Month: August 2015

What Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About Grieving My Miscarriages

Grey's Anatomy Blog

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). 

A Year Later: Looking Back on my Miscarriage

Exactly one year ago, my body started the process of my first miscarriage.  It is such a unique memory and anniversary if you will, but because of when it happened (the Monday before Orientation for EBC), I will always remember this anniversary and all the emotions that went along with it.  

This time last year I was quickly getting together everything for orientation.  I had found out the Friday before that I was growing only a gestational sac and not growing a baby.  I had heard that I would probably be miscarrying.  I had never had a miscarriage before and didn’t know if I would need surgery or to be hospitalized, so I wanted to get orientation ready just in case.

I quickly worked most of the day on Monday to get everything ready.  Only one coworker knew what was happening and he was prepared to take over for me.  My other coworkers had no clue why I was preparing a bit early, but it wasn’t too unreasonable for me to be there. 

I went home that evening, started bleeding and the process of miscarrying my second child.  It is the first time that I remember feeling betrayed by my body.  First, it didn’t grow a baby and second, it miscarried.  

The emotion of it all was overwhelming, each trip to the bathroom heartbreaking, and I knew that I would never be the same again.  

So, now a year later, I look back and I still wish that I was holding my March baby.  I still miss my little one and wonder what our family would have looked like as four people rather than three people.  I wonder how our son would have been as a older brother, I love watching how he enjoys babies now and it breaks my heart that he should have a brother or sister to play with. 

However, in the midst of this year, I still know that God is good.  He has a plan.  I am seeking him and desperately trying to trust him with my desires for another baby.  I had my second miscarriage this past April, about a month after our March baby’s due date.  The due date was originally softened by the fact that I was pregnant again, and I felt my body betrayed me again.  I had another blighted ovum (they aren’t caused by anything that I did, but it still felt that way).  So I have another round of firsts to come with the loss of my second pregnancy and third baby through this next year. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Psalm 13 as a model to pray when things are bad.  David was so honest with God and yet, he trusted him.  I have held onto that in the last year, letting God know how I felt through the miscarriages, but still making the difficult choice to trust Him and believe that He is good. 

Psalm 13-5-6