There is always someone asking, “How are you doing?” in the most annoying way.
My first instinct is to hate them, hate the question, and hate the fact that they’re saying it in the most probing way possible.
Do you really want to know? I snap internally but don’t say anything.
Then there are people who never ask. They never did, they haven’t yet, and I feel like they never will. They look at me across the room, and we make an eye contact. They look away, embarrassed, and decide, “It’s been too long. I don’t want to upset her by reminding her.”
I want to shout out loud, you cannot remind me because I’m always remembering. I always know. I am always aware of my loss. Please ask me how I am doing. Please acknowledge that this happened to me.
Thankfully, on most days I am actually fine. I feel energetic, hopeful, or at minimum, feeling neutral.
On other days though, I am barely holding myself together. I am one question away from tearing up. One touch away from needing the longest hug of my life.
Why couldn’t my body do the basic thing that a woman is designed to do?
What did I do wrong?
I re-live the night I miscarried alone in my bathtub, and the 12 hours of labor that produced nothing I could be proud of.
I remember Cashew’s tiny body that I carefully placed in the palm of my left hand. The tiny arms and tiny legs — barely there but there for sure, and the tiniest dots — the eyes will forever be a part of me.
A part of me — that’s what I tried to explain to my husband last night during my conversation — a first one in a long time about the loss, as we rarely talk about it directly now — that Cashew’s departure is now a part of me that has permanently transformed the way I think about life, pregnancies, and death.
It is not necessarily a bad thing, I tried to explain to him. I am still able to feel joy, excitement, hope, and all the good things in life, but now there is a piece of me that will react differently when someone announces their pregnancy — I immediately think about the people in my life who are struggling with fertility issues. I no longer say with full confidence that I want three children. I don’t ask people, “When are you guys gonna have kids?” If by God’s grace, I am able to conceive again, I will do my pregnancy announcement differently for all the families out there who are hurting.
I would’ve never known to think this way had I not lost Cashew earlier this year. So in a way, I am better. I am a better person. It hurts to say, but this loss has made me a better human being.
But if I had a choice, I would choose to never knowing the pain of losing a baby and stay a bit more insensitive and naive.
About a month and a half ago, I saw a positive pregnancy test again.
I had a few days of spotting, followed by feeling cold, tired, and bit nauseous — all the symptoms I had during my first pregnancy, so I bought a pregnancy test during lunch break and tested.
Pregnant, it said.
I cried and thanked God for his goodness. He was indeed a God of redemption and my pain would soon turn into joy! I couldn’t believe how quickly I got pregnant again.
But only a couple of hours after seeing the positive test, I started bleeding. It was bright red blood that started out of nowhere, and it wouldn’t stop for almost 9 days.
I had suffered a chemical miscarriage.
It felt like the most cruel prank anyone could pull on me. I kept trying to tell myself that this wasn’t a real pregnancy, and that it had no implication to my fertility, but the hurt I felt was something different than the one before.
Alone, I felt embarrassed. I felt utterly hopeless. No one would mourn with me, I knew, and I decided to pack away this loss quietly.
So I find myself here again. Healing. “Moving on” as people like to say. Some days, better, some days, barely getting by. My cycles are still erratic. Yes, there are a lot of physical aftermath that one must deal with post-loss. Miscarriage can take weeks, sometimes months to recover from.
I needed something else to obsess over — as I had been Pinteresting, writing, reading, and dreaming about babies since last summer — so I decided to go on a ketogenic diet, something I will write about soon.
I hate it when people accuse me of actively dwelling on what happened. They tell me, you need to stop thinking about your miscarriage and move on. It’s not healthy. It’s harmful. It’s wrong. It’s shows that you have no faith.
But that’s not true.
I am ashamed to admit that there are many hours during the day when I am perfectly at peace — not thinking about Cashew, not thinking about what happened in March, and not worried about my future fertility. Every hurt gets better with time, and mine is no exception.
As for the issue of faith, can you blame me? How many stories of women are there in the Bible who struggled with fertility? Do you see me getting a servant girl for my husband?The fact that I’m having perfectly normal emotions to terrible things that have happened to Alex and myself isn’t a sign of weak faith but a sign of being human. A human who needs God.
Alex told me that he has had too many disappointments in life. And perhaps that is why he isn’t terribly devastated by losses anymore. It’s almost as if he expected it to happen. He had already prepared a place in his heart to pack away the baby stuff, lock the room, and discard the key for no one to find but him.
To that, I wish I could’ve said this.
How many times did we receive more and better than what we deserve? Unplanned adventures, first kisses, falling in love again after a heartache, being forgiven, second and third chances, finding each other, marriage, and salvation?
There are going to be many more days of letdowns. I expect this.
There will certainty be even more painful things that will come my way. I accept this.
But there are going to be many, many more days goodness and joys in life that will make this life worth living — everything in between the warmth of morning coffee to the love of God that I will never understand.
And one day, I will fully know and understand all of these things: Why we are here. Why our lives are the way they are. Why we cried these tears. Why we fall in love.
So today, I am hopeful. Today I am doing fine.