People in my life will attest to the fact that I have a tendency to "over-share" rather than keep things quiet. Sometimes this is a downfall, but other times it is a blessing. I battle with boundaries from time-to-time and would normally rather you know too much about me rather than be left in the dark. This might not be true in large groups, or with everyone in the world, but I aspire to live a life in the light and not in the shadows. Yet as I've matured, I've come to learn the value of privacy and it's place at the right time. My tendency to share too much is part of what makes this post so much harder to start...
Today I read a blog post of a friend sharing about her miscarriage last fall. We aren't close friends, but it was a beautiful post; the kind that will cause many to cry and leave everyone wanting to literally hug the author. She waited an appropriate amount of time to announce her pregnancy to the world and then miscarried. We all mourn differently, and over something so precious and exciting as a new life, I do not feel that we have any idea of how to process this, privately or publicly. The day she wrote her post, was her original due date. That was a hard day. She had shared of the many hard days she had experienced since first learning she would miscarry. Hard days which included when others were announcing their pregnancies on Facebook. And my heart skipped. My heart skipped because I understood. I understood all too well and I couldn't figure out how to explain it all. My story is not the same as hers, but her words helped to remind my heart and to verbalize something I couldn't.
Last September, I wrote a blog post regarding my(our) very personal struggle in trying to conceive a child for nearly a year. I had just started grad school and had just found out I was pregnant. It was a daunting task, but I was full of optimism and ready for the challenge. It was during that year of trying to conceive where I'd first learned about those hard days. Friends announcing pregnancies and sharing their struggles and weekly progressions. It wasn't that they were doing anything wrong, it was just that I'd never imagined that a simple joyful post could be hurtful. The post that I wrote last fall told you I was pregnant and that I wouldn't be sharing it on facebook directly. I didn't (and don't) think it was wrong or bad to share it on Facebook, I just couldn't do it. I'm not sure what kept me from publishing that post, because we've never waited to share the news before, but something kept me waiting. And two days before my 30th birthday I suspected something wasn't right. Thankfully, my doctor listened and had me come in right away. I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum, nothing was growing. At 8 & 9 weeks nothing was found, no baby, no fetal pole, nothing.
Since that time, I've shared my story with many people I've seen in person. But for the most part, I've struggled with how to share about a loss when no one knew anything of any of the life or the hope in the first place. I know of many people who have never shared of any of their heartbreaking miscarriage(s) or struggles to conceive. And I don't think that's wrong or less than or ANYTHING. I don't think that every woman/couple needs to acknowledge this on facebook or a blog or anywhere in cyberspace. But, I do think we need to share even our most intimate struggles with a few people. And, if she is willing, I'm certain that sharing with a broader audience may bring healing to more than she would expect.
I don't think that I could have just shared any of this with you had the issue not been forced. For my friend, it was the passing of her due date. That day came and went on my calendar without my ever noticing---in part, because of my mom's health and also due to graduate school (these are stories all on their own!), but biggest reason I never noticed that date is because I am pregnant again. I haven't announced it to cyberspace because, well, this is where I still struggle...
I feel guilty for not shouting from the mountaintops. I feel as though it suggests that I am still not sure that everything will work out, or that I am not ecstatic or thrilled or blessed beyond words, but I AM! I suppose I have not announced it because I still don't know who is secretly mourning or hurting or trying to conceive. Certainly I am not responsible for the hardship others are going through or the journey they are on. And even if we are not close enough for me to know their struggles, I still feel burdened by them. In my hormonal and emotional state, I am keenly aware that life hurts.
Life is painful; dreadfully painful at times for each and every one of us.
The contrast to this pain is that life is beautiful. It is a tragedy, a comedy, a treasure and a struggle. It is every imaginable contrast. And ultimately, I have nothing more than...
Life is a miracle.
Our newest miracle is due three days before my 31st birthday.
*Over the past few weeks I have found myself in a position which I did not quite know how to handle... in which I would see a friend at the store or out running errands and realize they had no idea that I am 24 weeks pregnant because we haven't spoken directly or seen each other in person! This scenario is far stranger than I had realized it might become.