Happy New Year everyone! New beginnings, resolutions to live a better life, and leaving bad memories behind; I truly believe this is a magical time of year because people believe they can change, can make themselves better, and that there’s something in them that’s worth more than what they’re dealing with now. Negativity, bad habits, old pain we’ve been holding on to, we all seem to get a chance to let it go when the ball drops and the big man in the sky hits the reset button. But what do you do when life hits you with a BIG one? How do you pull your head out of the storm clouds and get on with life when there seems to be too much pain, with something awful like a death or a miscarriage? I think when we can learn to let the situation go and embrace the LESSON, we find peace and growth in moving on, and we give meaning and dignity to the suffering.
So what does that mean practically? Well, I can think of no better way to explain it than to speak my own truth. As a holistic lifestyle coach who works a lot with women struggling with fertility, it would be easy to push my own fertility issues under the rug. But none of us has a yellow brick road to walk, and anyone who tells you otherwise is blowing smoke up your Christmas stocking. Life’s lessons come in many forms, some are fun and some are painful, but it’s truly tragic if you fail to grow and refuse to share. So here we go…
Last year my husband and I lost a pregnancy at 8 weeks. There is NOTHING about it just being the first trimester (“at least you lost it early”) or any statistic about how many fertilizations terminate or are “incompatible with life” as the doctor puts it (some publications site as many as 50% of all fertilizations as incompatible) that eases the pain when you realize you’ll never hold that tiny baby’s hand, that somehow you may have failed him, and the fear of whether or not you’re capable of supporting and growing a life. But as I grieved, and feared, and guilted over the situation, I realized that even if I’d gone full term, I’d be nervous at each doctor’s visit-is his little brain developing, does he have malformations, is he healthy and growing ok; I’d be terrified of the birthing process and hoping he’d come into this world without complications; Once he was born would some genetic issue crop up that was previously undetected; Would he grow normally and healthy and strong; Would he become autistic later in childhood; Would he find good friends that encourage and strengthen him; Would we be able to keep him away from perverts and addictive drugs……I realized the list NEVER ends.
And THIS my friends, is where my tiny little 8 week pregnancy taught me lessons that I will NEVER forget. Life is not about the destination, or about getting to the end without any scratches, chips or dents. This life is FULL of uncertainty and pain as well as wonder and joy. The lesson I learned was to embrace that uncertainty as part of life, and as a result I love deeper and am more vulnerable and open. Each day, each precious moment of joy is a gift in and of itself. If today you are married, pregnant, have a special precious baby (be they 6 months or 60 years old), a job you love, cherished family members that are alive and fighting, a dream you’re working towards, or anything that means anything to you at all, don’t be afraid of losing it. Everything in this life has a beautiful frailty as well as resilience, and the joy of living happens when you realize life is about the balance, and celebrating the joy and learning lessons from the pain.
I learned this all from a tiny fetus who was with me for just 8 weeks, and because of that he will ALWAYS be a part of me. He taught me so much, and because of him, I will love my future children deeper and more intensely. I will cherish each day of my pregnancy as a fresh and fantastic experience (for we never know just how long we’ll have with the little fellas, and if 8 weeks is all you get, make each day count!) I’m eternally grateful for the experience and the time I had with him, and my husband and I have moved on with renewed hope, joy and wonder at the gifts we are blessed with in this world, and our minds are open to the lessons of loss. If a tiny little pre-life can teach something so powerful in just 8 weeks in the midst of pain and grief, and can fulfill such an important purpose without ever being born, what are you and I capable of, with all of our experience, with our observations and opportunities to love and help those around us? If an 8 week old fetus has such an incredible destiny to change the life and heart of just a few people, what changes can WE bring about in this new year?
Each and every one of us has the capability to change ourselves and the world in astonishing ways. As you ask yourself who you want to be in the new year, what you hope to achieve, do NOT sell yourself short. This universe needs your energy desperately. But also remember that life happens in between the joy and the pain. Don’t rush yourself towards the end, don’t worry or be fearful about the loss. Live EACH day with joy and anticipation, seeking always to live your best life.
What hopes do you have for the new year? What fears are you letting go of? Let us know and share the love!
Photo credit: iriskh / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)
So well put! Love you!! 2014 is going to be a wonderful year :-).
Having struggled through two miscarriages, I can vouch for the sadness that results from the loss. No one should ever try to trivialize the feelings that come forth. But as some old wise woman once said, “Where is it written in the Bible that we should always be happy?” Some days are, well, just not happy ones. As you have stated so well, our trials give us the opportunity to become stronger, to become better people, more compassionate, more patient, more disciplined and more content. Happy New Year, a new time of hope!
I’m a friend of Jeanne Singer who posted this on FB. My oldest grandchild is 18 and is a smart, talented, handsome, athletic young man waiting for each day’s mail to hear from his college courses. As his “Mimi” I can remember the tears and sadness, the pain, the loss the Why??? When our daughter had her first pregnancy just end…. A blighted ovum she was told. Your essay is so precious for others to read and know. Thank you! Time may heal many wounds but memories last and last as does true love. A miscarriage is a life passage for an entire family. The fears of aging, normally and with grace are what I face this new year along with the love and joy of 7 dear grandchildren.
Thanks for sharing Deirdre! I believe this is a pain a lot of women (and families) silently hold on to and we can’t heal until we speak our truth and give the pain meaning. And thank you for sharing your current fear! When we speak our fears out loud they lose their power over us, they can only survive in the shadows! It sounds like you are doing a great job of living in grace and love! Blessings for your family in the new year!
Amazing insight and so much depth. Love you for sharing this. As a mother of 2 wonderful children now, I also suffered 2 miscarriages. I can relate to the article.
Very well written.