Sunday, July 26, 2015
My Pregnancy Journey:Part 4 - The Dark Place (Grief & Loss)
Damn You, Dark Place. I never wanted to see you again. I told you we're through. I demanded you leave me be. Yet you found me. You crept into my head and stealthily took hold of my heart. It was familiar territory for you and you knew all the cracks in the walls. Getting in was easy. And while I know that God will carry me through any storm, I really didn't want this one to rage.
The pain. The deep, dark, lonely hurt. That anger I'm embarrassed to admit exists and the guilt that controls too many of my thoughts. Guys, I'm hurting bad today. I KNOW God is in this, drawing me near, bringing me through to the other side, but I am so scared to go through this storm.
I've been here before. The thing is I'm not sure how long it will last. Already I'm doing much better than the days following Bentlee's death. The intensity of the pain is just as deep but the frequency is not as all-consuming.
Most of my day was filled with such joy. My mom and brothers were over - visiting & helping clean (& pick up some of the pieces of life that had fallen apart while in the throws of morning sickness). My mom made an awesome dinner, Dan was home for much of the day, I began the day with a very healing visit with a dear friend and closed it out watching a movie with another friend and the kiddos. Dean lost another tooth. Bruce SAID "I love you too, Mom" for the FIRST TIME EVER!!
But at night, that's where the Dark Place finds me. He brings insomnia and deep, raw, brutal emotional hurt. I KNOW this gets better - I have done this before! Actually, I've done it a lot. More than anyone ever should have to. Ever. The Dark Place also brings Anger with him - they're old pals.
Anger. We had made it so far it felt. The worst of the hyperemesis was almost over. Every blood test had my hcg levels doubling, the ultrasound showed this was not another ectopic. There was a baby and a heartbeat. I took the meds and the shots and went to all the appointments & felt the intense anxiety. Things were starting out so very promising. Then this. This loss was something brand new, totally unexpected, and not even a common problem. So I angrily cry out "Really?!?!" I mean, at some point, I gotta get a little angry here.
I'm in the bedroom attempting to tackle my mountain of laundry, watching Hulu. My current show's episode was over and the next show to autoplay was Teen Mom Original Generation. I've never had cable but 5 years ago I would watch this show every single day at the hospital. While I was pregnant with Bentlee, Dan would drop me off at the Infusion Center each day & I'd get my 2 liters of IV fluids with meds, watch Teen Mom, and head home a couple hours later.
As dorky as this is to admit, Bentlee was named after this show. One of the moms had this beautiful little blonde boy, Bentley. I instantly fell in love with this name, but we later found out we were expecting a girl. Dan said Bentley is a girl name too - just like our daughter is named Taylor, however he wanted to use the spelling Bentlee, replacing the Y with an E. Since she was born not long after that we hadn't discussed any OTHER name ideas and it seemed fitting to give our precious daughter the name Bentlee Patricia (my mother's name is Patti).
After Bentlee passed I no longer had a need to visit the Infusion Center at the hospital and thus quit watching the show. I'd read bits here & there about various Teen Mom participants, but that show was pretty much isolated to this like 4ish-month span of time.
Teen Mom OG picks up 5 years after the premiere of the first season. I made it LESS THAN 4 MINUTES into this show before The Dark Place sat down to be my viewing partner. Baby Bentley is now 5 years old, just a tiny bit older than MY Bentlee would be right now. Tyler & Catelynn (who chose adoption their first child) are now 22 and very much wanting to start a family of their own. The joy they had when their pregnancy test was positive was an instant trigger for me.
Almost 7 weeks ago that was ME eliciting that same joy when MY pregnancy test was positive. How do I reconcile that joy with the pain the of miscarriage? And I'm sitting here not only grieving a child I never held, but grieving the loss of the concept that our family would possibly someday grow. We know another pregnancy is not wise. Our cup runneth over with blessings beyond description. There is nothing that feels incomplete about our family by any means. It's hard all the same.
I know it gets easier. I know there IS the other side and I KNOW God is faithful to bring me there again. But today, The Dark Place has found me. Damn You, Dark Place.