Monday, March 9, 2015

Unchosen, Part 3


On Saturday, June 12th, I logged onto Facebook and learned the baby had been born. Once again, I cried for my loss. There was no turning back. The baby we had loved was gone forever.

During all of our infertility struggles, I had so worked hard to keep a calm face on the outside. I had become a master at pretending nothing was wrong, even when I felt like I was dying inside.

The next day was Sunday. We went to church because we felt like we had to. Like everyone would look down at us if we didn't. (At point in my life, we went to church out of guilt, not because we wanted to.) I remember sitting in the Primary room, behind the piano, crying. That is when I decided: the piano player is just a piece of furniture. Not one soul approached me to ask what was wrong. All I could think was, "Today is my first day as not the mom."

That night, my mom called to say my sister would most likely have her baby the next day. I didn't know how to express what I was going through, so I didn't say anything. I had been trying so hard to not ruin my mom's joy with my misery.

My sister had her baby the next morning. I went to the hospital on my lunch break, but refused to hold my nephew. It was just too much. I shouldn't have been there. If things had gone as planned, I would have been at a different hospital getting ready to bring my own baby home.

If things had gone as planned, we would have had the first granddaughter in both of our families, and I would have been the first to give my parents a grandchild. The first year was the hardest. I avoided my family a lot. I knew each milestone would be too much. I should have been experiencing those firsthand. First tooth, first steps. Each one just drove the dagger further into my heart.

The smallest things would set me off into uncontrollable sobs. The hardest part was knowing that the little baby girl was still out there. I kept thinking, if only our loss was a death, it would seem more final.

My all time favorite show is Desperate Housewives. A few seasons in, Carlos and Gaby adopt a little baby girl. But after a while, the birth parents come and take the baby. The scene ends with Carlos holding her wife and she cries, "but we love her!" That is how I felt.

One way I tried to distract myself was to let our cat, Ally, get pregnant. Just as her belly started to swell, she miscarried. I remember crying to God, "Why must even my pets suffer from infertility?"

On the 1st birthday of the little girl, I decorated a birthday cake for my nephew. It felt so wrong. I should be decorating a pink cake.

I worked so hard to hide my grief, and yet  I was so mad that no one acknowledged it. I had gotten flowers when my sister announced her pregnancy. But when I lost my baby, it felt like there was nothing. To most people, our baby never existed, so why should they mourn?

One of my dearest friends urged me to get counseling, but I kept telling her I was fine. But I wasn't fine. As the holiday's loomed, I got worse. The previous year, we had been chosen. We had celebrated that Christmas like it would be our last as just the two of us.

One day, I was standing in the kitchen doing dishes when suddenly, I was on the floor in a heap, bawling. Life just wasn't worth living anymore. My grief was slowly killing me, and I was ready for it to end. I looked outside and saw my husband in the field, helping our neighbor. At that moment, I realized I wanted to be happy again. I wanted to be better for my husband. I was ready to accept I needed help. Even then, I had to schedule three appointments with a counselor because I kept chickening out. I kept telling myself only weak people need professional help.

Counseling did help. But really, time seemed to be the biggest factor. I needed time to grieve. Time to accept what had happened. Time to realize my life was going to be different than what I had planned.

It is said time heals all wounds. I agree and disagree. Looking back, I have healed. But that doesn't mean I will ever forget. This loss will always be a part of my life, no matter how many years pass by. But over time, I have been able to find peace with it. I have learned life doesn't go as planned. It may knock you down, but only you have the strength to get back up and continue on.

2 comments:

  1. I really think that your Unchosen series should be required for anyone who suggests adoption to a couple battling infertility.

    This is the third time that I've read this post and the first time that I'm in any shape to to type a response through the tears. I am so glad that you got help in counseling and that time has healed you. And I hope that you never forget because it is part of who you are.

    You are one hell of a strong woman!

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  2. Savannah, you lost a child, the same as if you had had a miscarriage or stillbirth... the fact that your loss was not recognized (at the same time that everyone was fussing over your sister's baby) just made it all the harder. (((hugs))) I hope writing this all out has been cathartic for you. BnB is right, you are a very strong woman!

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