Saturday, May 26, 2012

Duality of Dealing With Loss

Two friends and I talked about my miscarriage at a "let's have drinks" get-together a few days ago.  Maybe it was the irreverent atmosphere of the bar, the fact that my one beer was long finished implying that everyone else had moved on to subsequent drinks or maybe it's just because I have really amazing friends but this conversation was completely different than any other concerning my miscarriage.

One friend told how her mother had two miscarriages and the way her mother spoke of those losses was so positive that even as an adult with children of her own, she has a hard time remembering miscarriages are emotionally difficult for women.  

Another friend speculated that our culture's obsession with abortion and pro-life vs. pro-choice debates has created an environment making it even harder to overcome the emotional burdens of miscarriage.  During Mississippi's Personhood Amendment debacle, we were asked to decide if we believe life starts at conception.  Everybody in my circle, including myself, agreed that yes, life starts at conception.  Of course, I did *not* vote for the Personhood Amendment for a vast number of reasons but that doesn't change the fact that for months the hottest topic in my state was the discussion of whether or not life begins at conception.  And, that's just my local little tip of the iceberg.

We talked about how I really am doing okay.  How I believe my baby was not compatible with life.  How I believe everything is for a purpose.  Perhaps Baby Tomas's purpose was to teach me compassion.  Maybe not.  At this point, his purpose isn't clear and maybe it never will be.  But, his short little life certainly had a purpose.

And as strange as it seemed to say out loud, it felt really good to talk about how our loss has been immensely freeing for me.  No more physical hardships of pregnancy, no more worrying about how I would take care of a newborn and still give my very needy children the attention they desperately crave, no more rushing through my doula certification just to put everything on hold for a year with a new baby, no more worries about money.  The list goes on and on.

The duality of being thankful for the benefits of a miscarriage while at the same time mourning the loss of what could have been -- a beautiful round belly, a peaceful homebirth surrounded by my family and women who love me, a precious newborn, first steps, first words -- is a tribute to the spirit of life, especially the life of Baby Tomas.  

And for those of you who are dealing with these conflicting emotions and the aftermath of infant loss, I found this speech a huge inspiration for peace in my heart.  Spoken at a "Spirit Babies Ceremony" on the winter solstice in San Francisco in which women came together to honor babies lost through abortion, miscarriage and stillbirth on the longest night of the year, I hope it will grant you the same peace and perspective it gave me.  

And now I am off to do non-pregnant mentally plan a Spirit Babies ceremony in my own little town, prepare for my first doula birth, and obsess over how excited I am to attend a CAPPA Childbirth Educator course this fall. 

And, I really am okay with that. 


Amanda said...

You are an inspiration, Laura!

LauraOMML said...

Well, thank you, Amanda!!

Nicole said...

I agree- this is inspiring. you are such a strong woman! Continuing my prayers.