Almost two weeks into my second miscarriage I was at a work event and a coworker kindly asked how I was doing. She then followed up with “I know you probably have to compartmentalize everything in order to be here, so you don’t have to talk about it now, we can talk about it later.” When she said it, my initial thought to myself was “I haven’t compartmentalized, I am open and processing through what is happening to me.” As I went about the day I thought about what she said. I realized I was stuffing the emotion of it all, mostly because the emotion would be too overwhelming, too hard to deal with.
A couple days later, I sat down to watch Grey’s Anatomy. I won’t spoil much but I will say that a big character had died. (If you are around the internet at all, you have probably seen who it is, even if you don’t watch the show). The characters are grieving in their own way (most of them aren’t grieving at all). Months after the death, Dr. Owen Hunt was talking to Dr. Amelia Shepherd, who wasn’t dealing well with the death. In a touching scene, written by Stacy McKee, he said the following (some portions removed):
“All the stuff that you are managing, you are not supposed to be managing it, you are supposed to be feeling it: grief, loss, pain, it is normal…Instead of feeling the grief and pain, you shove it all down…instead of moving through the pain, you run from it…We do these things, we do whatever it takes to cover it up and dull the sensation, but it is not normal, we are supposed to feel, we are supposed to love and hate and hurt and grieve and break and be destroyed and rebuild ourselves and be destroyed again, that is human, that is humanity, that is being alive…Don’t avoid it, don’t extinguish it…(Dr. Shepherd breaks down)…You are going to be okay, you are going to survive this, everybody does. It is perfectly normal, it is boring even. It is so normal.”
Dr Owen Hunt, Grey’s Anatomy
The scene was beautiful, and Dr. Hunt’s words penetrated my heart. With both of my miscarriages I stuffed the emotion, mostly because I was afraid to feel the pain, afraid that it would lead my depression prone self down a rabbit hole of pain that I didn’t know how I would get out of. I cried, I suffered, I ate, and ate some more but I don’t know that I truly grieved or allowed myself to feel everything that I needed to feel.
I think that a miscarriage (or two) is so lonely. You feel alone as you see your body rejecting the pregnancy. You don’t know if anyone else will understand or know what you are feeling, however, like Dr. Hunt said, “It is perfectly normal.” Statistics say that 1 in 4 women will miscarry in their lives, 2 out of every 10 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. I AM NOT ALONE. As unfortunate as it is, this is normal and women all over, right this very second, are experiencing the exact sadness that I have experienced two times now.
So, I decided to try not to manage or compartmentalize. I want to grieve and cry and let myself feel the sorrow that I have. I am embracing the emotions and allowing myself to cry, In the end, I will never regret grieving the two little ones that I lost.
(Originally written on May 5, 2015, but not posted until now as I was busy processing the emotions and not making them public quite yet).