I woke up to the sound of something crying. It reminded me of the whimpering moan of a dog—deep and elongated. I kept thinking, “that is such a strange noise.” It took me a while to realize that I was the one making the sound. I was the one crying. I imagine this is what it’s like to come out of a coma–regaining consciousness, only to find that you have no idea what just happened or how you ended up where you are. But there I was, on the tile floor of our vacation rental bathroom, with my swimsuit half on.
Even though I had become aware that it was ME crying, I couldn’t stop. I was disoriented, and in pain. My husband ran in to see what was going on. “How did I get on the floor?” I asked. He didn’t know. I adjusted my swimsuit back on, and he walked me to the couch. It was then that I felt it–a tremendous sore spot on the front right side of my head. I asked for ice.
At this point, I already knew I was having a miscarriage. I had been to the emergency room 5 days before for abdominal cramping on my lower left side. My nurse said it could be a sign of a tubal or ectopic pregnancy, and I needed to go to the ER right away since it was a Saturday and my OBGYN office was closed. At the ER, they ruled out a tubal pregnancy, but discovered that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. I was having another missed miscarriage, but I wouldn’t start to miscarry until we were on vacation the next week. This would be my 4th miscarriage in 6 years.
Unlike my previous miscarriages, this one seemed to bring on a lot more bleeding than I had ever experienced. This is even including after actual childbirth. I started to know something was really wrong. The room would spin, I would start hyperventilating, get dizzy, and throw-up. At one point, I sat in the shower with the water going, and suddenly I woke up to my husband yelling my name and gently hitting my face. I had passed out again. It wasn’t until the second time I passed out, that we became sure that I had passed out that first time when I had woken up to my own cries on the bathroom floor. We then went to the ER for the second time that week, this time in California.
I’m not sure exactly what caused what. I had a concoction of symptoms. I may have been in shock from losing blood, or from seeing the precious baby when I passed it (that was both traumatic, and strangely beautiful). All I know is that when I hit my head that first time, it was hard. Everything seemed fine once we left the ER; but I ended up getting daily migraines. Even now, over a week later, if I move too fast, get my heartrate up, or read for too long, the headaches come again. I get one every day. I think I got a concussion from that initial fall. Luckily, I think it was a mild one as my symptoms are clearing up.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Because sometimes life is hard. Like really, really, painfully hard. We face loss. We face pain. We face anxiety, depression, addictions, death, isolation, financial problems, health issues, betrayal, and more. EVERYONE has faced, is facing, or will face things in their lives that will cause them to question themselves, their faith, or their ability to find hope and happiness again.
What can we do to help each other in these moments?
One of the biggest things that has helped me, is sharing and relating with others. This has helped me process my grief during all of my miscarriages, and other trials as well.
Two days after my second trip to the ER, Reyna L. Aburto gave a talk that spoke to my soul entitled, “Thru Cloud and Sunshine, Lord, Abide with Me!” When she said the quote above, I felt that creating a safe space for us to share what we are working through could be therapeutic not only for me, but for others as well.
I remember a church lesson I had once where we each wrote down what we were struggling with, then the teacher read them aloud. It was all anonymous. It was heartbreaking to hear what others were going through, but it was also very healing because:
- It gave us greater love for one another. It’s hard to judge someone if you know that hardest things they are dealing with in their lives (Obviously, we didn’t know what trial belonged to which person, but knowing that there were trials was enough to increase our compassion for everyone in the room.)
- It gets rid of stigmas. In many cases, our trials feel too taboo to talk about publicly. It was nice to get them off our chests, even anonymously. Just hearing that someone else in the same room is going through the same thing, helps to break down your layers of isolation.
- It changes your perspective. When it seems like everyone else has it all together, it gets really easy to fall into traps of self-pity. It’s helpful to be reminded that everyone has trials, and we can all help raise another up.
Having said that, if you feel comfortable, I’ve created an anonymous survey to allow you to share what you have gone through, or what you are currently going through. I will share some of the responses later in hopes that it will have the same result for this little online community that it did in that church class. I promise I will not give any personal information away (none is asked for), please share if you are comfortable. And thank you in advanced.