping them because I just don't make it a priority. I skip them because I'm either too exhausted to handle sitting down and writing about something so hard, or I'm in a place where I can't get to my book. Those have literally been the two reasons. I guess it's just me setting my boundaries to know that tonight or today I can't approach this book. Even though it's farther away sometimes taking the time now is harder because it pulls me back into it and most days I feel pretty normal.
I am glad to get pulled back into it though. I still think there are things I need to work through. Things that I need to process. I had a friend talk with me about how my brain has kind of blocked out things because of self preservation. I believe that's really true. I don't remember a lot of how bad the sickness was and the grief at first. Every once something triggers my brain to go back there and those feelings are overwhelming. They stop me in my tracks. Not hearing Hope's heartbeat has honestly been the worst moment in my life. My brain won't go back there unless I really push it there and honestly I don't ever really want to push it there. It's painful.
This chapter tonight is about being prepared to answer uncomfortable questions. I wish I had read this right after I lost my baby. For the most part people were super sensitive and didn't really ask too many questions but there were a few questions that were particularly hard.
I had someone ask me what it was like to have a D&C and what a D&C was. Right after I had it done. Having to describe the process what excruciating knowing that it was my baby we were talking about. I had someone ask Nick what was wrong with me, why wasn't I able to get pregnant?
I feel like with my being pretty open about losing the baby I avoided a lot of the hard questions like, weren't you pregnant? Did you just have a baby? Where is your baby? etc. I know lots of people have different opinions on whether you should tell people if you are pregnant before 12 weeks. I know when I first got pregnant with Henry I didn't tell anyone until after 12 weeks but I struggled and suffered because of the sickness. With my first two miscarriages I chose not to let anyone know about them until I lost them and with Hope I felt like I was sick which meant that everything was good I didn't worry about sharing it with everyone. But honestly even after losing Hope I was glad I shared with others about being pregnant. The support that I've received has made such a big difference. Peoples love and service is what has really helped buoy me up in the loss and pain.
At the same time though it was hard to see people because I knew that they knew I was pregnant and I didn't want to see the pity in their eyes. That was very hard for me. I think that was the hardest part of going back to church was peoples looks of pity and it was particularly hard when they asked how I was doing. That simple question I think is still one of the hardest questions to answer. It's so normal for people to ask how you're doing but I'm a terrible liar and it's hard for me to express how I'm feeling.
Right after I lost Hope I don't think many people asked me that because they knew from just looking at me. I remember looking at myself in the mirror one day and realizing how broken I was. I looked terrible. I had lost a ton of weight and I had dark circles under my eyes. I never even tried to do my hair or make up because just getting out of bed was the extent of what I could do. I never looked people in the eyes, I couldn't. I remember looking at my eyes and there was no light or happiness in them. There was grief and that was hard to look at.
In my book it talks about coming up with ways to respond to these questions that makes you feel safe and okay. I never really did this. To me it felt fake but I think it would have probably been easier to be prepared to answer peoples questions. Instead I just tried to respond in the moment and it wasn't always easy. As people ask me about Hope and what I went through now, it isn't so hard. I do like hearing people ask about Hope now. It makes me feel like I'm not the only one that remembers her.
I think answering questions wasn't hugely difficult for me because I was really open about what happened. I believe writing this blog and letting others read it, it kind of let people know where I was and what had happened. Instead of asking questions they offered support and love for which I'm completely grateful for.
Honestly I do have to say though that the hardest questions I have come from myself. I still have some very basic deep questions about how things happened and it's hard to know that I may not receive answers in the near future or even in this life time. Those questions were what really tormented me at the first. They still cause me grief but I've found that I can find answers I just need to have patience.