Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week Ten: Coping

thank you, everyone, for all of your calls, e-mails, and comments expressing your prayers, support, and love for us. it has made an immense amount of difference in getting through this last week.

i will admit, although each day gets easier, it has been a challenge to know how to honestly acknowledge the loss and yet also move forward. it is difficult to move into the holiday season and realise that our expectations for what it would've been like, as expectant parents, are not going to happen. and because this experience has so colored every hour of the last week, it has been odd knowing how to answer the question "how are you doing? " or "what's new with you?" from people who didn't know about Tummymuffin at all. it's been also interesting for me to realise that i am, by default, a fairly happy person, and that processing grief is a complex experiment in emotional volatility. this isn't the first crisis/bad times i've ever had -- but i think it may be the most personal, by far.
i've returned all the baby books to the library, put the maternity clothes into the garage (yes, i already had some), and have started to accept that i'm back to the hopefulness/waiting stage again for getting pregnant. Thomas & I will be taking a "personal retreat" next week to the nearby mountains, thanks to the generosity of some friends who have a cabin there, to recharge and regroup. one of the positives about this whole experience is how much closer it has brought us together, and we feel like it has strengthened our relationship already.

even though it's quite premature, i've already -- for my own sanity, anyway -- already started wondering what i should do/will do with the next pregnancy: i guess i won't be so "innocent" anymore. i wonder if i will want to tell more people about it sooner, or if i will be gunshy until the 9 week mark has passed. if any of you have experienced the loss of a baby, and then had a successful pregnancy afterwards, i'd like to know how you navigated what seems to me might be a possible emotional minefield.
again, thanks for all the notes of encouragement, love, support, and prayer. we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Erika!

I was thinking about you. :) I had many health issues that I thought may prevent us from getting pregnant. I started acupuncture. I am happy that you have the fortune of knowing you can get pregnant....but to ease your nerves going into your next pregnancy I would suggest Dr. Dao.

http://www.taoofwellness.com/tof2.htm

I feel like every visit helped kick start my body into the right direction and lead me to the next phase in pregnancy. All my hormones have been right on track untill now (which I NEVER dreamed).

Just a thought. Hope you are doing well.

xoxo Diana

Deb Hansen said...

Hi Erika and Thomas-
don't know how to tell you "I'm praying for you" on this thing and have you truly know how sorry I am....and the tender thoughts I am thinking of you two. God delights in you both. Enjoy your time together. Laugh. Cry. Dream. Be good to each other.
love you- Deb

Pamela said...

Erika,
First of all, I am so sorry to read this news. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. Like you, we told everyone right away and felt that same uneasiness about how to approach our loss, especially to those who didn't even know we were expecting. I think we all cope in different ways, for me, it really helped to read books and process things with God. I read a great book called Empty Arms by Pam Vredebelt(sp)? It helped me personally, to give it all back to God and move on. God really came through as far as healing me emotionally through that season, and even though at first, I didn't know whether we would tell people right away or not, there was something about the next pregnancy that made me feel confident God was going to see through it and that we were going to carry him full term... and we did... He is a blessing, and he's our first born. I think it is perfectly OK to grieve as long as you need to and also be OK to move on and hope for another pregnancy. Know that I'll be praying for you. Blessings ~ Pam

Karen Turner said...

Hi Erika and Thomas,

My heart grieves with you over your loss. I admire your courage and hope that shines through.

We, like you, told everyone about our first pregnancy and then quickly (at 7 weeks) had to follow with the news of the loss. As I look back, I remember learning how differently Joe and I grieved and dealt with the loss. To this day I look at kids who are the same age as our child would be and wonder, "what if..."

During my second pregnancy, we decided to wait until the first trimester was over. It's not like me to keep secrets, but I enjoyed that time of reflecting as well as preparing clever ways of revealing the announcement -- screensaver flashing when family was over for dinner, ultrasound pictures framed and wrapped as Christmas gifts (one was a white elephant gift with a poem at work). I really enjoyed the preparation.

I will pray for your healing process and that God will keep your hope kindled and that you will be deeply aware of His love.

Love,
Karen